Serious Questions to be Considered . . . Comments and Discussion?

I have a question I’d like to open up for discussion.

Culturally speaking, it appears that the “Church” is becoming more and more irrelevant and disconnected. The perception seems to be that not only does the New Testament Church not hold the answers for today’s issues, but that the issues aren’t even being addressed.

In your experience, opinion and observation . . . where do you think the failures are? What has happened and what needs to be done?

I need to add that this is open for believer, unbelievers, any “denomination” or religious point of view. There are no right or wrong answers!! And no debate!! Just wanting to know the honest and open thoughts and perceptions of all on the inside AND the outside.

Thanks

About Pastor Jack Seiler

Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, Collins, NY
This entry was posted in Apologetics, General Thoughts, Research. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Serious Questions to be Considered . . . Comments and Discussion?

  1. MaryAnn says:

    To answer your question, from what I have observed people lack conviction and are comfortable with how things are. Many people do not want to stand for the truth anymore and have selfish tendencies. These individuals are only looking out for themselves. Many people do not want to take accountability for their actions because they do not want to bear the consequences of their own actions and do what is right.

  2. Jo says:

    Pastors are failing to GET IN that secret place and get the message from God for the people. And the people have failed to GET IN that secret place too…the love of many has waxed COLD :'(

  3. Mar 1:16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
    Mar 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

    What is it that made Simon and Andrew leave everything and follow Jesus?

  4. greg says:

    My opinion is people are so disconnected from reality that they believe church is like a television program that is or isn’t entertaining them, it’s not even reality to them. I’ll also have to second what MaryAnn said that there’s no conviction anymore, people are dull of hearing when it comes to spiritual food, too full on self serving flesh to understand and discern when the spirit is trying to move thereby grieving the holy spirit and not allowing God word to penetrate where it needs to go

  5. Mike says:

    I also want to add to my post on facebook that we are living in the day “of” the people church”. If you read the 2nd and 3rd book of Revelation you will find that 5 of the seven churches are refered to as “in” but 2 of them are refered to as “of” the land or people. We are living in the day and age where men are blaming God for the messages that they preach from the pulpits…when most of them wouldn’t know a message from God if the Angel of God hand delivered it to them. They read an outline off the internet or out of some book(mainly commentaries) and tell us the layperson it is a message from God(maybe their god but not the real God). I agree that Pastors are not getting in the prayer closet and weeping over their own sin let alone their peoples and then this nation. We hear preaching from the pulpit that in the “name of god”(didn’t use capital “g” on purpose) is doing what Peter warns about in II Peter 2. These men are speaking out against God’s ordained ministers(Rom13) as if it was ok to do that. God will not give a church the “power’ it needs to change lives if the church is living in sin.
    “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth…and knoweth not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

    We need for men to get on their faces before God, repent, lead their families, and then and only then will the church matter to the world again.

    • thisidup says:

      Mike Falk

      The american people have been tired of churches for years.they see the church as a money scam or a bunch of weak minded people. it doesnt help having idiot like the westboro baptist church in the news. the world also sees that we dont get along even eithin our own”circles”! they hear us talking about how bad this church is or that church is and they think we are a joke! the church isnt showing the love of Christ it has turned into the religion of the Pharisees…whited sepulchers full of dead mans bone. we dont matter to them. we are unloving judgment fools intheir eyes. so my question to you as a pastor is how does the church change to be a place of Christ love and power again?

      • Pastor Jack Seiler says:

        Thanks Mike. I will be digesting this and the other comments and input I have been getting both here and from several other places. I am researching this subject with the ultimate objective of writing a book . . or several books . . concerning the issues that are being brought up. I appreciate your input and hope to address this with some realistic and relevant answers in due time.

  6. thisidup says:

    Excellent comments. Because I am looking for everyone’s perception there is no right or wrong answer. Each person will have their own point of view according to how they have seen things and how it has effected them personally and in the context of their own experience. I don’t think there are many atheists or unchurched people on my friends list, but if any of you know people or have anyone on your friends list that are unbelievers, I would be very much interested in their thoughts as well. In this instance it would not be for the purpose of evangelism but strictly to gain honest insight into the way that “Christianity” and the “church” is viewed by those on the outside. I believe the church has become out of touch not only with the world around it, but those within have become disconnected with real Theology and a completely Christ centered mind. It would be greatly appreciated if some of you would give a personal invitation to your friends and acquaintances to take a minute and make a comment here.

