Summary: If we are going to grow we must grow with the truth and not compromise the Truth preserved for us.
Principles to Build Upon: Truth
As we begin a New Year I imagine that we all have set goals and have aspirations for the New Year. I have always had high expectations for the church. I love the church and am passionate about the church making a great impact in society. I don’t believe I alone in that. I do not believe the church was established to simply maintain a status quo or to just make it through, but the church was established as a means of transforming the world. Jesus referred to his followers as the salt of the earth and the light of the world. I believe that there are many people in the church that honestly are against the church growing. The automatically assume that in order for a church to grow they have had to compromise something. I am sure that there are many churches that have grown in number when they have compromised their doctrine, but let us not throw the baby out with the bath water. We as the church want to grow, not because we want greater numbers than the church down the road or because we are in competition or because we want more money, but because we value the souls of individuals. For too long we have been content with where we are as the church, and it is my suggestion that we begin to dream big, that we begin to expect the church to succeed and make a positive impact in society.
As Jesus closed the Sermon on the Mount, he told a little parable. He spoke of a wise man who built his house on the rock and of a foolish man who built his house on the sand. When the rains came, the streams rose and the wind beat against the house the foolish man’s house fell and the wise man’s house stood because he built on a solid foundation. If we are going to do well and succeed, if we are going to withstand the storms of life, the opposition of others, and the attacks of the Devil we must build on a strong foundation.
Just like with any building it is necessary that there be a good and a solid foundation. Over the next few weeks I want to suggest some ideas for principles that a church should build upon, which should lead to growth in number and in depth. One of those that I believe should be a principle upon which we build; a pillar of the church is truth. Many churches grow and they leave the truth out of the equation and in doing so they become a mile wide and an inch deep. I never want that to be said about the church here. I want the church to grow in ways we could never imagine, I want to reach every person in this community with the Gospel and help them to mature into strong disciples of Jesus, and I want the church to be a success, but I never want those things to the sacrifice of truth.
I believe that truth is vitally important to us. If we as the church are going to have any success it has to come by sticking to the truth and not compromising the truth. It is the truth that distinguishes us from the world and all other clubs and organizations in the world. However, we live in a world where people value truth less and less.
In the 1960s, 65 percent of Americans said they believed the Bible is true; today that figure has dropped to 32 percent. Even more dramatically, today 67 percent of all Americans deny that there’s any such thing as truth. Seventy percent say there are no moral absolutes. In a similar study by the Barna Group when just asking those aged 18-25, amazingly 72% said that there was no absolute truth.
In a world rejecting the truth, the church should stand out far above every other place as the place to find the truth. However, so many churches have simply blended in with society. They have refused to speak out against false teachings and wrong ideas permeating from our culture, they have refused to take a stand on any issued deemed politically incorrect for fear of losing their following, and we know if they lose their following they will take their wallets with them. It is a sad thing that the church has not been the beacon of truth it should be. When I go to a church I sadly find that I am shocked if that church is teaching the truth. Some people get offended if a church teaches the truth because sometimes the truth hurts. In a world which is rejecting truth more and more I believe the church needs to cling to the truth. I love Mexican food. In fact I love it so much I eat it Mexican food 2 times a week. If it wasn’t for being embarrassed by being seen there I would eat there two times a week. When I go there and look on the menu at the Mexican restaurant I see lists of a variety of Mexican foods. I have never been shocked by that. You know why? Because I expect the Mexican restaurant to serve Mexican food, I go there knowing that. I believe most people come to church expecting to hear the truth, not a watered down version of the Gospel.