Solid and Sound Great investments are made in meeting physical needs. Too often, spiritual needs go unacknowledged. Sinners need to be saved. It's an offensive message to many. The gospel message is essentially simple but pride often blocks a response.
Barry from KY wrote: Thank you so much watch, these statements are so true. Maybe, we are in this pickle BECAUSE the churches got overtly involved in politics and quit preaching the Word. Going out and hawking for any candidate or party IS NOT spreading the gospel message...
Barry, thx. Michael, ...duly noted. JL, hello.
Around 1980, some American Christian churches began to move away from English "R" words like ruin, redemption, regeneration, repentance, return of Christ and give more attention to "R" words like Ronald Reagan, Rush, Religious Right, Republican Party.
The Jesus Movement Revival of the 1970's was sustained during the Presidencies of Nixon, Ford and Carter. Presidents Nixon and Ford were not overly Christian.
Around the time that Ronald Reagan (and Rush Limbaugh) ascended into political prominence, I would say that the revival came to an end. Around the same time, use of the NASB Bible declined and use of the NIV expanded.
In my view, the revival was expressed most fully in Southern California and the Calvary Chapel churches (and churches most influenced by the Calvary Chapels). For better or worse, Christian contemporary music largely replaced more traditional Christian hymns around that time. The evangelistic focus and focus on the spiritual new birth from that era have largely been lost. Prayer and the Spirit of God can provide revival and religious awakening. Partisan politics and legislative enactments cannot provide church revival and religious awakening.
The most overtly Christian occupant of the office of US President in recent history was a Democrat named Jimmy Carter.
Despite expectations, Presidents Reagan, Bush and Bush did not bring in anything resembling a golden age of evangelical Christianity. President GWB even denied that Christianity was different from other religions (and oversaw a new constitution in Iraq that affirmed Islam rather than freedom of religion or separation of church and state).
As affirmed from Scripture in Handel's Messiah and the Hallelujah chorus, the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our LORD and of his Christ...and He shall reign forever and ever. Seek ye first God's kingdom which is forever.
Liberty and freedom are desirable everywhere. Tyranny and oppression are threats everywhere. Revival and growth for the Kingdom of God should be a goal for Christians from every nation for every nation.
Related to this topic, Oz Guiness has a recent book called: The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity.
"The human race is in the best condition when it has the greatest degree of liberty." - Dante Alighieri, De Monarchia, 1559
We are all better off when we all enjoy freedom to deliberate and debate and to seek to influence others through reasoned persuasion (rather than having control be directed through tyranny and coercion).
Freedom of relgion, conscience and expression are essential for all. Let there also be justice. Almighty God will judge in the end. He will reward and He will repay.
Jesus was a multi-lingual, cross-cultural missionary. The ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ reached beyond the Jews. The travels of Jesus included places in Phoenicia (modern Lebanon) like Tyre and Sidon. In the Old Testament, Jonah preached to the Ninevites who repented and Namaan the Syrian was healed of his leprosy. Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian king gave remarkable testimony as recorded in Daniel 4.
Old Testament prophets and the Lord Jesus Christ spoke more languages that Hebrew alone.
Ever year, Joseph and Mary went up to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover (Luke 2:41). When Jesus studied in the temple for multiple days at twelve years old, there it is likely that he spoke Hebrew.
"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers." (Luke 2:46â€“47)
With those debts to pay, you know that there will be greater aversion and a little less courage to proclaim faithful gospel messages with themes like repentance, self-denial and the Lordship of Jesus Christ that might offend and send people away.
There is an entrenched power structure in many church organizations that possesses exclusivity in access to:
Pay Position Prestige Professional status Pastoral prerogatives Pastoral privileges Parsonages (if applicable) Personal and positional honors Pastoral conferences Preaching privileges Prelacy powers Private information access Preferred tax status Pensions
This all has an influence. The status quo has its attractions for those who benefit from the status quo.
But, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our LORD and of His Christ and He will reign forever.