Where Are We?

Tuesday Musing of a Pastor – Where are We?
January 31, 2017

This is the Bible my dad was reading when at age 17 I stood before him and said: “Dad, I feel called to preach the gospel.” 

My dad, a pastor, never moved. He gave me a studied look and said: “We, son, if you can get out of it DO!”

I cherish his words among the wisest counsel ever given to me.

Pastor Harold and Laila Bare

Where Are We?

As a little boy, I listened to country preachers who had never seen a college classroom talk about future events. They talked as if they were sure of God’s planning. They quoted scripture by memory to substantiate prophetical teaching
and preaching.

The pews we sat on were hard. There was no air-conditioning. There was no carpet. There were no data projectors or fancy LED lights. Hopefully a piano, maybe an organ and guitar. A pretty simple setting. A restroom maybe outside in a little building without running water.
The years have passed. We have padded chairs/pews, air-conditioning, light shows that compete with Hollywood, stained glass cathedrals, church restrooms with marble floors, state-of-the-art sound systems, parking lots filled with fancy cars and pulpits with doctors limitless. 
We have dispensed with Dispensationalism and decided we will stay here for the anti-christ, made sinners feel comfortable in our pews, put singers on stage with yoga pants tight enough to show a pimple, darkened sanctuaries until people cannot see to read a Bible, eliminated Sunday School and hymns, and introduced preachers with a coffee cup sitting on a bar stool to share their spe-sermon (speech). 

We learned how to use movies and sports for illustrations in sermons. We decided not to do anything religious to interfere with Super Bowl. We chose our favorite ball team that became the point of discussion when together with other clergy.
We called it “progressive.”
Hollywood took our music and Bible stories. Christians in the pews spent more time watching movies than reading their Bible.

We called it “progressive.”
Theologians in seminaries mused about how the Bible should be given some grace; thus, allowing that it was not always correct about the dignity of women, sexual behavior, Jesus being the only savior, the Apostle Paul possibly not writing as many books as we had been told, and that it is possible God will not narrow His salvation plan for heaven to just having a Jesus Ticket.

We called it “progressive.”
We blundered along getting richer and having more toys until we insisted that church is an entertainment center. Our kids should “have a blast” in children’s church. Our teens are to be petted and pampered for the darlings we have made them while taxi moms and dads sacrifice for every whim of youth. Adults weary
with the intensity of life deserve to be made to feel good when they leave Sunday services regardless of their sins.

We called it “progressive.”

All the while Israel grew into a powerful nation, just like the country preachers said it would. All the while the world increased its hatred of Israel, just like the not formally educated preachers said would happen. All the while churches in America were building bigger and better complexes the percentage of people in America being an atheist or not going to church increased. The number of preachers morally failing seems to be increasing. The number of Christians tithing decreased.
The percentage of Americans going to church decreased.

Just makes me wonder if we have gotten “Too big for our britches”, as folks in North Carolina (my roots) would say.
Makes me wonder what would happen if we were to resort to being old-fashioned and preach the Gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, as flames of fire, as
if we believed that God’s word is true.

Makes me wonder why preachers are getting tangled up in politics and fussing with liberals when Jesus never did.
Makes me wonder what would happen if we made the gospel simple with convicting power to bring sinners to repentance. 
I wonder what Jesus would do if He started a church in our day?

Where are we? 

We are in need of old-fashioned revival.

Pastor Bare
II Chronicles 7:14

Thank you for your notes of encouragement as I write the Musings.  If you find them helpful, please feel free to forward to friends and ministers.  No charge as long as you do not sell.
It is a joy to hear from you.

Harold L. Bare, Sr., Ph.D.
Senior Pastor, Covenant Church
(434) 953-9065

Covenant Church
1025 Rio Road East
Charlottesville VA 22901


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