Saturday morning prayers included for me the concept: What if the immigrants (legal or illegal) coming to the USA are being brought here BY GOD because we are too lazy to get off our duffs and go to them? Think about this just for a second. Even intellectually honest liberals can think of multiple reasons to say NIMBY to immigrants. And logically, if all you are asking for (as most of us do) that they come in legally, that they be vetted, that CAN'T be a sin. But... what if the guy who won't get in any legal way because of who he is NOW is being led to come here for OUR witness, which we aren't bringing to him? Does this change the dynamics for you?
I gathered up a set of statistics from a variety of sources, and many of you have heard the damning stats on Christianity of late:
Absolute certain belief in God by those identifying as Christians- 76%. (18% "fairly certain").
Belief that concepts of right and wrong are situational, among Christians- 59%.
Abortion in almost any circumstance should be legal, among Christians- 45%.
Belief that the Bible IS NOT the Word of God, among Christians- 18%.
Pct of Evangelicals "Not sure" that Jesus rose from the dead- 25%.
To me these are "then why are you here?" statistics. But that just shows the cracks in the definition of what makes a Christian. The trouble is, you can walk into any church and CLAIM to be a Christian. But let me give you a set of three stats that show you WHAT being a Christian involves:
55% of people attending Church at least once a month have not been Born Again. That will make the next two make sense.
50%+ of attendees 18-24 YO not certain God is real.
50%+ of Evangelicals believe that there are more than one way to heaven.
Now to be sure, it is better to be "religiously affiliated" than not. At least the religiously affiliated share with the poor. The amount of religiously affiliated household who give to charity is 62%, to the average tune of $1590 a year, while households calling themselves "unaffiliated" only have 46% charity giving, to the tune of $695 per annum. But what is the job of the Church on earth? The Great Commission:
Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And here is where the Church is falling flat:
In 1993, a study was done that asked, "Do you believe there is an individual responsibility to share the Gospel?" The response was 89% yes.
The same group redid the study last year, 25 years later. Response? 64%.
A 25% drop in 25 years.
Another study said 70% of those who attend at least monthly NEVER share their faith.
And 70% of unchurched people have NEVER been invited to come to church with someone.
And most damning of all:
51% of U.S. churchgoers say they’ve never heard of the term, “The Great Commission”.
The State of American Theology, Lifeway Research, 2016
Never heard of the Great Commission.
In trying to look up "% of churches that teach from the Bible" I hit an article that from its sheer wrong-ness makes my point. In it, the author, who claims we should "run-from 'Bible-believing' churches", cites the following:
It contains within itself many disagreements about the nature of God and how events unfolded. For example, did Noah take two of every animal onboard his ship, as Genesis 6 claims, or did he take seven of every animal, as Genesis 7 claims? (How about you actually read it and see it was seven pairs of the CLEAN animals, 2 of all the rest.) Does God require sacrifice, as Leviticus suggests, or does God require mercy and not sacrifice, as the prophet Hosea claims? (God had to teach obedience first- and that obedience had to be hand in hand with love of God. By Hoshea's time, the were fulfilling the requirements- and barely that- but no love was there.) Does God punish children for their parents’ mistakes, as Exodus claims, or is each generation responsible for itself, as the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah state? (Read what you said- the children are punished, meaning face the consequences of their parent's mistakes, but the RESPONSIBILITY for the sins is still personal.) Did Jesus overturn the tables in the Temple at the end of his ministry, as the synoptic Gospels claim, or did he do it at the beginning of his ministry, as the Gospel of John claims? (Actually, he did it twice. One time in the first year of His ministry- when His brothers teased Him about going up- and once in the last week of His life on earth.)
If you had any doubt about so-called teachers of the Word teaching it RIGHT, there you go. That is why you should NOT be among the 33% of Christians who NEVER read the Bible, the 9% who say they pick theirs up "several times a year", or the 12% who do it "once or twice a month". Proverbs says those who seek wisdom, she will be found by them. Is "54% wise" good enough for you?
Tune in Wednesday where we'll kinda pick up with the original premise- how SHOULD we feel about immigrants?