Pastor’s Page

From the Pastor

Greetings Friends,
Recently I attended a United Methodist Church history class at United Theological Seminary in Trotwood. Now hold on Lutherans, don’t check out yet, this applies just as much to you as it does the Methodists because the concerns of the Church effect everyone. While I am not going to go into details about the particulars of Church history, what I would like to raise up are the common attributes that were associated with the movements of revival that led to the formation of both the Lutheran and Methodist Denominations. Whether it was Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses in 1517 or John Wesley’s formation of the Holy Club in 1729, the call to holiness, full surrender to the authority of Jesus Christ, the embrace of the work of the Holy Spirit, and concern for others above self have been at the foundation of every major move of God since the Day of Pentecost. As I have reflected on these attributes and the current state of the church today, I believe I understand why the cries for revival in the American Church are largely going unanswered and it is because many of these foundations are either missing or have been subdued by noise in the place of action. Looking around at the church today, we see an institution that has become more like the world around it and less like the church that Jesus intended. We find ourselves offering worldly programming, ever-growing creature comforts, and the promotion of getting to Heaven as our only goal. We have formulized our faith and allowed religion to usher out the wildly passionate movements of God that inspired the Church’s inception in the first place. It is no secret that the church in America is declining rather than growing, and the time to refocus is long past. We have lost our way. So, the question is what is the first step? Isaiah 58 was written to an Israelite people who had lost their way and suffered their own decline and disruption. When reading this passage there are some undeniable similarities playing out in the American Church today. I encourage you to go and read this passage in its entirety this week, but in summary this prophetic word found in Isaiah is a call to authenticate our position as not only a Church that acts, but the Church that understands we are here for a purpose that extends outside of our own existence and pleasure. Within this call is a personal invitation to each one of us to rid our lives of the temporary things of the world and to take up the cause of Christ within our own homes and lives. Now is the time. So, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)