By Jeff Smith
Special to The PREVIEW
Evangelical Christian churches believe getting sinners saved is the main goal of our faith. This is a good thing, but they sometimes miss the lesser, more peripheral goal of just doing good whether someone gets saved or not.
“ … seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” — Jeremiah 29:7 (NIV).
Some have despaired the end of the Billy Graham-like crusades of two to three decades ago, and the rise of the mega church with its “soft,” “shallow” gospel.
Graham called people to make a clear choice for Christ and this is about as Bible as you can get. Not all chose Christ, though, or stuck with it when they did.
Large churches that create a sense of community also have a mix of results. While they must have a core of mature, faithful people, there can also be an outer circle of the not-so-faithful, the newbies and the ones who just want to hang around because they need to get away from their drinking buddies for a while. This isn’t wrong and it isn’t failure.
This whole thing is a little like fishing. Somebody famous once said something about that. The fish were biting at a certain bait decades ago, and now what attracts them has changed. Sin tears people apart. The gospel helps people reconnect. It teaches us to forgive, tell the truth, do right, be honest, keep your promises and lead a better life. People might come to a modern church just for that reason. Plus, the music is good.
While they are sitting there they will hear the truth of their salvation.
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