Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Message of the Cross?

How well are our churches communicating the message of the cross and the resurrection? What does American society understand the purpose and benefit of believing in Jesus to be?  What is the gospel, according to the man on the street?

 

Ernest Goodman recently wrote about a trend in the US in his blog Missions Misunderstood.

More and more, there are places… that have returned from Christian influence to the status of “unreached.”…  To be sure, chasing the least-reached regions of the United States is like trying to put out flare-ups after a wildfire.

The west coast, the southwest, the east- each are defined by their sins and spiritual strongholds. Vegas is rife with debauchery. Seattle is stricken with irresponsibility. San Francisco is overrun with homosexuality. Boston is filled with post-Catholic angst. The Bible Belt is rife with cultural Christianity and political moralism. All of these places need the freedom that is only found in Christ.

What we’re seeing is the rise of a new category of missions. Some missionaries focus on unreached people groups. But… “reached” isn’t a permanent status. Just as the gospel comes to a people through the obedience of some, it can soon be forgotten through the disobedience of others.

 

Churches may be preaching the pure gospel from their pulpits on Sundays, but the doors of the buildings are closed and attendance is limited. How well is that same pure gospel getting out into society at large?

 

My observations:

People don’t talk about the resurrection of Jesus very much outside of their homes and their churches. The message of the Cross is unclear. The church has work to do.

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