We Are Not Ready


Can you feel the tsunami beginning to form? It will be crashing on our shores soon enough.

And we are not ready.

From Sweden we get the story of a pastor (now jailed) who spoke out on a loaded topic, one that has also resulted in legal wrangling in our neighbor to the north. Christianity Today notes the fallout in “No Free Speech in Preaching”. This is only one topic. What others will become verboten? “Jesus is the only way to Heaven?” “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God?” Will popular opinion and unpopular politics render the message of the Gospel nothing more than a trailer for a Care Bears movie?

We have made no preparations in the Church in this country to withstand the onslaught when it occurs. We are too preoccupied with thinking that politics is the sole solution, but we have ignored the fact that politics has made all this possible, even on our watch. We can hold off the social upheaval for a while, but the rising tidal wave spawned by a far away earthquake will not relent; we have no other defense but to be prepared. Yet still, we sleep on.

The Church in America learned nothing from the last recession. The second a few jobs came back and consumer confidence rose a few ticks, we plunged back into our stupor. When a greater recession comes, one that lasts for longer and puts more out of work, what will be the response of churches around this country? How will they care for their congregations? How have they built a network among their congregants and with other churches to keep people—both inside and outside the Church—employed, housed, and fed? When the government decides its ever-expanding coffers must be filled during a downturn by taking away the tax exemption for churches, how will your average multi-acre megachurch survive a million dollar tax burden no one expected when the cornerstone was laid?

We are not ready.

With pollster George Barna’s statistics showing a downward spiral in biblical knowledge, solid doctrine, and plain old right thinking, how will we be able to face any future wrath the world unleashes against the Church? People who do not know who or what they believe will find nothing to undergird them when the time of testing comes. Some would argue that a great falling away would only skim the dross from the Church, but the way we run our church infrastructures today would leave us even more vulnerable.

We who worship Jesus are unprepared to become a dwindling minority in our culture. Our beliefs are such that we know we are losing the battle, but we are unwilling to do what is necessary to shore up our own vessels. We have not trimmed the sails and now the mast is creaking while we sleep down in the hold of the good ship Blissful Unawareness. The Bible shows us our error:

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
—Matthew 25:1-13

We are not ready.

4 thoughts on “We Are Not Ready

  1. Dan, I had these kinds of thoughts in morning meditation today and wanted to banish them (live in a little denial). My version went, “it’s too late; turning it back to God is coming too late; we’re losing the battles because we don’t deserve to win; we’ve grown complacent and undisciplined in faith; it’s too late.”

    Your post seems to be a message from the Holy Spirit not to neglect this point of view, but to address it in my own walk of faith.

    Blessings and prayers,

  2. David,

    Sometimes I feel like I am screaming into a gale. I talk about developing an underground economy for Christians and get met with yawns. I talk about being less private in our lives and then I hear plenty of people say they don’t want their phone number listed in the church directory. I share how we are too disconnected from the Lord and each other to have the strong community we need to keep us from being picked off one by one, but then I find I cannot get a half dozen people together because everyone has filled their schedules to the max—maybe sometime eight months from will work. I ask what is wrong with Christians seeking to hire the unemployed Christian brothers and sisters in their own churches, but then people say that is no one responsibility but the unemployed.

    It’s madness.

    Some people are starting to get it, but how they want to implement solutions becomes the veritable band-aid on the severed limb. People who do have good ideas simply don’t want to hear that those ideas are just a start and can be improved upon and expanded, especially when they have thousands of dollars invested in trying to sell those ideas via conferences and books.

    We have to start thinking and acting like a persecuted church. We have got to develop a mentality that if you open our mouth to speak of Jesus, someday you will find someone else’s foot in it. Persecuted churches in communist and Islamic countries make us feel good that at least somewhere Christians are being tried for their faith, even if we currently are not in America. But how quickly the tide will turn to include us! We cannot count on politics to change this. The other side of our pet issues plays dirty—they always have. We can hold off things a decade or two at best, but better to be prepared than to have it catch us sleeping. Personally, I think we’ve gone long past the sleep stage and have drifted into something even deeper.

    We are not ready.

  3. Like the voice of one crying in the wilderness…it is a reality that our “fast food nourished” Church is so starving they have lost their taste and ability to digest the truth of it all.
    Oh how right you are – we are not ready, but we are aware. I fear my own shallowness yet my soul seeks depth. Like King David said – search my heart, know it and show me the stuff that needs to be garbaged so I can walk in The Way everlasting. That means walking through the fire. We need to have Daniel’s lifestyle to face the lions that have rattled their cages enough and the locks will soon fall off.

  4. Dan, all I can say is we – as individuals – must continue to put our trust in the LORD and turn over control of our lives to him. We must surrender everything and put Jesus first. If we do, we trust that He will do his will and provide the direction we need. God bless you.

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