Much of the wisdom and anointing of Western civilization churches is gone. It was lost in my lifetime. I and my generation are responsible for the degeneration that has and still is occurring on a daily basis. Of all of the sins that have eaten away at our churches, the primary sins have been pride, followed closely behind with avarice and envy.
Here’s what happened. As Christians watched the social revolution in the 1960s, my generation became envious of their freedom. The Western church saw the elite and financially successful overwhelmingly abandoning the church – and taking their money with them.
Why were we, the Western civilization, unable to keep the church relevant? Mainly because the Church had for hundreds of years become invisible. The church and society were nearly interchangeable. However, 1960s social revolution exposed the American and European churches for what they had become, the enforcers of society, not by love and humility but through pride and shaming people, greedy for money so they could build more prominent churches that were only used on Sundays and Wednesday nights.
Now, as the Church seemed irrelevant to society, we thought that becoming like society would show the people that the Church was still a “good place” to be seen and heard. This condition was not universal as some denominations, primarily led by African-American congregations, rejected this approach and led their peaceful revolution upon society and actively did outreaches to the poor.
Pride, avarice, and envy were the cancers within us that disgraced many Western churches and placed us in indefensible standings, thereby opening the gates for the unimaginable sins that have been embraced and become the law of the land.
It was just twelve apostles that Jesus used to propagate His gospel which now has over two billion confessing Christians, worldwide. If we had, or if we would now, en masse, humble ourselves, confess our sins, seek forgiveness and surrender our “rights” and cast off pride, avarice, and envy we could be of use by our Lord Jesus for demonstrating a better way to our society. Piety, temperance, hospitality, sacrifice, and holiness are the characteristics we need in our lives – I need in my life.
We need the same mindset as we see in Acts 5:41 (NIV), “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”