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The Present Status of the Church

Here is something I sent out about six or eight months ago. I really do not think that the majority of the church truly understands the seriousness of the times we are living in or our individual need for a true heart change. We are living “in the days of Noah”, just going on living as the world lives, as if there are no consequences for our daily choices. Few seem to understand eternal living. Most of us are caught up in earning a living and that is what consumes most of our time yet Jesus said, do not worry about what you are going to eat and what you are going to wear because that is not what the Kingdom of God is all about. Seek 1st My Kingdom. There is no condemnation meant in sending this out for I recognize my own shortcomings and failures in these area’s as well but it is my sincerest intention that this helps to stir each one of us to faith in action. It is truly time to lay down our lives and pick up our cross.

Subject: THE PRESENT STATUS OF SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE IN THE CHURCH
        Here is a few paragraphs from Jeanne Guyon’s book, “Experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ”. Jeanne did not write this. This is an observation from the publisher of some her books. If you do not have any of Jeanne’s books, we highly recommend that you get them and study them diligently to learn what true surrender is all about.
   There is not one single problem that any of us face today that will not be solved through dying to self, surrendering our whole being to Him and getting rid of all ungodly self-love. This cannot happen through any sort of intellectual Christianity, dogma’s , creeds, religion or through our own human strength. It can only happen as we yield ourselves in total and utter abandonment to Holy Spirit.
  Our hearts cry out, ” break me wide-open!!!!!” for the sin of self, the lost and for status quo church, a church with a form of godliness but who denies His power!
Love Mark and Cathy
   Since the end of the first century, no century has excelled in spiritual depth. In fact, most centuries since have been very shallow indeed with only a handful of gloriously shining lights —— usually no more than a few dozen men and women —— to illuminate the darkness.
  This era, the one you and I live in, has proven to be, unquestionably, the most Bible centered age since the days of Pharisees; it also rivals their age for being one of the least in emphasizing spiritual depth! (And men today get just as disturbed as men of that former age did, when someone points out that fact!)
  Nor is that the only record our age has set. We are setting a whole raft of records. For instance, until today, the 1500s have generally held the trophy for being the most financially corrupt age in church history. That was the day you could, for cash, have your sins erased right out of God’s ledgers. We don’t do that, but with our mass mailings, business reply envelopes, four color brochures, foundations, professional fund raising campaigns, “living by faith”, tax except status, and sermons on stewardship, by the time he is 35 years old, many ministers of the gospel have become some of the best promoters and fund raisers around.
  The same can said for intellectualism. The 1700s have usually been considered the high water mark of intellectualism in the Christian faith, but today more men walk the earth with doctorates in theology than in any other age. Unsatisfied with the spiritual depth this intellectual climate has produced, these men cry out that the solution is more, better, and higher Christian education. This is an age of endless reams of books and papers on endless varieties of subjects, an age that produces men who deliver mind-boggling lectures on the doctrine of prayer yet know little of its deeper experience. This age has generally, never, know Christ in a deep way. Sophisticated, disdainful, sterile and passionless, we have wrenched from the hands of the 1700s the trophy for the most intellectual age in church history.
  The era between 1100 and 1400 has generally been considered the darkest and most corrupt in church history, an age when the papacy went to the highest bidder and the church was the most powerful political and financial force on earth.
  But we live in a day when churches look like storybook castles. Servants of God today, looking back upon the first century workers idea of owning nothing throughout his whole life, might view such an ideology as cultish. They are quite unlike their fathers, the early Christians, who were the natural enemies of their community, who fought for the privilege of living their whole lives owning nothing but the clothes on their backs, and who glorified in dying as might a pauper.
  Those of us who are serving the Lord “full time” in this age should prepare ourselves as being remembered, as a whole, as being the wealthiest, most commercial, sophisticated, worldly-minded, materialistic and comfortable men in the whole history of religion.
  There is one more trophy with this age, above any other, will win ( that is unless a radical change takes place very soon.) In every era of church history there has been recorded the names of a few devout men and women whose hallmark was awesome spiritual depth and utter devotional abandonment.  There were such men even during the bleakest days the dark ages ever witnessed. In every age there have always been at least a few men who knew Him in the depths. Will our age slip by with no such testimony? From a purely historical viewpoint, we must be categorized as the most universally shallow believers ever to cross the pages of church history.
  It is my studied judgment that some future generation will deem this to be the darkest century, in the spiritual depth and spiritual experience, in church history, that is , unless something very radical happens along, soon.
   More corrupt than the dark days before Luther; more impotently intellectual than during the heyday of Calvinism; more financially perverted than the days that caused John the Baptist to explode; more intoxicated with the drive for spiritual power than any age, yet exercising that outward power with less internal transformation than anyone since King Saul; enamored with the gifts, yet hardly knowing the Giver, our age has produced the most commercial, materialistic, fad-oriented people ever to claim His name.
  Is this assessment a little too harsh? I would respond to you by pointing out one last trophy this age may win; We seem to be more totally blind to the deprivation of our spiritual depth than all other centuries lumped together.
  It is true we have built more buildings and founded more religious organizations than all the past eras combined. It is true that today’s Christianity has won more men to Christ than all other ages combined, but it is also true that those converts have set new records for the short length of time they have followed the Lord with abandoned devotion.
  If past church history is any guide, we can optimistically look for some sort of a turnaround. Spiritual depth is due for a return! I can think of no one better qualified to gain our attention, melt our hearts, and introduce us to some of the depths of Christ than the lady who penned this little book.
  May God see fit to so bless us in an age of such spiritual shallowness.

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