April 8, 2022, 10:00 AM

“Trust in the Lord with everything you’ve got, and don’t rely on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
-Proverbs 3:5-6

Robert E. Coleman once said, referring to the American church, “Today’s institution has a polite form of religion, but seems to lack power, the power to radically change the wayward course of society.”

The “What?” is easy enough to ascertain. The American church has been an epic fail.

“Why?” is the question we should be asking.

Why are thousands leaving in droves? Why are those who stay consumers rather than doers of the Word? Why does the church lack legitimate power?

The answer is simple: no trust.

For decades church in America has been all about “performance.”

Who can entertain the most kids with their charming charisma, comedy, snacks, and programs? Who cares if our kids are actually being discipled in The Way. Let’s just teach them to be kind sinners.

Who has the best singing pipes and musical talent to draw in and wow the benefactors? Forget if they actually know Christ. Forget if they actually believe anything they’re singing about.

Who can preach the funniest and most entertaining sermons? Who can be the kindest, most forgiving, and compassionate? Never mind if they’re actually leading people on to God’s agenda, or whether it’s true or transformative.

The proof is in the pudding. For the most part "church" in America today is all about convenience, comfort, numbers, buildings, and budgets because we live in a high consumer-minded and “performance” culture.

We know the American church is an epic fail because, as Coleman said, “…it lacks power, the power to radically change the wayward course of society.”

Are churches actually mobilized as followers and disciples, each member doing their part? Are we living up to the standard revealed for the Bride in Scripture?

Few actually tithe ALL their firstfruits in, to, and as members of the Body in trust. Instead, Christians readily justify withholding their joyful obligation to the Bride, in order to support the causes, charities, GoFundMe campaigns, nonprofits, and parachurch orgs of their choice.

Turns out nothing has really changed since Judges 21:25.

Why did Eve seize the forbidden fruit in Eden? Issues of fear and control stemming from a lack of trust… in God.

Why are so few tithing all their firstfruits, yet not reluctant in the least to share personal opinions regarding programs, sermons, music style, song selections, decibel levels, service times & length, parking, donuts, decor, etc.?

It’s because we’ve conformed to the pattern of the world. The American church is keen on performance. Meanwhile, trust is virtually nonexistent.

Just as in Eden, we’re eager to play the blame game. We’ll blame pastors, priests, and crooked televangelists for our disgust and mistrust. We’ll readily use them as scapegoats to justify our disobedience.

But the truth is, if Christians were more interested in TRUTH than performance… more interested in obedience to Christ… relentlessly faithful to His mission and Word… then there’d be no place for false teachers and their false teachings.

All the excuses in the world will be useless when King Jesus returns in glory for those eagerly awaiting His return.

He won’t be the least bit interested in our worldly performance. He won’t be asking “Why…” anyone buried the gift He’d given. He’ll only be looking to see what kind of return on investment the Gospel produced in us out of trust.

Who did we tell? Who did we serve? Did we give ourselves away in Gospel Community? Did we truly have faith in unity? Did we trust Him in all things at all times, or just what we were comfortable with?

“…anything that does not come from faith is sin.”

The Pharisees were big on performance too.


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