Skip to comments.The American Captivity of the Church
Posted on 05/05/2014 8:34:10 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
The American Captivity of the Church by Michael Horton
What would things look like if Satan really took control of a city? Over a half century ago, Presbyterian minister Donald Grey Barnhouse offered his own scenario in his weekly sermon that was also broadcast nationwide on CBS radio. Barnhouse speculated that if Satan took over Philadelphia, all of the bars would be closed, pornography banished, and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say, Yes, sir and No, maam, and the churches would be full every Sunday . . . where Christ is not preached.
It is easy to become distracted from Christ as the only hope for sinners. Where everything is measured by our happiness rather than by Gods holiness, the sense of our being sinners becomes secondary, if not offensive. If we are good people who have lost our way but with the proper instructions and motivation can become a better person, we need only a life coach, not a redeemer. We can still give our assent to a high view of Christ and the centrality of his person and work, but in actual practice we are being distracted from looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). A lot of the things that distract us from Christ these days are even good things. In order to push us offpoint, all that Satan has to do is throw several spiritual fads, moral and political crusades, and other relevance operations into our field of vision. Focusing the conversation on usour desires, needs, feelings, experience, activity, and aspirationsenergizes us. At last, now were talking about something practical and relevant.
VERY timely read. Thank you GPH.
Thanks for sharing.
Reminds me a little of the Screwtape Letters.
The first part of the sermon reminded be of 2 Timothy 3:4-6
“ 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a from of godliness but denying it’s power its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, ”
Verse 6 reminds me of Oprah!
“The Gospel has never been about what we do for Christ, but, rather, what Christ has already done for us. A failure to understand this is the source of many horrid errors”
You did it to yourselves!
Putting Amazing Back Into Grace is a great book. Helps combat much of what is wrong with the American church.
Reminds me of the Pharisee and the publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.