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|The American church is going AWOL. One family Jay Ajayi Jersey , one pastor, one person at a time, people are walking away. Because thousands of dedicated families and individuals still attend church every week and new people continue to drop in to see what's going on, these departures have gone largely unnoticed. Mega-churches with thousands of members can still be found in many cities and the Internet has spawned numerous International ministries. But there is an exodus and it is well underway.
Christianity is not for sissies. These days it's about as popular as lighting up in a Cancer Ward. Media sources, in an effort to keep George W. Bush from being reelected in 2004, blamed Christians for everything from global warming to the 911 attacks. Liberals declared Open Season on grandmothers, pre-schoolers and traditional families all over the country for nothing more sinister than going to Sunday School and bowing their heads in prayer.
Are there crazy Jarvis Landry Jersey , narrow-minded Christians? Absolutely. Probably in about the same percentages as there are crazy, narrow-minded journalists and politicians. I propose we stop believing everything we read in the papers, hear on the radio or watch on the evening news. Christians are not responsible for the war in Iraq, the gay marriage debate, gas prices or the struggling economy. They do not think with a single brain. Their opinions are as diverse as their many denominations. Some are overly compassionate and some are too hard-hearted. The same can be said of all Americans.
It would be just as polarizing and incorrect if I tried to leave an impression that liberals and the media are the only reason people are leaving the church. Even if you are tough enough to swim against the current and live your life as a Christian, you'll still face many challenges to your faith.
Churches, like businesses Miami Dolphins Hats , fraternal organizations and clubs, never seem to have enough workers. Therefore, a few people end up doing almost all of the work. When enough weeks, months or years have passed, they get burned out. They feel put upon, unappreciated and used. Sometimes they simply walk out the door. Other times they get their feelings hurt or get angry because they don't get their way. In church lingo, they pick up an offense. Or they pick up the offense of a best friend Miami Dolphins T-Shirts , a child, a parent or a spouse. Then guess what most of them do? They leave.
In addition to using burnout and offense as a license to leave, people also succumb to disillusionment and doubt. They come into the church, work hard, give regular tithes and offerings, read the Word and even take notes during the sermon - only to find they are not making headway with their personal problems. Why isn't it working? What about the promises of God? Thousands of people have stumbled over the scripture that says God does not play favorites. (Acts 10:84) He doesn't. But when they are tired and hurting and someone else receives the very thing they have been praying for, it can feel like God favors others. This can cause some people to get angry and start to doubt everything.
Besides all those pitfalls Miami Dolphins Hoodie , there is plain old boredom. The, "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt," attitude that takes the edge off those feelings of love and ecstasy that initially accompanied their Christian walk.
Like I said, Christianity is not for sissies. It's a tough life. You work hard, no one appreciates you and then you find out on the evening news you're the reason the Dow Jones toppled.
None of us are Christians because it's easy. We are Christians because God has courted and called us into His service. Maybe it happened by being born into a Christian family or we were led to church by a grandmother or aunt. But deep down Customized Dolphins Jersey , each of us knows we are chosen. We know that sweet feeling of being right with God, knowing we are utilizing the talents He placed in us or developing our gift.
Being 'right' with God leaves us with a sense of peace. We feel good. That's why people who run from God (leave the church) go into hiding. They refuse to contact old friends from church. Or Christian family members. No matter what they do, job, social life or romance, they cannot find a sense of completion or joy.
The solution is simply to tough it out. Don't leave the church. Don't pick up an offense. Don't compare yourself to other Christians. God knows what you want, what you need and when you have to have it. He won't be late but He won't be early.
The rewards for this life far exceed those good feelings we just talked about. I am a Christian because my great grandmother Sarah McNutt prayed for me every night before she went to sleep. Without fail, every night Cheap Dolphins Jersey , without ceasing. She gifted me with a heritage of peace, tolerance, and joy. I have tried over the years to walk away, to backslide and turn my back on God. I don't like the way it feels when I am out from under His shadow. I don't like the empty places that echo inside me when I reject Him.
Eventually I had to accept a harsh reality. It really isn't all about me. It's about Him, about fields white unto harvest and loving our fellow man. Imagine if all His children came back to the church, laid down their offenses, their doubts and disillusionment Jordan Phillips Dolphins Jersey , their boredom and their burned out attitudes and just got back to feeding orphans, taking care of widows, loving the lost and breaking bread with those same kinds of people Jesus loved?
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