In a recent email we received from Bill Keller at http://www.liveprayer.com/, he made a reference to Wayne Dyer and it got me thinking. Wayne Dyer was on PBS this past weekend which I watched briefly. His programs are popular; his advice is straight forward and uplifting. The message is this…you can have a happy life if you apply self-help principles (find joy from within yourselves) which, when the veneer is peeled off, is just positive thinking claptrap. This advice soothes for awhile but it doesn’t last. The advice is God-less and will fail you in the end. But…I must give him credit; he knows how to reach the masses. He knows how to tap into a spiritual vacuum and, in the process, makes a lot of money.
In the meantime, we the church, sit huddled in our individual stained glass windowed museums. We are comfortable here, slapping each other on the back, glad we’re saved, but lacking any serious motivation to take the message of Christ to our hurting, searching world.
The reality is, we’re saved (happy for me) but not glad enough to get off our duffs and go to the streets, country lanes, bars, schools, and offices. No, we sit and enjoy our good fortunes (our million-dollar church bank accounts) while around us, our neighbors go to hell…and we sit unmoved.
Do you want a test to measure the impact of your church upon your community? Ask the sheriff, the police chief, the school superintendent and county welfare office administrator this question: If (fill in the blank) Church were to close it’s doors, would that have any impact upon our community or would our church’s ministry be missed in the community? How will they answer?
In Ezekiel 33:2-6 it says, "Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.' The church is to be the watchman on the wall.
The church in American knows the truth and we sit and give the Wayne Dyers of the world a free ride. We fail to mount any effective effort to share the message of Jesus Christ. While we sit around a belch like a bunch of over-fed cows, generations are going to hell; some of them our own flesh and blood. Yes, and concerning blood, we have their blood upon our hands and God knows it. We don’t want to see the sword coming. (Ezekiel 33:6)
God help us! May the Lord speak to our hearts. May the Lord stir us to life. May the Lord give us the courage to share the message with the hurting, searching masses of the world.
Dr. Dyer exists because the masses are searching for the truth. Dyer is effective in filling this spiritual vacuum in our culture. We have a spiritual vacuum because we sit cloistered in our sissy-fied, safe churches while the world goes to Hell.
Some people may ask why I seem so pessimistic. If I am pessimistic, it is because every day I live and work in a society that is living out the results of a Christ-less value system. The problems which I deal with on the streets of Minneapolis can become disheartening. In rural Minnesota we have time to make a difference but I must be honest, I see little, if any, effective ministry occurring. We keep looking back to the past wishing what might have been rather than having the courage to minister to the culture we have.
We must mount up and ride. We must invade the culture of the masses. The questions to ask are these:
Is my church an invading army or it is a museum to the past?
Are you a soldier of the cross or are you comfortable, admiring the stain-glass artifacts of the past?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
And where am I going?
Dear Lord, give us the courage to obey you. Amen.