Is the Casual Approach to Church Producing Casual Christians?

While our solutions won’t match, this blogger excellently portrays the problem inherent in post-Constantine churches, Protestant and Catholic alike. It is more accomodating than I would be, which may help those who disagree to be willing to consider the message.

Not For Itching Ears

it's worseIt is worse than it looks!

It doesn’t  matter which study you read about the church, because they all say pretty much the same thing:  The church is in decline.

The church is in trouble.  I don’t need to read a study to know this.  I have observed it over the years in countless churches that I have visited.  Churches are weak and though they may have exciting services, they are largely failing to develop strong, grounded and mature Christians.  The church at large (there are exceptions, of course) is also failing to impact the lost around her.

The statistics on this are over-whelming and should stop every pastor and leader dead in their tracks so that we immediately fall on our knees to cry out to the Lord “What are we doing wrong?”  Sooner or later that will have to happen.  Let’s pray it is the former!

Is This…

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About paulfpavao

I am a church historian and pastor, but I do occasionally play APBA baseball for fun.
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5 Responses to Is the Casual Approach to Church Producing Casual Christians?

  1. paulfpavao says:

    Carolyn: This is all true, and I agree with you. I’m not sure who might agree with me, but I would say at least two-thirds, probably more, of those who would define themselves as casual Christians never intend to be anything else. We can pray for a supernatural move of the Spirit, an amazing revival, and that might do the job, but God has only rarely supplied that for any nation. What is true is that if we press the need not to be a casual Christian, in most churches a lot of people leave. I’m rather amazed at Bellevue Baptist Church, just a couple miles from my house, that has 18,000 members, and they make it clear that casual Christianity is not acceptable. I’ve talked to numerous people from there, and they all seem to know that’s true. So, somehow, probably because they’ve been rejecting casual Christianity for at least a couple decades, they have avoided driving away most of their people by preaching a discipleship message. Most pastors who have tried that, however, find their membership drops rapidly, and it’s a rare pastor willing to risk it.

  2. Restless Pilgrim says:

    > the problem inherent in post-Constantine churches
    Surely the controversies concerning the lapsed and the presence of rigorist groups show that there were varying levels of commitment among Christians, even in the early centuries?

    • paulfpavao says:

      RP (the other comment was to Carolyn): What you say is true, as well. I don’t think the article is about varying levels of commitment among Christians. I think it’s about how comfortable we are with that. More specifically, it is directed at Protestants, and the problem being addresses is the “come as you are” message that is so common, but which is not accompanied by any sort of real call to discipleship. It’s one thing to have adulterers & lascivious in your congregation (2 Cor. 12:21), it’s quite another to be comfortable with that, and not “bewail” (KJV) as Paul said he would. That last part is what applies to Catholics as well.

  3. Carolyn says:

    The obvious solution is to love our Father with all our heart, all our mind, all our might; then we will move out of our comfort zone to love others and Christ has loved us. We do need to repent (a change of mind that leads to action) but that means getting involved with people, sharing with them and loving them where they are and moving them forward. I wish I could say it was a done deal, but I am so self centered. 😦

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