The Barna Research Group just came out with an interesting article on the changing priorities of Americans. Four years ago, Americans claimed that family was the primary concern in their life, followed by their faith. Today, family has taken a 6% drop and faith has dropped from 2nd place to 4th!
Clearly, the fallen (failing) economy has a hand in this, but what of the church?
How much of the responsibility lies on the Church’s failure to present hope – not just hope that things will get better – but the hope in Jesus Christ? The economic struggles have led Americans to prioritize health, leisure, and wealth above their faith. And while my first response was to get irritated at the earthly trappings that captivate so many of us, I came to a place of frustration.
Due to the economic struggles of the past 2-3 years, many churches have taken to teaching more on the trappings of debt and the necessity to budgeting rather than confronting the sins of greed, gluttony, and idolatry that have put us in that position. Any hope placed in a budget can be destroyed when the budget is overspent. Any hope placed in diminishing debt is taken away as soon as the same patterns of gluttony take back over.
The only hope is Christ Jesus. The only hope we have is found in the righteousness given to us through his work on the cross. The only hope we have is in laboring in the power of the Holy Spirit to eradicate the sin that shackles us – in every way, not just financially.
It’s all connected. Get your priorities straight.
And if you’re in the Wichita area, come hear what we’re talking about this Sunday at 10:30 am.