A Response to Rising Islam- Pt 2 (Better Titled: What’s Wrong with the Church Today)

What is the problem with the church of this generation? I posed this question in my post responding to the rise of Islam. If you read that post, you will notice that Islam does not so much concern me. However, it did raise for me, the question, of the Church? Why are we not having as much of an impact as previous generations? Where are the dvtnSpurgeons, Whitefields, Luthers, Calvins, men like the apostles? Now granted, we are plagued by much heresy today, the emergent church is striking away at an entire generation, those who are a generation above are still bewildered by and getting up from the failure of the seeker-sensitive movement. Arminianism is rife, liberalism is still going. But this is no excuse, when God used men in the past, there were also many heresies and evils about.

For argument sake, let us consider, a doctrinally pure and sound church. Accurate to the letter. Why do they not experience such impact? Why do the preachers, who have all their theology worked out and their Greek Grammar down, not rock the country? Friends, I write this to myself as well. The problem is not theological (while if we let that slide, it will be a problem too, some kind of ‘holiness’ without the ground of good theology would be just as useless), the issue is holiness.

I heard a sermon recently, and these words struck me, it went something like this, “The power of the preaching of a man, will be directly proportional to the holiness of that man.” Think of it friends, Paul wrote to Timothy and said two things he should watch, “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16). To your teaching (KJV

has it ‘doctrine’) and to yourself. Is it any wonder that the qualifications for pastors in both passages where the qualifications are listed, starts with holiness and its practical manifestation? Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2 both start off with the qualification ‘above reproach’ or ‘blameless’, not doctrine or theology. Wiersbe explains, “This word literally means “nothing to take hold upon”; that is, there must be nothing in his life that Satan or the unsaved can take hold of to criticize or attack the church. No man living is sinless, but we must strive to be blameless, or “above reproach”[i]

In both of those passages Paul goes on in the same verse quoted to talk about the external manifestation of holiness. How a man runs his life, and rules his family, and controls himself. I could go on writing for hours, but I feel this is already getting to long. How long do we pray for? Or do we feel it is pointless and we can do without God’s power? How long do we read the Holy Scriptures for? Or are we wise enough and equipped in and of ourselves to deal with all life should throw our way? Do we cut off our hand, and pluck out our eye when they cause us to sin? Or do we whimper in the closet and scratch a bit at our hand, keep our eye lid closed for awhile? If we truly hated sin, we would destroy that means whereby we sin, we would go without, and in want, but by no means make provision for the flesh. How often do our thoughts wonder onto senseless and futile things? As if there were no treasures above, no glories to think in Christ, but ah, we cannot think of these things since we have not been in the Word to find the jewels.

The words also struck me, that you cannot be a clown, and a prophet. Now Spurgeon was a man who had quiet a sense of humour, he was even criticized for making too many jokes, but this is not what I mean. Al Matrin points, that it is the man who always wants to make people laugh, always wants to be a joker, how can someone then take you seriously, when you want to tell them of the fires of hell, and the depravity of their nature, and the glories of the only true God, and the pre-eminence of Christ?

lbrtyI am not here hoping to solve the problem, but merely make it known, if you wish to have an impact for the world around you, then you best not worship the same idols it does. Money, riches, wealth, reputation, class, stuff, security, safety etc. Oh that we would have a tenacious fight for holiness, then we will see the world take notice, then we would ‘…save ourselves and others’

[i]Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1996, c1989, S. 1 Ti 3:1

  4 comments for “A Response to Rising Islam- Pt 2 (Better Titled: What’s Wrong with the Church Today)

  1. June 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    It’s a good point that you make. Too often we complain about the world around us and yet we ourselves aren’t making any effort to change the way we live.

  2. Kenyon
    March 12, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I wanted to respond to your first post but decided to read this one (ur second) before i did, glad i did 😀 You said, in essance, what i wanted to say “His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His way higher than ours”. So before i get to my point: Islaam has a couple of merits (in my biased opinion), devotion for instance, devotion to the same old prayer every morning (which is probably like the Jews sacrifices (&thus hearts) to God – empty anyway), and what about fear for Allah? They submit to their god, a single and incomparable god (I dont know what to put here God or god). One problem with modern society today is that it is self-righteous and doesnt need God, thus doesnt believe in Him (in fact maybe deny His exsistance in the cliche: “God is a loving God” – the underlying meaning is to (my opinion ONLY) deny God’s soverignty (a definition of God’s character) and to “place Him in a box” – “God answers to me”).

    Islam understands submission to a creator and believes in salvation by works… the only next step is to see that it is impossible to be saved by works because we fall short! (pretend jihad doesnt exsist for now). Speculating: Is it not possible that Muslims would understand Christ better than anyone else in the world, if only they could hear? Should we not look to God (as you have said in your posts) for it is His plan for them to multipy – for what purpose i dont know because for Islaam to hear the gospel we, as Christians and (supposed) teachers, will suffer GREAT persecution to get it to them. Although, was not the most effective preaching done in persecution? God gave us a chance to preach His Word to the world and we didnt take it! Is it possible that He is doing it His way now? (not that it wasnt His way to start with).

    We need to “remove the log from our own eyes so we can remove the speck from theirs”. We need to know God, we are blind (especially me), before we can do anything!(again, you made this a point :)) I will add something (mearly a matter of experience, and not biblical), we need also to listen, listen to what they believe, know Islam and then maybe we are equip to speak to them – to point out where their thinking is wrong, tell them what they believe and explain who Jesus is and why “He Is”. We can only speak to them if we know what they need to hear, am I incorrect? (…yes) On the other hand… God is all powerfull, with His command we will(must) go out knowing nothing but the Gospel and His Word will be on our lips as He wills, and people will hear!

    (sorry this is long – i hope it is not vain too ;)) . Having said what I said about “God is a loving God”, I am certain that our BIGGEST problem is that we dont know LOVE, God IS love, and that includes justice and chastising. If we obeyed the command “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength” and “Love your neibour as yourself” would we not rebuke a brother when He is wrong, building Him up in love, would we not pray till our mouths are dry and our hearts cry in agony, because our world, God’s creation, has turned against Him. Is this not why Jesus gave these two when He was asked which is the greatest commandment? Did not Jesus die for us, and rise again? Did not Moses plead for those against him? Should we not plead for the Muslims, and even more so for our lost Athiests?

    So you are correct, prayer and love (God’s true love). Lord we know you not, and im ashamed of myself, that I continue to live in ignorance, we perish for lack of knowledge.

    • tyrellh
      April 1, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      I hear you Kenyon. Glad you read the other post first. Just a note, I don’t think we can really learn much about God from them, because Jesus is the full revelation of God (Heb 1:1-2) and they deny fully. Thanks for your meaningful interaction

  3. Kenyon
    March 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    ummm… an afterthought… I hope you dont get me wrong… im not trying to support Islam, it is wrong! I am trying to convey God’s sovereignty in all things.

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