For D.L. Moody, “the church was a voluntary association of the saved.” So staggering was his influence that by 1874 the church was not seen as a grand corporate body but as a gathering of individuals. This emphasis was picked up by every revivalist who followed him. And it eventually entered into the marrow and bones of evangelical Christianity. (Frank Viola, What’s Wrong With Left Behind?)
There are approximately 320,000 churches in America today. They mostly follow Moody’s vision about the church being a “voluntary association of the saved.”
Although these churches have various doctrinal foundations, their number one goal is how to market themselves and increase their memberships. Because of this, the American traditional church system now more nearly resembles a business structure than a living organism as seen in the New Testament.
This is a sad overview of today’s traditional church system in America.
What can we do?
Train like we are going to fight. (U.S. First Army maxim)
We America Christians are at war. Period.
Yes, there are no sounds of explosions and AK-47s in our neighborhoods as yet, but it will happen soon enough. When we finally hear the sounds of war with our own ears, it will be too late to prepare ourselves. We will then be like children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
We must make up our minds now.
And we must realize our government will not help us. We are on our own.
This will either be the American church’s greatest hour or its worst one.
So, how can we train like we are going to fight?
(Continued in Part 4)