Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Kind of Believer we want to produce I.


“If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” 1 Tim 3:15.

Sometimes it is valuable to look back at the prophetic writings of yester-year to compare their dreams and warnings with the realities of the church today. By joining the dots, we can then do some exponential projection to see what the church of today and tomorrow will face. This then empowers the leaders to ready their warrior people for these weighty days.

Francis A. Schaeffer was that kind of man. To his generation, his call to “true truth” resounded throughout the nations as the hungry pilgrim, embraced his propositions to face the revolutionary 60’s and 70’s. In 1970, he wrote a book called “The Church at the end of the 20th Century”. Reading it now, one is fascinated by the accuracy of his concerns and the speed with which we are racing to the post-Christian world. Here are a few quotes from the book:

“Does the church have a future in our generation?... I believe the church is in real danger. It is in for a rough day. We are facing present pressures and future manipulation which will be so overwhelming in the days to come that they will make the battles of the last forty years look like child’s play”[1]

“I wish to summarize the 3 basic alternatives to the Christian response… The first is hedonism-namely, that every individual does exactly what he wants to do… The second possibility, if you do not want an absolute, is the dictatorship of 51 percent, with no controls and nothing with which to challenge the majority… The third possibility is an elite or a dictatorship-that is, some form of authoritarianism wherein a minority, the elite or one man tells society what to do…”[2]

“I set forth three things that are necessary if the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be a revolutionary force in the midst of the twentieth-century upheaval and revolution: 1. The church must distinguish between being a cobelligerent and an ally; 2. It must be careful to stand clearly for truth, both in doctrine and in practice even when it is costly; and 3. It must be more than a preaching point and an activity generator; it must show a sense of community.”[3]

This is a quote from an article by the BBC America called:

Searching for the American Dream:

Instead, for Secular Spiritualists, life was about being genuine, about achieving a legacy larger than one's self, about leaving this earth a better place for family, community, and planet.

For the record, I found two other groups: The Deferred Dreamers (about 18%) who felt the dream of material acquisition could still be alive, but just not for themselves or their children.

And then there were the Dreamful Dead (15%), who felt the American Dream was simply dead. This last group included minorities, the poor and too many single mothers.[4]

[1] Francis Schaeffer: The Church at the end of the 20th Century; pg 5,

[2] Ibid, pg 35 – 36,

[3] Ibid, pg 45.

[4] John Zogby: “What is Today’s American Dream?” BBC America 29 March 2011.

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