By Debbie Leininger, Staff Writer
What began as a highly anticipated premier for movie-goers in a Colorado community suddenly turned to tragedy when an unstable man entered the theater and began shooting. Lives were lost, scores were injured, and the nation will relive this episode over and over on news outlets for years to come.
As accusations are made and calls for gun control fill the airwaves, the question arises: “How did immorality, violence, and death corrupt a once Christian-influenced American culture? The answer to that question lies within the Christian community.
In 2011, a twenty-year “State of the Church” study by the Barna Research Group showed a drop in church attendance by 7% to 59%. Weekly Bible reading dropped from 9% to 62%. 29% of Christians volunteered at church compared to 41% in 1991. Founder George Barna warned that American Christians have become complacent.
In a country founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and whose official motto is “In God We Trust,” ungrounded believers are being assimilated into secularism. They have left their first love, Jesus Christ, for the allure of this world.
Paul warned of the ramifications of disobeying God’s precepts: Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. (Romans 1:21 NKJV)
Violence, perversion, obscenity, vulgarity, and lewdness via television, movies, music, fashion, education, and the internet have desensitized the church. Instead of standing its ground, the church has “adapted” to the secular status quo. Entire denominations have forsaken truth to lean on their own understanding.
America has lost its fear of the Lord and is set up for judgment. This nation will stand if the church stands its ground and teaches Americans how to guard their hearts, eyes and ears.
Jesus said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20 -23 NKJV)
In a Gallup poll taken in January, 2012, more than three-quarters of Americans identified themselves as Christian. The fact that almost 80% of a population does not dominate the culture reveals the church is no longer salt and light, but has lost its savor. It is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Matthew 5:13 NKJV)
God promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
God’s people must choose to once again be purveyors of truth in America. If not, they will face the consequences of their actions.
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