by Bailey Smith

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Let the Church Stand Up in Today's World (12 of 13)
Bailey Smith
Keynote Message, SBC
June, 1976

The title of this chapter is very important. Let's begin by asking a most basic question. Is there a present need for the church to stand up in today's world? Is the above title no more than the result of a committee's frustration for theme material, or is it a whimsical roulette-wheel approach to selection, or a quick choice to meet the deadline for program planning? Is it a title for title's sake, or is it the expression of a viable issue? Please allow me to answer my own question. When we live in a world where Christians and Muslims are warring against each other, and are making a rabble of a modern city, the church needs to stand up! When our world reads daily of pubs and bus stops and hotel rooms and men's rooms exploding from terrorist bombs because the Protestants and Catholics refuse to hear what they preach, the church must stand up.

Surrounded by the deterioration of basic principles and worthy institutions, realizing that eight percent of Americans attend church on Sunday morning, two percent on Sunday evening, and 61,000 churches reported no additions last year, I say, "let the church stand up." When our children go to schools where Genesis is made a hoax by the State-approved textbooks, and the intimacy between a man and woman is portrayed in bathroom-wall language, the church must stand up!

When some men of the cloth are denying that the Bible is the Word of God and their churches are more amusement centers than houses of worship, let the church stand up! We have read of the number of churches which have bars, and we were sickened to read of the church in a certain state where a local stripper performed the full show for the Sunday morning parishioners in the sanctuary. There is also a church in another state that had baptismal services for the family pets. The folly of that is well illustrated by the man who was told he would be employed at ...

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