Many years ago, American folk singer Joan Baez sang ‘Where have all the flowers gone?” It was a song about the cycles of war and young widows, and unmarried young men dying. The compelling refrain throughout the song was, when will they ever learn?
The recession of recent times has taught us that economic activity does not benefit the entire community. In the church, either we were not taught, or false teachers have caused many to unlearn, that Christians must live godly lives and that, we share a common destiny in the return of Christ and then heaven.
Many Christian leaders have shifted the message from living godly lives and waiting for the return of Christ. People in this age want to be aroused and kept interested by more than that original shared common destiny. So the call is for dynamic leaders who can reveal a fresh motivational brand, and more reality-based purposes for living.
Angels are interested in our salvation and rejoice when even one lost soul is saved. If angels are also required to report on the goings-on in the church and among Christians today, could it be that they say, the preachers avoid all talk of heaven, hell, sin and obedience to God, because these things make listeners awkward or feel bad.
To attract and hold people, pulpits tolerate worldly indulgence and rational formulas for progress and happiness. Give the followers what they want to hear, blend in with their preferences. Let the narrow way adapt into the broad way. And so it is, that the precepts of God are re-fashioned, and scriptures are bent to the shape of today.
If we consider those who propagate and defend the faith as flowers in the Kingdom garden, then let them bravely reveal truth where false teachings blossom. If other flowers are bunched with those who have left the faith, then let us learn and remember: it is the Father who initially draws, and it is He who decides whether those who have left are integrated later.
The church has no mandate from Christ to alter its spiritual basis, structure, function, or compromise the truth of the gospel message. Many flowers have gone, because false teachers have come in like an army and attacked our simple faith and hope, using vain philosophies. Professing to lead Christians to the truth, they have led many astray.
The church will survive and multiply without the need to fit into the continually changing environment. The reason is simple: it is because of the connection to, and the spiritual legacy of its founder, Christ. This shapes the resilience and zeal of the faithful and the recruits, and guarantees the successful survival of Christianity.
As long as we faithfully follow Christ, God will keep us, even though the designs and schemes of evil purposes are within our ranks and surround us. Besides, the Master taught us and we must remember that the wheat will grow with the tares. St Paul and St Peter taught and we must remember; that by His grace, we are to defend and maintain as true everything revealed by the gospel.
Christians share a joint destiny in the return of Christ and bliss. Your life is dear and you just get one chance at it. You can’t pray for light and help to those who push their smooth fads and sly, short-lived ideas. God is always there to guide you. Jesus is the Truth. The good news of the gospel is simple and ample for your life now, and for the life to come.
Mike is the Founding Pastor of Oasis of the Lord. You can follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/OasisName and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WiseForLife?ref=hl
This article by Mike Abel appears in My Christian Daily and is reproduced with acknowledgement and appreciation.