The epidemic of the church is not pornography.
Not divorce, greed, or the tongue of the liar.
The problem is much more serious, more fundamental, than any of these things.
The problem is simple: God is unknown to us.
Stop for a minute. Think about it.
Do you know the God you worship?
Do the people sitting around you know the God they worship?
I came to this realization this week. This realization that we serve and worship an unknown God much like the genuine, but pagan nonetheless, Athenians so many years ago. I had a conversation with Big John (our associate minister). He was talking about how he had asked a group of our congregants, a group heading for the mission field for 3 weeks this summer, whether the Last Supper was based on tradition or Scripture.
Nobody knew the answer.
We have lost our knowledge of the God we serve, and lest we forget the importance of knowing God (not just emotionally) remember: We are called to worship in spirit and truth.
I am reminded of the people coming out of the Egyptian slavery. Four hundred years of slavery in Egypt. Four hundred years of pagan worship--polytheism. They came out "to worship the Lord in the desert." It didn't happen overnight--first God had to re-shape their understanding of diety, and re-shape their lives based on this new understanding of diety.
And so he gave the law...
and he ordered them to meditate on it day and night...
and he designed the tabernacle as a physical reminder of his presence among them.
Again the people were released from absolute slavery--this time from the Medes and Persians.
And again they needed re-shaped, reborn into the people of God. And Ezra opened the scroll of the law of Moses...
and the people cheered!
and the entire law was read
then it was explained
and the next day it was interpreted.
Then came the worship!
So our people have become prisoners in our culture. We have lost track of the God who created us, and the path of life he has designed us to live.
The key is right in front of us--the unknown Word of God.
How can we better create avenues for people to read, retain, and be transformed by God's word? Any advice for another minister trying to lead others on this journey of faith?