Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
I have been going through Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God with around thirty other people from my church. The study has five lessons per week, each of which takes around thirty minutes. I would characterize the lessons as introspective – they force you to evaluate your relationship and walk with Christ. It is also required that you memorize one verse per week, and the verse typically reinforces the lesson’s theme. The second week of the study only one person had memorized the verse. The third week of the study a woman said she found the study difficult – she was not hearing from God. I asked the woman if she was reading her Bible regularly; she never actually answered but the look she gave me said it all. We expect to hear from God, but not enough to make an effort to read his Word.
This lack of commitment reveals the pathetic condition of the American Church. Demands are no longer placed on members, doctrine is not assailed or recanted, but it has become irrelevant, and the pastor has changed from a theologian/teacher to a marketeer/entrepreneur. The Church has become an ignorant and empty shell of what it once was, and the only people surprised by this are the editorial writers at the NY Times. Perhaps Foxe’s Book of Martyrs should be required reading before membership, and maybe then people would count the cost. The Church might be significantly smaller, but its impact on society and people’s lives would be significantly greater and more profound.