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What Did Earth Look Like Before Noah?

February 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 136

Many secular institutions provide avenues for their employees to openly express disagreements in a constructive way. For example, my wife's company does an anonymous online survey every year that gives employees a chance to offer constructive criticism of their superiors. There is still one institution, however, that stifles dissent. That institution is the church. Most church leaders would be horrified at the prospect of an anonymous review. They would view it as insubordination. You won't find an op-ed page in the church newsletter.

I have told a number of church leaders about my disappointments with the church. One accused me of 'church bashing.' When I told another that the church was due for revival he said he didn't like the word, 'revival.' His comment made no sense to me. After all, the word just means to 'revitalize' or bring back to life. Then it occurred to me. To say the church needs revival would mean that he and his seminary brethren hadn't been doing their job! Although I am sure he wouldn't admit it, he considered the church a work of his hands rather than a product of the Holy Spirit.

I have never belonged to a church that had a mechanism for providing feedback to leadership. So leaders have no idea whether their ministries are achieving their objectives. Without regular feedback, what would stop errant leadership from continuing to stray? But voicing a difference of opinion with church leadership is generally frowned upon.

Where does this 'brook no dissent' mentality come from? I believe it comes from the mistaken notion that leadership is ordained by God and their decisions are gospel. So anyone who disagrees is challenging the will of God. That would be a legitimate viewpoint if human beings were guided by wholly altruistic motives. But the fact is that we all have hidden agendas and promote our own self interests. Sometimes it is difficult to know how much this agenda influences our decisions. That voice we hear in our head may not be the voice of God, but our own. That is why we need to hear different viewpoints. Proverbs 15:21 says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Leaders must be willing to hear all sides of an issue.

There hasn't been a nationwide revival in the United States since before the Civil War. By the time the Third Great Awakening had run its course, it had spread from coast to coast producing over 50,000 converts per week and a total of over one million new believers. Nationwide, the population of the churches had been increased by ten percent. There was a return to public morality as taverns were closed and businessmen paid off their debts. Charities and volunteers multiplied as faith found expression in humanitarian work.

Why don't we see this kind of outpouring of the Holy Spirit today? It is because church leaders have replaced reliance on the Holy Spirit with human methods such as church growth and management techniques. The church has been subjected to scientific methods in order to produce a type of synthetic growth characterized by a church full of hangers on who seek the status and prestige of church membership but are not prepared to sacrifice in the service of Christ. However, because leaders will hear no criticism of the way they do things, the church just keeps drifting farther and farther off course.

If we ever want to see God pour out his Holy Spirit upon the church in revival, our leaders need to be receptive to constructive criticism, turn from their reliance on man-made methods, and depend on the Holy Spirit build His church.

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Source: EzineArticles
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