The christian landscape in America is changing and changing very fast. If you are not careful you will blink and miss how rapidly things are being transformed. In fact many people are blissfully unaware of what is really going on. Two things are happening and it seems to be simultaneous. First, the lukewarm and the hypocrites are shuffling through the established, traditional churches, faster than tour operators can herd foreigners through the gates of Disney World! This endless shuffling is the circulatory movement of a large mass of nominal, self-centered christians who move around from church to church sampling and consuming whatever feels and tastes best for them and/or their families. They are not in the Kingdom and have no intention of ever entering the Kingdom. They are religious, nothing more. They drag their disinterested souls to one church or another with large gaps in between only to appease their religious conscience or to shutup the nagging of a religious family member. What keeps them coming is the tickling of their ears. The entertainment value alone is worth the price of admission. So what if they have to toss in a few dollars to assuage a guilty conscience...the music and sermons are not all that bad and give valuable "life coaching" and is worth the few measly dollars they toss the preachers way.
These roaming bands of lukewarm religious Americans are not interested in Jesus and probably don't even know what the term "building the body of Christ" even means, let alone giving some semblance of serious thought to the idea. It is all about them and their own cozy life. They don't even want to be taught the Word and don't dare to challenge them whatever you do...or they will beat a path to the nearest exit faster than you can say "oh bless your heart"!!! Coddle and entertain them and you might be lucky to keep them around for a while...until the next best thing comes along:-)
The second thing that is happening is that true believers are sick and tired of the game. Their eyes are wide upon and they can spot a fake a million miles away. This contrived, marketed dribble that is conjured up to attract consumers, does nothing but induce nausea in the true child of God. As more and more churches shift and compromise and cater to the flesh, more and more of Gods people drop out and look for a new church. But what they are finding is that true, new covenant, biblical, servant led churches are becoming as rare as hens teeth! It’s supply and demand and there are only so many nominal American consumer christians to go around, so more and more churches are moving to the "dark side" to hold onto market share. This creates the domino affect that drives out true believers, which in turn creates a vacuum which has to be filled with more and more nominal christians.
Do you see how fast this becomes a vicious cycle?
It is no wonder that good hearted men of God are also dropping out, some even resorting to suicide...if not physical, at least "career" wise.
The fact is that our country has changed and there is probably no going back to the "good ol days". Churches have to cater to the flesh because this is what American "christians" are demanding. Either get with the program or become irrelevant and get left behind. The choices are grim and unfortunately most churches are making the wrong choices just to survive.
All is not lost however, God is STILL in control and He is STILL purging and building His church in this country. There is a purification going on and it is getting more intense by the year. God is preparing a bride, without spot and without wrinkle and she is being made ready for the Bridegroom...King Jesus. May we will toss aside anything at all that stands in the way of Jesus making us ready for His soon and coming return. Let us humble ourselves and allow the Lord to join us together with other believers of like mind and spirit. Gather in houses or under bridges...any structure or even an open field will do. The location is not important...allowing Jesus to truly be the Head and truly build His church is what really matters. May the Lord lead us all into His perfect will this brand new year, to not only BE the Church but to gather and love another as the Church!!!
On the flip side...be very, very careful about joining up with just any old, random group. Many stand alone churches, house churches and groups are perfectly fine but there are may others who are filled with "nutters" who do not fall into the latter category of wholehearted true believers. Many of these people have an agenda and many others are obsessed with political and/or end times events to the detriment of building the body of Christ. I am not saying that political and end times issues are not important but they must not become our focus and capture our time or attention. Also some of these groups are led by and filled with people who have a rebellious spirit and cannot submit to anyone, not even true godly, servant leaders. Other groups are known for who and what they are against. Rather than shine the light of Christ they spend all their energy and time denouncing others. Again, there is nothing wrong with giving warnings but when it becomes our obsession and our focus we have begun to go astray from what the Lord has called us to, which is to partner with Him to build the body of Christ.