12 Dec Who Wants to Be Irrelevant?!
“Organized religion is dying in America. Not because of scandal, although that has hurt. No, the churches have immediate seating because the environment they foster is often irrelevant to our lives.”
Ouch! That’s not good. That criticism came from an online column of a lay person…not a pastor or theology professor. That quote expresses the opinion of someone who was raised in the church and sits in a pew every Sunday.
That quote is from Bill O’Reilly. He does not focus on the moral standing of the church but on the relevance of the church. O’Reilly has had his own problems, but practically speaking, he is sharing his opinion from hearing tons of sermons and participating in the Roman Catholic faith.
The heart of his message is decision, conscious or otherwise, to not engage on polarizing issues. The world is fractured, and the church is very slow to take a stand. He refers to sermons that are academic instead of practical. O’Reilly believes the church only has itself to blame for the decreasing attendance problem.
This is an issue I spend a great deal of time thinking about. I believe the church is slow to take a stand because of the divided loyalties of the church members. When we have to worry about offending anyone other than Jesus, we get into trouble real quick.
In the best-case scenario, the age-old pastor disorder of wanting everyone to be happy is to blame. The other option is pastors want people attending and contributing their money, so they don’t want to rock the boat. There is too much to lose, and they don’t want to take the risk of losing more people.
The church cannot continue along this path. Shoreline does not exist to maintain anything. We have to ask ourselves, Do we want to have a full gas tank when we cross the finish line or do we want to be on fumes?! Shoreline exists to expand the Kingdom of God not maintain ministry. Jesus told us to Go and make disciples not Stay and maintain the church.
The Good News of Jesus Christ is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. Transformation never goes out of style, and it is always practical. Jesus does not bring a message of self-help but life-change. Let’s embrace this message together and keep Shoreline moving toward God’s purpose for us that we are the evidence that disproves Bill O’Reilly’s quote.
Blessings to you,