I am a missionary, and have experienced much hardship in my Christian life, yet am still seeking Jesus through the trials. But it seems many Christians are seeking a life that’s free from danger. I think the following things all influence American churches:
• Desire for a safe, untroubled, comfortable life
• The health and wealth “gospel” heresy
• Regressive clergy
• Being accustomed to comfort
• Aversion to sacrificial living
Sacrificial living has been replaced with people seeking comfort and wealth, and relying on their own abilities to provide those things for themselves. It feels so discouraging. What are your thoughts about the current state of the western church?
Your observations about the western church are, in my opinion, sadly accurate (and I don’t pretend to be unaffected by them either). These are what Francis Schaeffer boiled down to the twin values of “Personal Peace and Affluence.” I continue to agree with Schaeffer forty years later.
Some of the younger voices such as Francis Chan and David Platt echo a biblical Christianity which now sounds radical to people. Listen to these examples:
I wish I had a solution, beyond reading these young “radicals” and praying the western church will rediscover the costs and rewards of discipleship. Perhaps we will, but probably only after persecution seriously kicks in.