An Eroding Culture (Still Eroding)

C. Hayden 8-1-2020
 
Last night, in a fit of prayer, I felt led to crack open an old favorite book of mine, Chuck Swindoll’s text “The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call For Renewal.” In a nation that continues to drift further and further away from the moral moorings that were considered at one time common sense, the Church is in desperate need for spiritual renewal. On the back cover of Swindoll’s book, we read this quote, “Postmodernism (there is no absolute truth or reality) began in the academic community, oozed into leadership, the morphed into Congress, public schools, and our homes. Sadly, the slumbering evangelical church has also now slid into the murky waters of a post-Christian swamp.” This is often the result of a church that, rather than seek to draw closer in a holy relationship with God, settles for a shallow, religious form having no power. A church that is more interested in being accepted, and better yet, liked by our politically correct world, escaping the persecution that Jesus said all who live Godly in Christ Jesus would suffer (2 Timothy 3:12).
 
Some feel that we are in the process of the great “falling away” in the church, spoken of in the Scriptures, as pressures of the world to accept more and more behaviors, lifestyles, and faiths as acceptable alternatives to Biblical truths held by the church for the last 20 centuries. Could this be the great falling away linked to the revealing of the anti-Christ spoken of in the Bible? In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 we read, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” There has always been societies filled with eroded morality (maybe every society). But now many sectors of the church, after holding to standards of Biblical holiness and truth, are voting (and have voted) to not only affirm alternative faiths and lifestyles as acceptable to God but actually plotting to weave these changes into the church. We need to continue to pray that the church will be renewed in the Holy Spirit, be salt and light for the world, leading people to repentance and forgiveness in Christ rather than allow the world to lead the church into a politically correct social club based on good feelings rather than God’s Word. It is time for the Church to rise up, be bold in Christ, speak truth to counter the deception out to destroy our world, call the church to revival and preach repentance and faith in Jesus to a lost world.
 
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris

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Faith, Family, Freedom!

 
C. Hayden 7-8-20
 
I love the messages that we have been putting up on the Central Christian Church marquis the past several years.  They have displayed messages that have been meaningful, relevant to our time and community, and brief enough to be seen by passing vehicles as they glance at our sign while driving to and fro each day.  The current offering has been not only one of our briefest sermon, but oh so relevant and meaningful.  It reads, “Faith, Family, Freedom”, and that is it.   This communication is so simple, yet saying so much.

In these three words, we are able to capture the most important institutions and values of our day.  And it is these institutions and values that have come under heavy attack in our country.  The first word, FAITH, representing everything we know to be true about God and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faith also represents our connection with our God as the scripture tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6).

The second word, “Family”, has also been under attack.  Forces in our nation and world have been attempting to redefine the family for years, trying to erode the Biblical view of the nuclear family.  Now we know that sometimes tragedy and death, sin and selfishness, can cause the creation of non-traditional families.  God still loves them and God can still cause those families to thrive.  But the ideal, God’s model has always been this: “For this cause a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and the two will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5).  When we try to downplay God’s model, when end up with a society that is forever redefining God’s Word.

Finally, the word freedom closes our marquis message.  One of the most important of values cherished by Americans who often left their country of origin to come to a new land whereby they could freely worship God in “Spirit and Truth” as revealed to their own conscience. And freedom is so important to God, and coincidently, is also under attack!  Galatians 5:1 says this, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  We have been set free by Christ so that we might be free in Christ!   So as you are driving around Huntington over the next couple months and catch a glimpse of the Church marquis this summer.  Don’t let any politician, or anyone else, try to take these things away from you.  Remember those three words representing those gifts that God wants all to have, “Faith, Family, Freedom!”

Be blessed even more,

Pastor Chris


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