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Is Evangelism Dying?

by Lloyd Gale

In a recent column of the Christian Science Monitor, Michael Spencer wrote; “We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billion dollars we have spent on our youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it.”

It is evident that Michael Spencer is writing from a denominational viewpoint as he predicts a “major collapse of evangelical Christianity” to occur within ten years.” Spencer predicts that “about half of evangelical churches will die off in the next 25 to 30 yrs, due to generational reasons or because their members become more attracted to a secular version of life.”

For many years most denominations have been teaching that it does not matter which religion one follows - all may find acceptance with God. At the same time, they have changed their creeds to accommodate what has become socially acceptable. To attract and hold members they have sought to learn and provide what society desires from religion. They have abandoned scripture and their appeal has been to make people feel good about themselves. Their religion has increasingly consisted of more heat and less and less light. They have come to despise the Biblical teaching of absolute objective truth and have encouraged the concept of individual subjective belief.

They invented the concept of gymnasiums, ball teams, children’s church, children ministers, youth directors, vacation craft schools, trips to six flags, entertainment and such like. Is it any mystery why those raised with such a concept of church and religion see the church as some sort of social agency or place of entertainment?

Now that many congregations of the church of Christ have stolen their methods, why be surprised at a generation of “change agents” among God’s people? Why is there such a lack of understanding of what constitutes Biblical authority for what Christians are to believe, teach and practice? Why is there a trend toward acceptance of denominations and joining forces with them? After all, we played basketball and softball with them and we find them to be likable folks. Where are the Shepherds of the sheep? Under the haystack fast asleep?

Have many Christians and entire congregations gone too far now to turn back to the Lord? Have they passed the point of no return? My prayer is that many will see the folly of the direction they have been traveling and will understand that the Lord’s church is the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15). The church is designed to worship and serve the Master. Its work is to preach the Gospel, edify the church and limited benevolence. We must not add to or subtract from its mission. On judgment day, “What Will Your Answer Be?” Good song, better question.