Sep 24, 2008

Eight mistakes of the American Church



There are many "Christian" things that are coming out of US nowadays, some are good and some are not. With the exposure of the Todd Bentley fiasco, it may be well to reflect on some of the mistakes that are made by American churches (and also Malaysian and Singaporean churches), that we should avoid repeating them and thus falling in the same pit ourselves.


They are:


1. Forgetting to preach the main objective but wander into the secondary issues. The main cause is preach the gospel, cast out devils and heal the sick.


2. Focusing on divisions instead of strengthen the unity of the churches. No church is perfect. No minister is perfect. So don't rub each other down. Look at ways to work together to preach the gospel. Period.


3. Emphasize the religiosity instead of the relationship. Cast away the religious rituals and concentrate on prayerful relationship with God. Instill and teach on prayer closets intimacy and not legalistic monitoring of church numbers.


4. Putting men and women on high pedestal instead of glorifying God alone. History repeats itself again and again that human beings cannot handle the Christian superstar status because the carnality of man will inevitably crop up. Stop calling each other apostles - instead humble yourself with a better term = servants.


5. Preaching prosperity is spirituality. Stop preaching the prosperity gospel. Preach repentance from sin. The  prosperity message is christianizing greed and materialism. The love of money is  the root of all evil. The true heroes of faith are those who suffer for their Christian faith.


6.  Neglecting the family ministers. Mobilize the children and women into ministry instead of just the men in black suit on Sundays. My observation is that women are much more prayerful than men. Children have greater unadulterated faith than adults. God is using those whom we think are not ready to be used. Allocate more resources to develop the Children Ministry for they are the future generation leaders of the coming church.


7. Preserving the office of the clergy for fear that their vocation will be overwhelmed by the laity. Instead we should mobilize the marketplace  ministry by releasing the anointing to preach and  teach in places of employment and businesses. Already I have came across several organizations these last 3 weeks that are consciously sending forth business people into unreached areas in Restricted Countries to propagate the gospel.


8. Revive the lost art of prayer and fasting instead of "seminar hoping". There are so many seminars oozing out from city churches and the TV tubes of USA that a new creation of Christian couch potatoes have risen. Many are like tadpoles - with a big head and a small body. God has called us  to be like eagles but many have not grown beyond the tadpole phase.


May we be reminded that not everything out from American churches are good. Only God's Word will endure forever (2 Tim 3:16) and can be trusted.


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