Monday, June 13, 2016

You can't move forward by looking backward

In Thom S. Rainer's book Autopsy of a Deceased Church the author mentions several symptoms of a sick church. One of which is an attitude that the churches best days are in the past. A symptom earmarked by constantly reminiscing about previous generations, or a desire to recreate or relive former days. Often at expense of the present, and ultimately the future.

Well it seems to me that this is a characteristic that we see in most American churches at the present. For example, why else are we continuously bringing up the faith of our fathers? Granted, our founding fathers were Christians who wanted to build a Christian nation based upon Biblical principles. But can we really just go back to that moment by a simple willingness on our part? Perhaps we should look at the idea a little closer before we set those days on a pedestal. Let's face it, when one belief system is the dominate school of thought for decades upon decades, it is very easy to just go with the flow. One does not have to worry about building an in depth faith when there is little risk of it ever being challenged. So many generations later when people did start to question Christian ideals, church people didn't have very convincing answers in response. It's not that they didn't exist; it's just that their depth of knowledge didn't provide for that level of understanding. The American church has suffered greatly ever since.

So let me ask you this, what are your really sentimental about concerning the past? Is it that they possessed such a strong faith built upon a wealth of knowledge? Or is it that they didn't have to endure routinely being challenged and questioned as we do today?

Christians and non-Christians alike are putting so much effort into petitioning the government to take their side in the war of the world views. So it seems to simply be human nature to want to be in the comfortable position of being beyond reproach; rather than go to the effort of building up our confidence in our own ideals.

What would our founding fathers say about this attitude? While we cannot bring back the past, we can make ourselves equal or even better than the founding fathers through education and prayer. By moving forward, not looking backward as we wish for the return of the good ol’ days.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 -Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

The Visual PARABLEist

a man Looking for the sun to rise in the west and seeing nothing
click to enlarge