Many Christians in America see Christianity as opposed to toleration. Actually, modern toleration comes from something written by John Locke called a Letter Considering Toleration and he gave a very Biblical argument for toleration. John Locke was trying to persuade Christians to tolerate those of different Christian denominations because trying to convert someone by force is not effective. This is because in Christianity someone must truly believe and follow Christ of their own free will in order to be saved.
This idea of allowing someone to choose something, even if you disagree with them is a sign of maturity and is generally respected in what many call a free country. If you do not have toleration of religion, then how do you have free religion? And if people are verbally fighting each other over religion this is both ineffective in spreading the Gospel and conversion is not achieved. To win an argument does not convince people to believe you and give up their beliefs. This whole approach of debating religion just gets people angry.
God saying you should do something means something, but a person saying you should do something that you do not know and respect accomplishes nothing. It boils down to an American obsession with transferring the ideas of selling things to the concept of conversion. Let me get to the point - God will give people the time necessary to decide on where they will spend eternity. If people do not like the people in the Church, they may very well choose to spend eternity somewhere else.
This rushing around to get everyone’s money or everyones attention to do everything in mass is a very negative concept. People that change their views quickly and easily are very likely to never commit to any one idea. Christ and Paul writing about His ideas talked over and over again about not being lukewarm.
We want people to make a very major change in their life and commit to it for their entire life. We need to give them some time and space. Think of it like a marriage - what kind of counselor would recommend people get married who have not spent time together?
This is deeper problem with the Church in America. Preparing people for debate by training them to argue both sides of the argument just makes legal fees higher and does nothing to help find the truth. Trying to transfer ways of working in the world to spiritual things does not bring success in winning souls for Christ.
God is not limited by anything other than what He chooses to limit Himself by. This almost always directly correlates to human will. Unfortunately God also allows us to rule ourselves as we are unwilling to let Him rule us.
We have to let this all be led by God and opportunities He provides or blocks. We need not use statistics or raise lots of money. God already knows and has all that.
Even with that knowledge and that power it is ineffective because it doesn’t convince people to love someone. And the more you use the same thing for both God and money, it ties together the ideas of God and money. You can’t fool all the people all the time when you are so obvious about it.
If you use business idea, you will end up with a business. If you try to make money, you will end up a business. If you advertise, you turn into a business. The means determine the ends.
People are tied of ads because they are everywhere and they are very subtle. People can now spot an ad a mile away because they are so prevalent. People are now saturated with knowledge. Providing arguments no longer convinces anyone of anything (and likely never did), because they can see people are tricking them. They no longer trust groups of anything.
The Church in America can and will grow but Americans are now going through another existential crisis and this is the one with who we are as a country. I think most will agree now we are just an accidental blip in world history due to a war between England and France both ended up losing. It shows how effective being somewhere gets you the rights to live there.
Most people in America have not taken sides in most conflicts and have instead tried to go the frontier to start over again. One of the reasons I think drugs took off when they did because people couldn’t escape the conflict so they decided to just drop out of society. And this criticizing of others morality is just toxic because we have different ideas of what it moral but we also are both flat out obviously wrong on so many areas.
People are tired of the arguments, the wars, the memberships, the politics, and the money. Stop associating God with these things and let God be the God people want. It is telling so many people respect Jesus Christ but not the Church. Sure they don’t understand or believe everything about Him correctly, but the Church does not either.
If you want to change someone’s mind, be willing to change your mind as well. If you want people to act genuine, then it is a good idea to treat them as individuals. The Church of the future will be won one person at time.
This is a lesson about numbers. Have we not learned that God can multiply people easily? In Africa very few people who were exposed to the Gospel converted but they in turn converted millions and the Church is probably strongest in Africa now. Just in my lifetime communism has been throughly defeated and we have moved on to several other conflicts in the meantime. Nothing every changes until it does and then something major happens.
For people who claim to have so much faith, why is going to prayer the last option that so many in the Church employ? It is hard to accept because I do think the Church has great faith even in America. It is like the disciples of Jesus that cannot connect the dots. The world will always be perplexing and constant threat if we can’t learn how it works.
America has made the world one system and one empire effectively. We have won and made the world in our image. If you don’t like the way the world is going, look in the mirror.
We are still feeling the fallout of World War 2 and what we did to win it. We copied NAZI technology, ideas, and culture so that we would never again have to use people instead of technology to win wars. Winning one war always sets us up for another. When will we ever learn?