The American Church is Losing the War.


The American Church is losing the war.

I’m not thinking of the cultural war, or the war against abortion, or the war against same-sex marriage, or the war being waged against the faith of our children, or the war for respect among the elites in the media.

I’m thinking of a much more important war and maybe the reason why we are losing all the other wars, or most of them anyway.

I’m thinking of the battle that rages every day over our souls. We’re losing.

  • We aren’t becoming like Jesus.
  • We aren’t becoming holy.
  • We aren’t becoming peacemakers, or poor in spirit.
  • We aren’t mourning with those who mourn.
  • We aren’t becoming meek and merciful.
  • We aren’t becoming pure of heart.
  • We don’t hunger and thirst for righteousness. 
  • We are being persecuted but not for becoming any of these things.
  • There is very little evidence that the Church is truly interested in living passionately for and like Christ.

Instead of being mezmerized by the beauty of Christ we are infatuated with power, politics, confidence, size, influence and success. It has blinded us to the fact that we are not fighting the good fight of faith that Paul talked about in his letters to the churches of the ancient church. We aren’t becoming holy.

Paul was aware that there was a daily battle to be fought …

but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
(Romans 7:24)

That’s why he said,

. . . though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

And why he reminded Timothy,

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,
(1 Timothy 1:18-19)

Paul was not alone in reminding early Christians to wage war against the passions that seek to destroy and divert us from the righteousness and peace that is our birthright.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
(1 Peter 2:11)

The early church had a clear objective they were fighting for and they fought for it with the full armor of God which is why Paul said “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7 and compare Ephesians 6:10-20)

Make no mistake, our addictions to power and influence is exactly what makes the recent pastoral tragedies and scandals at Willow Creek and Harvest Bible Chapel possible. We are following men not Jesus. Some men look powerful and we grab hold of their coattails and hang on for their magic. But it is an illusion.

We need Him.

He is our Savior. 

No one else.

When we forget that, we lose the battle for our souls. 

One thought on “The American Church is Losing the War.

  1. Brought over from Facebook

    Rob Taylor
    Well said Marty, Thank you for the good word it is wholesome and right on time.
    Delete or hide this

    Terry Ivy
    Excellent brother!!

    Jeff Schultz
    Sadly, yes. Powerful insights. Thanks for this good word.

    Roger Orner
    Do true. Lack of humble, repentant prayer could be added.

    Kevin Bronson
    Very true

    Steve Burdan
    hmmm… I don’t think “we’re losing the ‘war'” at all! we don’t have enough metrics to make such as comprehensive statement – plus ought we not give the superintending Holy Spirit a bit more credit for sanctifying his church…?

    Marty Schoenleber Jr
    Yes to the second part. But I think there is plenty of evidence if not complete metrics.

    Steven Hjelle
    Marty Schoenleber Jr Another sad metric might be the virtual dismissal of the relevance of the Old Testament that is coming from people such as Andy Stanley and now the book from a couple of Wheaton College professors, published by Inter-Varsty. Truly scary.

    Steve Burdan
    hmmm… not sure… too big a topic and field to generate and track accurate metrics – lots of impressions and anecdotes, yes – but poll-cobbling IMO is completely insufficient for analyzing spiritual activity…

    Richard Lane
    Romans 12. The battle has always been in the heart and mind of individual believers. We must be ready and willing for transformation rather seeking conformation. This world is motivated by money, sex, and power. Simple truth: the church will be much more effective when individual Christians are motivated by the desire to actually be like Christ. It is attitudes not platitudes that win battles. Phil. 2

    Lee Iseley
    Thank you Marty for sharing your thoughtful insights.

    Mark A Westphal
    Ralph Winter wrote an article explaining what had happened historically during periods when the church has been lukewarm


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