“Religion is what you have left when the Holy Spirit has left the premises”–Bono
When someone uses the term religion, they are usually referring to a belief system based on a set of man-made rules and traditions often devoid of God’s Spirit. But might we also apply the term to our Sunday morning rock concert services where high decibel music and caffeine are needed to pump life into what we now define as church?
With our popular seeker-friendly mega churches topping the charts in church growth, it would be a stretch to describe the atmosphere on Sunday mornings as “holy, reverent, pregnant with expectation and full of the power of the Holy Spirit.” Instead, multi-media presentations and strobe lights excite our visual senses while ushers pass out ear plugs for an older generation not quite “with it.” I dare say, if God actually showed up in awesome power and holiness, I fear there’d be a lot of lattes spilled all over the church carpet!
My husband, Bill, best defines the state of many of our modern churches when he says, “Some churches look to bless God and prepare a comfortable place for Him. Other churches are concerned with the comfort of man.”
Jim Wright, in his blog entitled Crossroad Junction says: “I get it: A confused generation of young millennials raised to believe they’re the center of the universe keep trying to create a Christ of their own perception by shunning the plenary authority of His written word. What I don’t get are those who should be old enough to know better, but don’t. It’s time for those who do know better to start acting like grown ups once again in the Body of Christ.”
Wright has “hit the nail squarely on the head” to use a colloquialism, and points the finger right back to those of us who should be mature Christians. We have failed to disciple the younger generation. We have failed to reveal to them the one true God of the Bible. We have preempted the power of the Holy Spirit with our man-made agendas, and so, the younger generation has gone seeking–in the only self-centered way they know how–to find a God who will fit into their lifestyles. And we have said, “It’s ok to cater to their taste in music and lifestyle. Let’s just get them into church anyway we can.”
Saints, it’s time to stand firm on God’s Word and get on our knees in prayer for this generation to experience the real presence and power of God.