Empty Churches and a Fresh Start (August Posting Challenge)
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."Brennan Manning
I grew up with this quote. It was the crackly intro to a DC Talk song. And it's been bouncing around my head for a few weeks.
People are leaving the church and the leaving the faith. We cannot pretend that it's not happening or that it's not that bad.
It's celebrity pastors and people I went to college with. It's people I grew up with and people in my community.
I talk with pastors all the time whose churches are emptying. They confess that they don't know what is happening, and they feel like it is just them. It's not. The "church" is hollowing out. And by church I mean American religion. Even American evangelicalism.
The note I saw today said that Christians look nothing like Jesus, and this person cannot do this anymore. "The greatest single cause of atheism..."
I'm discouraged. And I'm scared. Because I agree. So much is done in Jesus' name that doesn't fit his character. So many dress up as Christians and have adopted the world's goals or the world's methods. They are the same either way.
But here is one piece of hope that I hold onto: maybe this will be time for the true city of God to come into the open. It's been covered up as people used Christianity in their own plays for power, respectability, and money. But the city of God is always there. Always advancing. It's just been overshadowed by the city of man in church clothes.