Monday, July 08, 2013


I just read the new Saturday Evening Post which has an article on how modern day Christian churches are experiencing a bit of a renewal in attendance and how young people are joining the resurgence looking for God's answers to life. 

This renewal is NOT in mainline churches, the article says, which still see low attendance and few young people attending. It's in the modern churches made up of young people who are willing to see the supernatural in life and are looking for God in all the daily, even ordinary things as well.

This, in contrast to several years ago, [60s and 70s] when science leaders and College professors, according to researchers, had a very real and pervasive hold on young people, effectively leading them away from religion and any belief in God.

So one generation responds and another generation does not respond to a belief in God and the supernatural. What's new!

I admit, it's always nice to read that our culture or society is willing to take seriously our message of Christ and new churches are growing. I'm a member of a great one.

But there is a caveat I'd like to offer to ANY resurgence of church attenders and especially the cultural ones of our day and to Christians who preach that message that they are excited about.

The gospel message does not need to have cultural primacy or even social acceptance in order to flourish. It has never and does not now need an atmosphere of acceptance socially for it to do it's redemptive work.

Nor is the gospel at a disadvantage when persecution comes to Christians, even to their death. It may, in fact, be quite the reverse. Persecution may be more akin to pouring gasoline on a fire. If you want to see REAL CHRISTIANITY, let the persecution begin.

We Christians stand as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and members of the body of Christ, [The Church] and we must always remember that the One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world. (I John 4:4)

This means in good times, but also in bad times, we can and will live quietly, firmly, and triumphantly, sharing the gospel of the Kingdom confidently, COME WHAT MAY.

So a culture saying a "yes" rather than a "no" to the message of the gospel and to the reality of God is nice and even exciting. But culture and society are known for change and adapting to fads. But that doesn't matter at all to the real gospel of Christ and His Kingdom.

Paul B.


Aussie John said...

"But culture and society are known for change and adapting to fads........"

Particularly when the perception of a culture and society is that the gospel has become very accommodating, and flexible as to what it produces in those who accept it.

".... But that doesn't matter at all to the real gospel of Christ and His Kingdom".

As persecution always proves!

I sure affirm your caveat!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

To this... "But that doesn't matter at all to the real gospel of Christ and His Kingdom."...I kinda wanted to add this..."Or to the people who live and share that gospel of the Kingdom."

I sure don't mind "methods" changing to match the culture, I mean by that the way things can be done, since they are not sacred in nature.

But the "message" and the "people? [Christians] don't change in their message or character since the nature of both are eternally changed and are sacred.

it is the latter that culture all too often affects in a negative way, lessening the content of the gospel message or lowering the standard of character of people, when, truth be known, the message and the people [Christians] are to affect culture as salt and light.

May we never forget that is my prayer.

Thanks for commenting.

Rex Ray said...

Once, I attended a ‘new members’ class and the discussion was how to increase church attendance/membership.

The pastor presented the idea if new people visited the first time, someone in the parking lot would get their name, and phone it to the ‘greeter’ at the front door; who would say ‘Glad to meet you xxx’. This would make a favorable impression on them etc.

He asked me of any idea I had and I responded. “Burn the church.”

I told how persecution cause Christianity to increased in China. The Communists held my uncle at gunpoint; and friends told him he would be killed so he went to Korea. When the doors opened again in China, Christianity had doubled.

One story told of three Christians hanging by their thumbs until they renounced Jesus. One did and was released. But he broke out in a rash and figured the Lord was punishing him. He returned and asked to be hung again. The Communists cut the other two down thinking all Christians were crazy.

Paul Burleson said...


I pastored a church that burned once. [If one can identify a building as a church for conversational purposes.]

It was New years day around 4:00 in the morning, three days after Wade was born. There were more people who came to watch the fire than ever came to hear me preach. :(

Anonymous said...

I know Wade is a person of unusual ability and action, but taking only three days to start a church fire is going a bit far, don't you think ? But, thankfully, he is still drawing in the crowds !


Paul Burleson said...


Now THAT'S funny. Correct but funny. LOL