  7. Gary says:

    I think that the church just don’t get what is going on out there or they just don’t want to know what is going on its like they are all for there self well that is how I see it

    • Pastor Jack Seiler says:

      Thanks Gary! I will be digesting this and the other comments and input I have been getting both here and from several other places. I am researching this subject with the ultimate objective of writing a book . . or several books . . concerning the issues that are being brought up. I appreciate your input and hope to address this with some realistic and relevant answers in due time.

  8. Kim Anderson says:

    i was raised a Roman Catholic, I lost faith in the church with all the controversay of molesation. When I moved to California 29yrs a go I was looked down upon for being Catholic instead of Christian, who I found to be the large group of hypocricy I have ever meet. I have a great strength in my belief in God, I know the bible from my upbringing, but I am more spiritual now than any qoutes or verses. I speak o God daily, I do not attend any church on a regular basis, the older I have become the stronger my faith has become, but my faith has touched on many religion and I believe we are all under the same God, just worshiped in different ways, some very bad. But then again I am confused, Father Joe who I’ve known for many years, shot himself in the head less than two hours after I took communion from him last month, the greatest sin of the church.

    • Pastor Jack Seiler says:

      Thanks Kim. I will be digesting this and the other comments and input I have been getting both here and from several other places. I am researching this subject with the ultimate objective of writing a book . . or several books . . concerning the issues that are being brought up. I appreciate your input and hope to address this with some realistic and relevant answers in due time.

  9. Mark Rogers says:

    In the modest size city I live in (83,000) there are well over 200 churches in the city limits. Over 300 in the metro area. The church I attend is one of the 3 largest in the region. But there is no way I can make an overall assessment of “the church” even in this area, because each local church is different.

    Some are obviously culturally relevant. Some are indifferent to culture. Some are strictly Biblical in teaching and preaching, some liberal and unconcerned with a Biblical world view. Some make a serious impact on their community and region. Others stay secluded within their walls.

    Biblical churches are autonomous, overseen by elders, served by deacons, teachers, preachers and others. They are churches that affect their community and reach out around the region, country and world. The leaders understand the call of God on people’s lives and the importance of using people’s God-given gifts within the church. Those churches of all sizes exist throughout the U.S. They are effective world-changers.

    There is no way any individual can determine the condition, cultural relevance or any other factor of “the church”, referencing the body of Christ overall. No blanket statement can be accurately made about “the church”, pastors, God’s people or any other factor unless somebody can be omnipresent everywhere to observe thousands of churches.

    What all of us can look at and discern where a church needs improvement and help is our own local churches that we attend. All of us would do well to serve our local churches to the max, determined to make them the best they can be from what we can do. That instead of making blanket negative “assessments” of churches we know nothing about.

    • Pastor Jack says:

      Thanks for the input Mark. Your response has helped me in my personal research.
      Allow me to restate the question to accommodate your valid objection by replacing the word “Church” with “Christianity.” It may appear to be an over generalization, but the answers I am looking for are personal relative answers so they will be general to one degree or another.

      Everyone makes “assessments” in their own experience, whether they are justifiable or not. If they have a negative perception they will make negative assessments. I am looking understand some of these these personal assessments so that I can make a determination of the best way I can address those assessments as a Pastor, apologist, and individual Christian seeking to fulfill the Great Commission.

      All input is welcome.

  10. thisidup says:

    Teresa Kleinsmith Sliwinski

    Well, I think that many pastors and priests are falling these days and it’s driving people away from church entirely. I can tell you for certain that if something happens to my current church such as the Pastor being taken in a sin of some sort I will be done with churches. There are none that are Biblically correct. Either their doctorine is not Biblically correct or else their bahavior isn’t…or sometimes both.

