12 “Absences” that Prove the Descent of the American Church

Thursday is for Thinking

If-my-People“[In] one of Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries, … the key to solving a case was the fact that when a man was murdered a certain dog didn’t bark! Some called it the presence of an absence!”  

quote from the I.D.E. Thomas book:
William Shakespeare and His Bible

It is an arresting phrase–“the presence of an absence.” It suggests all kinds of ideas and directions but I keep tracking in the direction of the church and what is present as an absence in the church. The list, in my experience is, tragic. It includes …

  1. The absence of any real hatred of sin
  2. The absence of any real passion for the lost
  3. The absence of a willingness to sacrifice
  4. The absence of a real passion for worship
  5. The absence of a commitment to burden-bearing fellowship
  6. The absence of disciple-making
  7. The absence of a consistent passion for the poor
  8. The absence of an ability and willingness to overlook an offense
  9. The absence of ministry beyond the four walls of the worship space
  10. The absence of faithful investment in Bible study and doctrinal clarity
  11. The absence of preachers with the willingness to stand on the Scripture
  12. The absence of a real fervor in prayer.

That’s a lot of presence of an absence.” 

But God is still God.
The Holy Spirit is still at work.
The Gospel is still transformative.
God is not impotent.

It is we, the American Church, that have the presence of an absence of all the things God delights to bless.

Lord, make me and make the people I influence swim against the tide of this ungodly pattern. Revive our hearts. Revive our practice. Give us a passion for prayer. Give us the will to seek after You and the will to turn from our sin. I ask this is the name of Christ, our Savior. Amen.

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