But the discussion typically goes something like this: "The Church hasn't been doing what the Church is supposed to do. Therefore the country has gotten bad."
- It's up to the Church to be faithful, but it's not up to the Church to produce results. The results are up to God.
- The Church largely hasn't been faithful. We have indulged in poor theology and our focus has been on behavior over and against the pursuit of truth. We have promoted Therapeutic Moralistic Deism instead of the Gospel.
- The Church has been increasingly faithful in some quarters. The fruits of the unfaithful quarters have resulted in rebellion against the fruit of the faithful quarters.
- This means that there has been a schism in the Church as what is dead becomes repugnant to what is alive and what is dead is naturally poisonous to what is alive.
- This means that what is dead will blame what is alive for the schism. I'll gladly plead guilty to that. We have all left God. If returning to him means being separated in some significant way from what we once were, then I'll take that charge as a good thing, giving glory to God, while impelling my accusers to join me.
- We have been lulled into being a relatively dead and ineffective church by our own prosperity. The blessings of God have become a curse. The fault is our own as we have not stewarded his blessings according to his wishes. Rather, we have been lulled to sleep by the comfort we have been afforded only to awaken at this late hour bloated and obese, unable to respond quickly as though to a house burning around us, our blessings aflame. Should we seek to rebuild the house only to return to our slumber?
What should we then do? Dr. Doug Groothuis has some good observations to that question: