Full Churches And Empty Souls

Dead Church SteepleA friend I knew back when both of us lived in California posted the following quote on Facebook a couple years ago:

“Some argue that the church should soften its stance on so-called controversial issues. That in order to be evangelists, the church needs to be seeker friendly. They’re wrong. While no one should be bombastic, uncharitable, or imprudent, it is precisely the countercultural witness to what St. Paul called the more excellent way that will bring people to Christ.” Ryan T. Anderson

Her post generated several comments, all thankfully agreeing with Anderson’s position. Some posts augmented the point by citing personal experience with Seeker Sensitive churches. One comment  so captured my attention that I asked permission to share it in this blog. The person graciously agreed.

I asked my pastor last year why we don’t have multiple thousands of people lined up at the door as the anointed worship and preaching is so incredible as is the family atmosphere. He told me that “because I ask more of them than they are willing to commit to.” In other words, so many just want to be entertained with no commitment so they can feel they are doing their “duty” as a christian by attending church. Oh for more churches that preach the whole gospel including the uncomfortable things like sin, repentance, sacrifice and commitment.

If filling pews requires churches to cater to carnal sensibilities, I’d prefer sparsely filled pews. Of course I want to see every man, woman and child come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the bulk of my prayer list concentrates on loved ones and political leaders with earnest petitions for the Lord to bring them to Himself. But I desire that these people experience genuine conversion. Simply adding people to a church’s membership roll may  fatten church bank accounts, but it has no eternal value if those people never surrender their lives to Christ.

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