3/6/16 ~ The Teaching the Church Can No Longer Neglect

From the Preacher’s Pen ~

One of the things that it is impossible to do is please all people. It’s a huge challenge to prepare a meal for several people without making something that someone doesn’t like and leaving out the preferred food of another.

Nowhere in the church is that principle more evident than when it comes to preaching and teaching. Jesus could not please everybody with every lesson or topic. Perhaps we should learn from Him the simple fact that we should not try to please people but God!

Here’s an excellent article by brother Jack Wilkie concerning one of those vital areas:

The Teaching the Church Can No Longer Neglect

One of the lessons that has stuck with me most in the years since preaching school is the idea that it is not just the preacher’s job to teach the truth, but to teach it in a way that makes it connect to the world the listener lives in. It’s not enough to teach the truth if you don’t help people see how it relates to their day to day lives.

Of course, sometimes that’s an easy task. For example, the basic Gospel message of redemption from sin applies to every one of us every day. But sometimes those things in the Bible that aren’t as immediately relevant can fall through the cracks and be neglected. From recent statistics, one such area seems to be standing out as one in which the church is falling behind.

That area would be the issue of apologetics. A recent Pew Research poll found that 50% of highly religious people (those who attend weekly) believe that the Bible and science contradict. What that tells you is that on any Sunday in your average American church, half of the people in the pews believe that God’s Word is incompatible with science. In his book “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church – And Rethinking Faith,” David Kinnaman found that 52% of churchgoing 13-17 year olds want to go into a science-related career, and yet only 1% of youth leaders had discussed science and Christian evidences in the year leading up to the study.[1]

Is it really that big of a deal, though? Well, tell me if it’s okay for someone to write off Genesis 1-11 and still claim to believe in God. If God isn’t to be taken seriously on the accounts of the creation, the garden, the flood, and the tower of Babel, why should we stop there? Can’t we just erase any other Bible teaching that is inconvenient or that makes us look bad among the culture? If those verses can’t be trusted, but Jesus cited some of them, why would we think that He is credible? While the number in many of our congregations may not be as high as 50%, it’s a major issue if we have anybody sitting among us who sees the Creator as being scientifically illiterate.

With all the things we have to address, it’s easy for apologetics to fall behind other subjects as a secondary issue sometimes. But if we’re truly going to connect the truth of the Bible with the lives of the people in the pews, we have to teach on these issues of science and Christian evidences. We might assume that we’re all on the same page about God in the building, but as soon as everyone walks out the doors and into the world for the week, they’re going to be bombarded with peer pressure that pushes them to compromise their faith. Young people in particular are favorite targets of those who want to create the false “science vs. the Bible” dichotomy and force them to choose. A church that doesn’t teach their members how to defend their faith against these attacks is failing every last one of them.

— Jack Wilkie, from focuspressblog.com, October 26, 2015

[1] – David Kinnaman and Aly Hawkins, “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church – And Rethinking Faith,” Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011. 139.

Focus Press (a great publication written by some outstanding men of God) deals with many topics and is well worth your time. You can read many of their articles at the website above.

The prophets challenged God’s people of old with the reminder that God’s people were being destroyed for lack of knowledge. Make the effort to keep growing and learning that it may never be said of you!

Let’s be those that actually teach and appreciate the “whole counsel of God” this week and always!

— Lester P. Bagley

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