  11. Micah Seiler says:

    I think most everyone is making some good observations.
    Wow @ Kim’s post! I did not know about you seeing father Jo so close to his death. Very sad and surreal.
    My thoughts, we do not need to be omnipresent to see that at least here in the USA the Church is NOT making the impact and being relevant as we would desire. It doesn’t take TONS of discernment to see that divorce rates, abortion rates, broken families, abuse and all sorts of immorality run rampant in our Nation more than they did say in the days of the Great Awakening-not to mention a political climate that isn’t exactly warm to the Christian perspective. If you think we’re in the middle of a revival you crazy! LOL
    I’m not sure what THE if there is One answer is to why we are not having the impact we would hope for. I think it is very true that Preachers and listeners are often not getting in that secret place with God and truly getting a message from God. I also think it is true that we’re too self-absorbed and we treat Churches a lot of the time with the attitude of a consumer instead of a worshiper.
    There’s a lot to think about and pray about. The first thing we need to do, is get some humility, if we don’t want to acknowledge that there is a problem, then that is our biggest problem because there can be no remedy if we don’t even see a problem.
    I believe in the Bible as my final authority for faith and practice. I believe that Jesus Christ is our Only Saviour. Every human being in the world must come to God by Him. my faith is all about Jesus Christ. not other people, not the Church, not a list of rules and laws, but Jesus Christ. He is our only hope of salvation. That is the message people need to know, that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His blood to wash away all their sins and rose again to give them eternal life. But often the pride & hypocrisy of Christians distracts from this message. We Christians do bear some of the responsibility-but I Also do believe that although we must humble ourselves and evaluate our own attitude and weaknesses, we must also realize that as time moves forward mankind becomes more and more unrepentant and rebellious and rejects and ignores God.
    God loves us very much, His love is wonderful and extravagant but He is still God. If we approach the idea of God, as so many Americans do-with self-serving motivations, no reverence, no worship, no fear, honor or respect, then the real God of the Bible is not who we will find. SO many Americans with a chip on their shoulder, don’t come to God as worshipers but as entitlement recipients. God is not Santa Clause. God is not the Welfare State, God is not the Fairy godmother, He is the powerful Creator and worthy and deserving of genuine worship. Many people do not want to know God they just want to know what they can get from Him. And while God DOES have good gifts that He does want to give you and bless you with-if you come just looking for gifts, you’ve missed the point and you won’t come into a relationship with God.
    All the way from Genesis to Revelation God has been giving a message-Repent and believe. We must realize our own lack, our own need and our own sin, and turn from SELF to God and trust-put faith in Him (Jesus Christ) to wash away those sins and meet those needs. You know what we need? We need Him. He IS the blessing. We look to see what gift are in His hands, but it is His hands that are the gift. Jesus died so we could have friendship with HIM not so we could have a new car, or house or whatever physical blessings may seem so important.

  12. thisidup says:

    I need to restate and clarify for the sake of keeping on subject. Everyone’s opinion is welcome. Don’t let the comments of another make you feel guilty for having a personal opinion according to your own experience. Churches in America are closing at an alarming rate and this is undeniable. Not to say that there are no good churches and if you’re in one that’s wonderful. Seek to keep it that way. But this is not the place to condemn someone’s negative comment by making another negative comment about their negative comment. I think that hypocrisy and self-righteousness are among the reasons people point to that keep them out of church. Whether they are right or wrong is immaterial here . . . the point is that’s the way they see it. It seems to me that it’s the responsibility of the local, antonymous, Biblical churches to address these issues, and as a Pastor I am attempting to understand them from the viewpoint of those that are effected by them.

  13. Meg says:

    I think it’s just easier nowadays for people who used to attend church to watch sermons on TV or the Internet – I’m pretty sure there are even apps on iPhones & Droids that can make it easier to find a sermon. Also, I think some people just don’t care enough to attend anymore, even those who used to enjoy it. I know people who have went to catholic school & church for years, and their parents still go every Sunday, but they don’t – Not because they don’t believe, but because it’s not an important aspect of their life anymore, or they can just talk to God by themselves and feel
    that’s comforting enough. Than there are those organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church who just ruin it for everybody – we’ve watched a million videos of them in my Public Speaking class & they’re ridiculous enough to change thousands of opinions about the church & what they really stand for… It makes me sick! Like, who honestly goes to funerals of soldiers who’ve died for our country & call them ‘fags’ & tell their grieving families that God killed them because we’re all sinners? I’m aware that not all churches are like that, but it only takes one very public protest to ruin it for the other churches that don’t treat people like that.

