As I look around at the state of the church today, one thought keeps resonating in my head: “We can’t stay here”. Here is the dead religion of our fathers. Here is where over two billion people survive on less than $2 a day. Here is where countless young people have turned their back on Christ and walked away from His church. Here is a world filled with hatred, deceit, murder, rape, incest, slavery, and pedophilia. Here is a world that has lost its way. Here is a church full of people who have the cure but are too afraid to step outside of their comfortable air conditioned mausoleums we call “church”. Here the world lies bleeding. Here there is no hope. We can’t stay here.
This is the world we have created. This is the place we claim to be living out our faith in God. It’s not what we were created to do. It’s not how we were called to live. Yet here we are, buried in a morass of sin and confusion. Nothing about the world in which we live looks anything like God created it to be, and it’s because His people are not reflecting who He really is. We can’t stay here.
A recent Pew Forum report found that a full third of people under the age of 30 claim no religious affiliation. We are losing the younger generation because we have built walls around Jesus with our petty lists of do’s and don’ts. We have confused political opinions with Christian realities. We have obscured the world from the love of Christ. The most blessed nation in the history of the world has become fat, numb, and uncaring. We can’t stay here.
We were never called to live the life of religious piety. Jesus railed against those living such lives when He walked the earth. Nearly 2,000 years later we have learned nothing. We continue to make it difficult to understand what it means to live for God, and we refuse to model the loving simplicity of Christ. Instead of serving those engaged with the pet sins of the day, we ostracize them and distance ourselves. Instead of providing for the poor, we fill up our closets with stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t even like. While we should be caring for the orphans and widows, we instead spend our time chastising the pregnant teen and unwed mother. We can’t stay here.
God forgive us for our apathy. Forgive us for creating a world in our image instead of Yours. Forgive us for callously sneering at Your ways and living life on our own terms. We do not deserve to be called Your church. We are an unfit bride. We are a wicked, perverse, and unholy people. Please rescue us from our willful sins. Save us from our despair. We are helpless, hopeless, and lost. And we can’t stay here.