It is obvious that Christianity has lost much of its influence on the western nations. Where it was once prominent in western culture, it has now been squeezed into a much less important role. How has this happened?
Far too many ministers and leaders in the church today see their position as a job and not a calling. They have forsaken the Word of God and personal holiness to focus on increasing membership numbers (sometimes called “giving units”). Some are like the priests described by Ezekiel, “They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD has not spoken.” (Ezekiel 22:26-28 ESV) The essential good news of salvation has been lost in trying to make the church an ongoing motivational seminar to help its members meet the world’s standard of success.
Increasingly, parents and children are passing through Sunday Schools and worship services without being given a firm foundation in the Christian faith. Often, the doctrines of the church and personal beliefs are allowed to drift perilously apart. Can it be any wonder then that the definition of sin becomes vague and “salvation by death” the acceptable conclusion of life? The lie that everyone goes to heaven is sending too many to hell.
As church leadership continues to become weaker by submitting itself to secular public opinion, church members lose their purpose of being “salt and light”. Indeed, how can Christians be salt and light when the world has become the standard by which the modern church measures all things? The church has lost much of its influence for good, because its leaders have chosen to ride the whirlwind of public approval than honor God and glorify Him.
God and the Word of God do not change. We would do well to follow God’s instructions: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16 ESV) God is speaking here to His people about using good judgment and not blindly following false leaders in the church. The Bible is our compass to direct our way. The ways of the world will never improve upon the Christian message of salvation.