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YIKES! DRY ROT?

When Dry Rot is detected in houses or other buildings, there is serious concern and action taken to solve that problem. Dry Rot is a fungal infection that invades wooden beams and other supporting structures, causing the infected wood to literally turn to powder over time, exposing the building to destruction. Detected early, the infected wood can be replaced to save the structure.

But, what is even more serious and damaging is Spiritual Dry Rot! It can be experienced in individuals, families, churches, organizations, governments, nations, etc. Did I leave any place out? If spiritual dry rot is not conquered, it becomes more pronounced and dangerous.

Not long ago, George Barna did an extensive research study with alarming results. Mr. Barna is a leading expert in church and worldview trends. He specializes in researching Americans' religious beliefs and behaviors over the last few decades. He's conducted numerous studies, written books and been interviewed too many times to count. Mr. Barna has weighed in on some of the biggest issues facing the church (God's people, followers of Jesus) today. He has documented the steady decrease in a biblical worldview. Worldview is defined as a collection of attitudes, values and expectations about the world we live in, which inform our every thought and action. He has also documented that there is a dwindling concern in America for spiritual formation and growth - a time of "Christian invisibility in our culture." He states: "People have become more selfish and self-centered, churches have become less influential, and pastors have become less Bible-centric." This is all symtomatic of spiritual dry rot. Barna argues that most Americans are deeply confused about spiritual matters. But shockingly, he found that born-again Christians are almost as confused as the rest of the public.

Barna reports the following: of those classified as born-again believers, 75% believe the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves; 25% believe that Jesus committed sins while on earth; and over 60% believe that the Holy Spirit and satan are non-living entities, and regard them as simply symbols. This is tragic, but there is more, Nearly 50% believe that Jesus was not physically resurrected and over 40% believe all religions teach the same basic truths. I remind you that these are people Barna identifies as "born-again." Over 80% admit they rarely read the Bible, pray or attend church. 90% confess that family devotions are a thing of the past. As Barna puts it, "the Church (born again people) is rotting from the inside out, crippled by a non-biblical theology".

Well, we may ask, with moral relativism (what I think is right, is right) running rampant in the church, how can we expect Christians to have any impact on our culture? The answer is: we can't until we straighten out our own house. We have to start by returning to our core Christian beliefs based squarely on the Bible and consistent prayer. We then need to get serious about Christian teaching, training and discipleship, beginning in our families and moving into the Body of Christ - the Church. We must understand and act on the disciplines of Christian faith, holiness, accountability, biblical knowledge and application, theological purity, and humble confession of sin.

This is serious spiritual business and it is not easy! Barna identifies three steps for restoring theological purity. First, we must admit that we're in a state of spiritual anarchy. Let's get honest with ourselves. Too many, who call themselves Christians, pick and choose what they want to believe. That has to change! Second, we must understand that turning churches (the people of God) around will take concerted effort over a long period of time. So, we need long-term strategies undergirded by earnest, repentant prayer, with pastors and lay governing boards agreeing to get spiritually tough and to actually prepare people for the spiritual battle, needed for these end times we live in! Pastors need to preach with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, boldly and authoratatively explaining the Scriptures, rather than topical preaching. Their purpose must be to preach and teach the full counsel of God rather than entertain or keep people happy. Third, we have to be accountable for our beliefs. Unless we have identifiable standards, which are found in God's Word, the Bible, we will never be able to measure our spiritual growth.

The evidence of spiritual dry rot as Barna discovered is startling to say the least, but it does not have to stay that way. Whether or not his study reflects our own experience of spiritual dry rot, it's very important that we recognize the challenges we face to spiritually grow ourselves, our families, and strengthen the people of God for the tasks ahead of us. We must all personally experience spiritual renewal and revival! We'll never see an awakening in our lives, families, church or nation until we do, let alone be faithful to the ONE we are called to worship!

"If MY (capitals are mine for emphasis) people who are called by MY Name humble themselves and pray, and seek MY Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14) This is the cure for spiritual dry rot!

Some present day Christian leaders are emphasizing the absolute need for Americans to repent, turn to God, confess sin and wickedness and ask God for spiritual renewal and revival. Among these are: Rev. Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Dr. Tony Evans, Greg Laurie, Henry Blackaby, and Jonathan Cahn. Jonathan Cahn is a Messianic Jew, from the line of Aaron, pastor of the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, New Jersey. He and the other leaders named above emphasize that America can only survive because of spiritual revival. Cahn says: "Unless there is revival, America is doomed." I personally can't agree more; I am a firm believer!

The home is the citadel for conquering spiritual dry rot. Led by the parent(s), the family is a refuge and shelter from spiritual danger and is the training base for spiritual growth and integrity. "Fathers, do not provoke your childrren to anger, but raise them in the training, discipline, the counsel and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)

I have written this blog to expose Spiritual Dry Rot, a state of compromise and non-biblical values, beliefs and behaviors to be avoided at all cost! We are called by God to be holy, spiritually alive, being "unspotted in a crooked and perverse world." (See Philippians 2:15-16) ".. . .for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1 SPIRITUAL DRY ROT, LET IT NOT ONCE BE NAMED AMONG US!


Note: I made reference in this blog to Jonathan Cahn. I again want to recommend his books to you, if you want to be amazed, enlightened and literally "blown away". Read: The Harbinger I and 2: The Return of the gods; The Josiah Manifesto. You won't be sorry, I promise!!!

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God has blessed me with a long and fruitful ministry! I have over 40 years in pastoral ministry, retreat speaking, Evangelism, teaching and Christian Radio broadcasting.

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