*** Note: I did not write this article. Article writted by Keith Krell (Timeless Word Ministries). The website link is listed below. I ran across this the other day while doing research on a different topic. It impacted me deeply & I wanted to share it with you...***
"What is the greatest challenge facing the Church today? Many suggest that it is Christian persecution. Yet persecution is not the greatest challenge. Quite the opposite, persecution is the fastest way to grow a healthy & vibrant Church. The greatest challenge to any Church is not persecution but prosperity.
Consider the situation in America. We are the wealthiest nation in the world. Our currency reads, "In God We Trust." We have more churches, more Bibles, Christian literature, & Christian schools than any other nation in the world. Yet, despite all of these blessings, we are not influencing our society.
Why is this? The answer is simple. American Christians cannot handle prosperity. With freedom and prosperity comes the temptation to trust in our blessings rather than in the Blesser. We become fat, lazy & self-sufficient. If we have plenty, we tend to think that we have need of nothing. If we think we don't have enough looking at the wealth around us we tend to think that we need what others have. Both extremes lead us to seek happiness in things and security in wealth. The result is that we fail to rely on the Lord and our ministry to the World is blunted.
Why isn't the Church more effective in the World today? Is the problem simply the World? Is it too stubborn and too blind to listen? Or could part of the problem be with us? Have we, because of our materialism and in spite of our religiosity, excluded the Savior? Have we literally shut Him out of our lives so He can no longer flesh out His life in ours to impart His vision, His character, & values into ours?
The Church today needs to repent of the mentality of tolerance and compromise. Churches today are neither hot nor cold. We like moderation and comfort. "Don't disturb me. Don't ask me to move out of my comfort zone." We love moderate temperatures. We want to be as comfortable as possible. Comfort drives our lives. This is very much like the value "peace at all costs." It is possible to attend Churches like this for years and never seriously confront sin. Compromise lies at the core of these Churches. Though people may love these Churches, Jesus rejects them. The Churches may please their community, but do they please their Lord? Public approval dictates the values of many Churches today.
May it not be so with us.
- Article written by Keith Krell, with Timeless Word Ministries. Article cited from: http://bible.org/seriespage/how-make-jesus-sick-revelation-314-22