I sometimes get very emotional about the thought of the church that my children will grow up in. People are not simply withdrawing from the church, but becoming hostile to it. It’s obvious that people don’t want to hear about God, see Him, or see others experience Him. Just take the backlash from Tim Tebow being a christian.
There’s so many factors involved.
1. We live in a self esteem culture. A culture that says success isn’t important, its self esteem that is. We tell them that they’re the best, that they can do anything they want, and the sky is the limit. But they’re not, and it’s not. instead of teaching self esteem, let’s push people to set valid goals and when they succeed, they will get self esteem. The church is not about self esteem, it’s about identity. It’s about surrendering your identity to Christ.
2. We love individualism. We think that personalizing everything will set us apart from everyone else. As long as I don’t like the same music, dress the same way, talk the same way, wear my hear, buy the right computer, and so on, I can be different. Cynicism is the new humor. We believe that we have a right to make our decisions because we are individuals. The problem is that we don’t live on an island. Our decisions have a profound impact on those around us. Especially in the church. Sin, apathy, and dissention don’t work in churches. Neither does individualism.
3. We hate authority. I sometimes wonder if somehow the word freedom has changed into anarchy. You can’t tell me what to do, we live in a country of freedom. But someone has to be in charge. I hope this is just a stage of life issue and not an entirely generational problem for the future of our country. You cannot function in a church and hate authority. If you want to be a part of a church, you must submit to the authority laid out by scripture. And this is a hard task for some.