Fully 50% of self-identified evangelicals say they do not plan to attend services this Sunday! What does that say?
It says that fully 50% of self-identified evangelicals have no idea what it means to be a Christian! Christians don't miss worship, unless it is unavoidable. Christians know they need corporate worship. Christians know they are need of corporate worship, as well as other meetings of the church.
What we see are church-goers who go to church when it's convenient, easy, or they don't have anything else to do! Many self-identified evangelicals will use Easter to spend time with unsaved family, believing they are doing a good thing. Those family members aren't interested in Church or God and a large percentage of those who say they are will reinforce the idea that none of it is important, by skipping Church and spending the time entertaining themselves.
Legalistic? Not at all! Easter is the highlight of the Christian Calendar! If you can't get to church on Easter, you are ill, contagious, have to work, traveling on an unavoidable journey, in the hospital or home-bound. In communist countries and moslem countries, throughout the world, Christians will brave horrible deaths to get to church on any Sunday. Americans can take it or leave it!
What's so special about Church? You mean, other than it's where God's people gather to worship their God? Or, where we minister our spiritual gifts, one with another, in order to build one another up and further our growth in Christ? Or, where we meet to pray and to testify before a dying world of that which is supremely important?
It's a topsy-turvy world where the good "guys" bow to the rest, forsaking the one meeting a week that really means something, in order to satisfy the fleshly desires of the unsaved, and call it ministry. Ministry to the unsaved is sharing the gospel with them; living a godly life before them; demonstrating that God is The Most Important Person in your life; showing them what it means to be a Christian.
There are exceptions: wives of unsaved husbands, children of unsaved parents and the like. But they are exceptions, not The Rule. If you talk with these folks they will tell you how much they'd rather be in church than at the beach or a park or a family party.
On the Bible Forum, this week, we're going to talk about the wiles of the devil. Just what does he do to win people over to his side? The answers are few. Not because he lacks imagination but because it doesn't take much and he's been at it for 6000 years, refining his craft.
A large percentage of self-identified evangelicals are part of the popular expressions of evangelicalism, a group largely devoid of any understand of, or instruction in, doctrine. This condition sets them up for all sorts of problems, spiritual, emotional and relational. Problems they don't see coming. Problems they don't understand as spiritual.