For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
A new Pew Survey has come out showing why people are leaving or switching religions. Personally I believe the answer can be found in the above scripture 2 Timothy 1:7. I believe Paul is describing characteristics of God’s Spirit. He does not come out and say this is God’s Spirit, but His Spirit works in power, love and a sound mind.
Now, I am sure you are asking, “What does that have to do with people leaving the church?” First, let me give you Jesus’ example of how He conducted “church” while He was here on Earth.
There are many examples but Matthew 4:23-24 gives us a great picture of how Jesus ran His “ministry/services”.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.
Let’s look at what is going on, Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit and as 2 Timothy states, He operated in power, love and a sound mind. Jesus taught (sound mind), He preached the gospel (love of God), and He healed them (power).
I believe what is missing in each individual church is different, but the overall root cause is a lack of balance of the three mentioned characteristics of the Holy Spirit. Some concentrate on the power, (Read Charismatics) while others concentrate on love (Methodists come to mind) and some, a sound mind (Calvinists are the first that hit my radar) All groups are partially correct but none are giving the complete picture.
Jesus was perfect, we are told to imitate Him in our daily life. Why, when we do not imitate what He did in His ministry, do we expect the same results Jesus had? I know this is an over-simplification but I believe people are looking at the symptoms instead of trying to find the cure.
I have written in the past on how many churches lack power, I truly believe if you get blind eyes to open, deaf ears to unstop and while you are at it, raise a few dead, you will have all the revival you can handle. The vast majority of the body of Christ is not even attempting to walk in the power Jesus demonstrated while He was here. I think that is sad, because many in the body of Christ are hurting and going to the world system instead of the Bible to find their answers.
Another factor for people leaving is, some of the people that are believing for miracles are just plain strange (acting) and hard to be around,(That is either lacking love, a sound mind or both) while others spend the majority of their time using their mind to prove and argue someone into Heaven.
The church needs a balance of all three character traits of the Holy Spirit if it is to destroy the works of Satan. Balance power, with love and a sound mind and I believe you have a model that easily destroys the works of the devil and brings unity to the body. The fame of the church grows and people come back to be healed, loved and set free.
My motivation for writing this was not to pick a fight, but to give my observation and opinion on what is going on in the body of Christ. I do not have it all figured out but I am part of this body and if part of the body is hurting we all suffer.
Unity is the key, we need to quit trying to destroy each other, but instead, understand there are going to be differences in the body (this is normal). Satan is the divider and currently, he is doing a better job of dividing the body than believers are doing restoring unity and fellowship to the body.
Here’s a thought; let’s decide to quit fighting each other and start destroying the works of the devil. Just a thought