In the movie Antz, there is an ant named Z. The ants are working constructing a new colony home. But there is a General Mandible who wants to build a new colony by destroying everyone who is not like him. Z has to save the day stating that those he seeks to destroy are the very ones the new colony is being built for. In order to save the day Z must organize his fellow ants to form a living construction ball to break through to the other side. He makes the statement for everyone to “Be the Ball.”
- Jeremiah 19:11-15 ESV – 11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, declares the LORD, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah–all the houses on whose roofs offerings have been offered to all the host of heaven, and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods–shall be defiled like the place of Topheth.'” 14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the LORD’s house and said to all the people: 15 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words.”
Old Testament Israel had a problem. Any prophet who told the truth that Israel was going to be taken captive was branded a traitor and refused to believe they had a problem. I see modern white American Evangelicalism having the exact same problem. They refuse to see that are no longer relevant to the culture that surrounds them. They are headed towards extinction. Sure, some churches will remain, but only as a reminder of bygone days. And anyone who sees things differently are being rejected.
Once again I came across someone yesterday who was a professing Christian claiming that all “those people” need to be rounded up and shipped out of the country. Take your pick as to who he was referring to, the homosexual, the newly arrived immigrants, those that see the confederate flags and monuments as a symbol of racism, and anyone who voted differently then he.
But that article does not give the full picture, those are the people who want to be perceived as a church attender.
Notice the Barna stat on practicing Christians:
- Practicing Christians – A subset of all churched adults, are those who attend at least monthly and who say their faith is very important in their life today. This more committed group comprises about 25 percent and 63.5 million adults.
Did you see that? Only 25 percent attend at least one time per month. The average church size still hangs around 75. That would mean you could count on average at least 18 people to be in a Sunday morning service (without Covid restrictions and see bottom note).
And with millennials not seeing group adherence as necessary for faith, the church culture of Evangelicalism is about to fall off a cliff. The culture built upon the need to be in a place to be considered faithful is going to spell doom for those whose faith rally around buildings.
I am not saying there will not be a new resurgence of faith in Jesus, it just wont take the form of revivals from the 1800s whereby small towns all crowded into a tent or meeting hall to express their new found faith.
I have a firm belief that:
- Psalm 2:8 ESV – 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
So we are to:
- Mark 16:15 ESV – 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
But my experience and understanding likewise is that when we fail to reach those people, God creates circumstances to force out of our comfort zone to interact with those who were different.
After the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit the church became complacent. Instead of leaving Jerusalem as Jesus said to:
- Acts 1:8 ESV – 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
So God did two things to get his people to move on, persecution and destruction:
- Acts 11:19 ESV – 19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews.
- The destruction of the Temple in AD 70 to force the people of faith to move on.
The very person the White Evangelical are rejecting is the very people God wants them to reach. The unspoken theology is that God wants me to worship with my own kind. (OUCH!!!!!!!!!) But God is about to send the church into “captivity” because I believe that when we refuse our most basic mandate, then God brings us to the people and God brings the people to us. Yet like Old Testament Prophets, the majority are prophesying success and a new revival.
The reason I believe the movement of the “me too prophets” will fail is not in the correctness of what they say they believe, but their unwillingness to love and live amongst those who need us to “be the ball.” To be that huge wrecking ball of love that shatters all known ways of living and brings “those people” to a better place to live. But because we refuse to act towards them out of love but rejection, God will use a new movement to reach the people that he so loved, that He gave his Son. The people of the world that God loves, the American white evangelical wants to send away. How sad.
I am not saying that there are those that are working to eliminate Christianity and its faith through the infiltration, but it is especially those that we need to love. Of all people, God called Paul who once persecuted the Christians to be the key to reaching the non Jewish believer. By outright rejecting interacting with those that are different, one of us could be rejecting the calling to be the next apostle Paul to reach that generation. And again I write, “How Sad.”
So as always, “be the ball” and love much my friends.
**** Editors Note: Yes I realize that the 25 percent refers to the whole US population, but my experience says unfortunately the church follows the same percentage ratio regarding attendance on average. So yes, certain churches have higher regular attendance ratios but many more have less.