-American Church at the Crossroads: "Change"


Many times what we see happening in the natural is a symbol for what is also taking place in the spiritual realm. ‘Change’ was the word that we heard over and over again during the recent election. Now with a major change in presidential administration taking place this week it has become a reality in the natural.

As Barack Obama raised his hand and completed the oath of office for President of the USA, a new historical page was turned. Millions look forward with hope for positive changes for the better, while many others claim that America will never be the same and decline is on the horizon.  One thing for sure, for better or worse the voters chose to go new direction.

In trying to discern what God is now doing in his church in 2009, the word I hear again and again is ‘change’.  Just like we have turned the page in the natural, in the spiritual also a new direction is in front of the church in America. Many have sensed the need for change and movements like the ’emerging’ and ’emergent’ church movements were initiated in response to the perceived need.

For the entire 20th century the American church was part of the American culture. Early in the century the church dominated the culture while in the last 40 years or so the culture changed and began to dominate the church.

Now the American church is at the crossroads and must choose to follow the culture or where the Holy Spirit may lead. Some major denominations (like the Episcopal Church and the UCC) are already in the process of choosing to continue with the dominant culture away from Biblical Christianity. The Evangelical churches are now at that fork in the road.

I believe that churches which are fundamentalist/cessationalist will have a hard time surviving the onslaught of a dominant progressive/secular culture in the future. Meanwhile the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are destined for major ‘change’–the old ‘wineskins’ will no longer be adequate for the task ahead. –More to come later on possible changes ahead.           

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