Thursday, August 3, 2017

Letter to the Editor: The Church Should Not Be Taken For Granted

The following is my letter to the editor in last week's State Journal in Frankfort, KY.

I recently came across a video of an historic cathedral in France being demolished. It was only just one of thousands of churches that have closed recently in that nation. Europe continues to slide into the abyss of secularism resulting in the eclipse of historic Christianity. The image was a clear reminder of Europe’s need of an evangelistic revival, yet the idea caused me to contemplate what our community would resemble if our churches suddenly vanished; a likely prospect if secularization continues to spread in America.

Though rarely reported, churches are consistently on the front lines of humanitarian aid. Our church regularly fields calls from local citizens in need of food, financial help, and material provisions. We’re happy to provide what we can. Virtually every congregation helps the least of these in multiple ways: food pantries, clothing centers, school supplies, etc., all without cultural applause.

The local church has also been a voice for social justice. We care for orphans, widows, and the forgotten. We stand for justice, strong families, economic advance, and racial reconciliation. We are passionate about serving for and building toward a stronger community.

Yet the most import gift the church offers is salvation. Christianity is not a humanitarian organization, it is rescue found only in a God who has come down to us. We love others because God first loved us as manifested in his Son at the cross. The greatest hope for society is Christ himself.

The Prophet Amos once warned of an impending famine on ancient Israel – a famine of God’s Word. There is no worse judgment than the absence of God’s presence and I fear it is coming again. A vibrant church gives us confidence that God is active in our community. To neglect the church is to bring famine on us all.
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