The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience by Ronald J. Sider
6.Self-centered materialism is seducing evangelicals and rapidly destroying our earlier, more generous giving. As America gets richer, evangelicals give a smaller and smaller percentage to the church.
1.In your opinion, why are Christians living just like the rest of the world?
2.Are these stats equally true in our church?
3.How do we prevent this trend?Recovery of the New Testament Church1.Jesus is the source, center and Lord of the church.
•Eph 4:12,15: so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
2.The church is called to be holy.
•Titus 2: 11-14: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hopethe glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
•Eph 5:25-27: Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
3.The church as community.
•The three most common images of the church in the New Testamentthe people of God, the family of God and the body of Christall emphasize the communal character of the church.
•Acts 2:44-45: All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
Why are Christians Living Like the Rest?:
Romans 8:5: but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires
RETURN TO MAIN
"It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick." R. Foster
1.According to 2001 George Barna statistics, 33% of born again Christians experienced divorce vs. 34% of non-Christians.
2.2001 statistics, mainline evangelical members gave only 3.17% of their income to the church.
3.2002 statistics discovered that only 6% of born again Christians tithe.
4.Since 1992, about 2.4 million young people have signed a pledge to wait until marriage to engage in sexual intimacy. According to a March 2004 research study by Yale University 88% of these pledgers admitted to breaking their promise.
5.According to Leadership magazine; the percentage of Christian men involved in pornography is not much different than that of the unsaved.
4.A countercultural community.
•2 Cor 6:17: Therefore come out from them and be separate
•Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
.•1 Peter 2:11: I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.5.Mutual accountability and availability.
•Gal 6:1: Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.
•Matthew 18:15-17: church discipline6.In the power of the Spirit.
•Romans 8:5: but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires
•Romans 8:26 the Spirit helps us in our weakness
•Gal 5:16 live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.