    • Pastor Jack Seiler says:

      Thanks Megan! I will be digesting this and the other comments and input I have been getting both here and from several other places. I am researching this subject with the ultimate objective of writing a book . . or several books . . concerning the issues that are being brought up. I appreciate your input and hope to address this with some realistic and relevant answers in due time.

  14. Pastor Jack says:

    This was sent and I prefer it remain anon.

    I can only speak from my own experiences. I used to believe in the idea of “god” idea and that he waz by my side listening to me like i mattered ..then when my son left i realized that i was just kidding myself and there was nothing to trust or depend on and i waz just being foolish.

  15. mike says:

    I love the comment about sermons on tv or internet. It seems we are living in a day of conveniece and church that is scheduled at inconveniant times is like a show that is on at a time we have something else scheduled. Pastor Jack you don’t even have to go to your church to listen to your preaching either because you download it the very day it is preached…conveniant for the church to not be relavent to the world.

    • Pastor Jack says:

      Not sure if that last point was a positive or a negative.

    • Pastor Jack Seiler says:

      Thanks Mike. I will be digesting this and the other comments and input I have been getting both here and from several other places. I am researching this subject with the ultimate objective of writing a book . . or several books . . concerning the issues that are being brought up. I appreciate your input and hope to address this with some realistic and relevant answers in due time. Was that last comment a positive or a criticism over my posting of sermons online?

  16. Robin Frey says:

    In my opinion, ‘disconnected’ is the key word here. The Bible and God’s message is always relevant – it takes someone ‘connected’ to be able to deliver it. They must not be so wrapped up in their own ‘Christian World’ that they cannot see today’s issues…there is a need to relate! It’s not always enough to ‘preach to the choir’ In my most recent experiences with attending different “Churches” I have found that gone are the days of relying on your denominational upbringing to put you in the right place. Some churches are run like businesses and some like entertainment hour- Brought up in the Baptist Church you can imagine my surprise when the most convicting message I heard lately came from the Roman Catholic pulpit!

    • Pastor Jack says:

      Thank you Robin. Your input means a lot to me. If you have the time you might want to listen to the last few messages I’ve brought that I have been posting links to on Facebook. I think you would find them very relevant.

  17. Jason Seiler says:

    Sorry it’s taken so long for me to post on this, but here is what I think about it.

    Everyone has a point, that’s the problem. Being relevant is subject to each person and what they believe is ‘relevant’.

    What people see as relevant, convicting, good, bad, it’s all subject to their specific position in life and their issues.

    There are only a few things that are ‘relevant’ to all people because everyone can relate.

    1. Their position before God
    2. Their emotions

    Changing music to be relevant, the rugs, the denomination names, all that. In some sense I suppose that’s ok, as long as it doesn’t go against what God says.. But that’s not the total answer.

    The church is not ‘relevant’ because the people in it are lazy, self-centered and don’t take God seriously.

    You can find churches that preach so hard the blast the paint off the walls, and they can be FULL of people… they can be so strict that you can’t listen to Mozart, but they are STILL full of people.

    You can then find that SAME type of church and it only has 10 people on it… These can be said of non-denomination to Baptist to Charismatic.

    The problem is simple. It’s that the preaching has become centered on fixing the symptoms, explaining WHY we should have revival, and trying to appeal to those that are there are we WANT to be there.

    I, as a Christian, should be getting excited about God on my own.. not having the Preacher tell me I need to be excited. Revival starts with one person? yes, when that person has a life changing experience with God.. not when someone tells them they NEED to have a life changing experience with God.

    The love of God.. that changes people.. that helps heal their past, shows them their position before Him… THAT is what changes a person. That is what ‘draws’ people into the church. A church member that is so helped and in love with God, he/she goes and BRINGS people into the church.

    Soul winning programs should be the result of people in the church wanting to get together and go invite people. Not the result of a new planned ministry that begs people to come out.

    Same thing.. symptom fixing, not issue fixing.

    I think that you hit it on the head 8 months ago Dad when you started talking about the Love Of God. Repentance? yes! Being tough when you need to be? yes! But showing people the love of God, that’s the ENTIRE truth behind being relevant.

    The Church needs steps, instructions, and pointing to ways to live, ways to love, and ways to let God show in their lives. The rest comes naturally after that.

    The unsaved need to see that love, see that Gospel.

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