How the American Church Is Losing Its Way

Contributing Writer
How the American Church Is Losing Its Way

As I sit to write this article, I must admit my heart is heavy. Over the last few weeks, I have looked at the general state of the church in America. Since America is my home country, and it is where I go to church, it is the one arena I feel I can speak confidently about.

I am not saying God does not provide for his children, because he does. But please don’t tell me Jesus went to the cross so you can have a bigger house, drive a fancier car, or get a promotion at your job. These are not the things Jesus died for. Yet in many churches across our country, we measure the success of your salvation by how many things you have accumulated. Again, we are saying you can be in Christ and have the same things the world has. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying having these things is wrong. I am telling you not to assume that these things are the proof or evidence that God is pleased with your life or lifestyle.

Attaching salvation to material blessings is a problem because they are temporary and can be lost at any moment. If you are not finding your satisfaction and completeness in Christ, then you will rejoice when you have a lot and grumble when you don’t. Salvation is not a means to get what you want, but it is the open door for you to do what God wants. The moment you get saved, you can now become a full participant in God’s plan for this earth. That may produce material blessings, or it may not, but either way, it doesn’t matter. The prize of salvation is Jesus and everything else is way down the list.

Another thing I want to highlight is how we treat God’s word. We have added selective morality to God’s word. When his word aligns with how we want to live, then we will follow it. When his word disagrees or even condemns how we live, then we ignore it and find ways to justify our actions.

We don’t just do this for our own lives, but for those around us as well. We throw stones and judgment at those we don’t like who we feel violate God’s commands. However, for those we do like who do the same thing, we find an excuse for their behavior. This is selective morality and is just another form of hypocrisy. If we are going to follow God’s word, then we must apply the same standard across the board. When we don’t do this, then God’s word is nothing more than a friendly suggestion.

When his word ends up in that category, then it is no longer the foundation of your life. If you are only going to turn to God’s word when it is convenient for you, then you might as well not turn to it at all.

The last thing I want to mention has to do with what or whom we choose to worship. One aspect of worship is it reflects the affections of your heart. What is it you desire more than anything else?

We are living in a time where people want Christ with no sacrifice attached. They also want what they want. There is no call to holiness or repentance in many churches, so people simply believe they can live any lifestyle they want and still serve God. They attempt to conform God into the life they want to live instead of conforming their life into the life God wants them to live. When we do this, then we worship created things over the creator. 

Despite all these things I remain hopeful because God has promised in these last days he would pour out his Spirit on all mankind. God still desires to do that and if we would focus our hearts on the things he wants, we would see the Holy Spirit move like we have not seen in a long time.

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Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit