Thankfully, the Christian church acts as salt and light throughout the world but it could be more effective.
Congregationally: failure to encourage the body of Christ in Christian fellowship, failure to warn against personal and collective backsliding by the failure to teach self-examination and the failure to labour towards the restoration of the backslidden Gal 4:19, abandoning its soldiers in the field.
Individually: ignoring the brethren and one’s neighbour. The failure to share one’s experience of communion with God through Jesus Christ Eph 4:20. “People don’t like being preached at” – they do not like being corrected. The Christian message from its Founder Jesus Christ is about the need to be born again Jn 3:7 and to improve throughout life Jn 17:17. We are not ‘the finished article’. The godly are ‘work in progress’. We all need a better nature and character than the one with which we were born. We need God’s Spirit. This is best attained by exegetical preaching, the absence of which is the reason why national churches are failing the nations. Biblical exegesis and its preaching is foundational to all Christian theology and practice.
28 Jul 2018: funerals often fail to get across the Gospel.
15 Apr 2021: I did not need to wait long after publishing this post for an example of ecclesiastical failure. Political lobbying is a newsworthy topic so Sam Wells of the Church of England, on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day today, referred to Zebedee’s wife lobbying Jesus. When Jesus resisted the request that her two children might sit on Jesus’ right and left hand in His kingdom, Wells’ conclusion was: “There is no inner ring in the kingdom of God”. What useless exegesis! served up on the BBC’s airwaves. 1. Jesus Himself contradicts this thought in the same event when He said: “to sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father”. So much for ‘no inner ring’ and Wells’ exegesis. 2. Jesus took Peter, James and John as ‘an inner ring’ with Him to witness His transfiguration, as well as in the garden of Gethsemane. 3. Indeed, His twelve disciples were an ‘inner ring’. I am sorry for a nation that cannot discern the weasel interpretation put upon Scripture by officialdom. During His time on Earth, Jesus spent much of His teaching in correcting officialdom. Wells’ application was a politically correct message that would be well-received by his biblically illiterate audience, but Jesus’ message was quite different. Let people read the Bible for themselves.
17 Apr 2021: the week is not out since I posted this blogpost and there is a notable example of Church of England failure at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh today. Did anyone hear the Gospel mentioned, far less preached? Rather, the toned-down ‘simplicity’ of the occasion was extolled by Huw Edwards of the BBC. The Church of England continues to fail the nations.
19 Apr 2021: 13.6 million UK viewers watched the Duke’s funeral on television – what a lost opportunity to help so many people, to say nothing of the millions of viewers around the world. The last major event at Windsor Castle had the world’s press buzzing about the preacher and his message, but he was flown in from the episcopal church in America for the occasion. He was not from the Church of England.