I recently asserted that the Christian church is ‘near defeat.’
What would ‘near defeat’ look like? God will always preserve a remnant, but a look at Europe gives a good idea. There is quite a bit of Christian heritage in Europe, but at present it is completely de-fanged. Or, we can look at China and Japan, both areas where there was a time in history when the Church was growing but then was faced with violent oppression and nearly wiped out. I think the ‘Europe’ route is more likely then the ‘Asian’ route, but the results are near the same. I say this so that it is understood that in the course of time, what I’m claiming can actually take place, even here in the United States.
What is to be done about it? This is the critical question.
1. Establish a group of concerned individuals in your local congregation. Evaluate weaknesses and strengths and brainstorm ways to deal with the weaknesses and ways to play to your strengths where apologetics is concerned.
2. Build a library of apologetics materials. Don’t just include Christian material, but also anti-Christian material. The point is to prepare oneself and one’s youth for the threats that are really out there. Take the time to have people master this material.
3. Bring in outside speakers on apologetic topics. Don’t focus so much on whether they are ‘entertaining.’ You don’t want motivational speakers, here. You want people who know their stuff.
4. Re-prioritize the use of money. I’m sorry, but many of the things churches spend their money don’t even begin to reflect the nature of the situation we’re really in. Pay for member’s classes at local colleges. Buy books of substance for young people and give them away freely. That’s right, don’t even make them pay for it or perform a million fund raisers for it. Spend time thinking about how priorities are reflected in the spending of money. A church may say that they are interested in apologetics as a high priority, but if they only spend $100 on it when they pay $10,000 for a new organ, one really knows where the priorities are.
5. Add staff positions. Again, you put money where your heart is. Apologetics is such a large area that it is not plausible for any one person to master it all, and even though I encourage pastors to bone up on their apologetics, too, aren’t pastors already doing too much as it is? The staff would work in a complementary fashion to existing youth directors and education directors.
Secular humanism has practically declared war on the Christian church. It’s about time we realized that and acted accordingly.