WOW! New World Disorder?
by Rev. Dennis Hartman
I remember being called of God to the ministry at a very young age at conversion. That being at Camp Penn, near Mt. Alto PA. It was under the preaching of a man named Rev. Gaultwald. He was a mighty fine Evangelical United Brethren pastor. He understood that one needed to repent in order to believe properly. He understood, that true salvation did not depend on emotion though that could be part of the outcome. Conversion depended on the Grace of God by Faith. This event happened in a world of order compared to now.
Today we are told that we live in the Postmodern era. Whatever that means. Go ahead and research that word. It is defined in so many ways as to mean whatever we make it out to mean. For myself it simply means that we have lost our way. TOTALLY! We are guided by no fundamental set of moral values. If guided by any value system it is that which put's one's self in the center of all that goes on. One of esteeming self above all things. Recently, I heard one person express it this way. "Me first." This era also includes the idea of feelings and touchiness- all about how "I" feel, and totally disconnected from any fact that may suggest a different outcome which may prove what one feels about something may very well be very wrong.
This morning I was introduced to still more new terminology. I discovered that I am a "digital immigrant." That is, I was born in the pre cell phone/computer age. My children are "digital natives" because they were born during the rise of the cell phones. All of these things seem so crazy.
We send people to the moon and into space regularly. Our communication systems allow us to contact people and friends in a heart beat on the other side of the world. We can go to the web and send pictures of our families across the nation to friends. Our homes have heating and air conditioning which is almost a universal thing here in America. Recently a socialist leader in Australia said we need a new world order to help in this silly financial crises. A socialist, mind you, is one who always cast himself above the common people as knowing it all. One who poohs the conservatives with a know-it-all attitude. A socialist is one who dares claim more compassion for the needy and poor then Jesus had. It is crazy to hear such a politician, whom the voters elected to do a job, who no doubt ran on a "superior" platform, admit he can't do the job which is crazy!
Who is to blame for this? Who is to blame for socialism which is nigh to communism taking over of America in this last election? Who do we blame for all this crazy world disorder? Well, we can place blame where we want, I am certain. However, as a pastor, the blame needs to be placed square on the Church. The church was too interested in becoming relevant and worried about what the world thought of it! This concept is best said in a poem posted here on IMARC. "THE CHURCH WALKING WITH THE WORLD"
Evangelical Christians tried to so hard to do something that only God could do. That is, to make the church grow. In Acts 2:47 it says, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." But the church decided, years ago, that it needed to help God in this noble project.
For example, in my early ministry, Churches went from having an occasional concert in simple ways to "productions." All this complete with, lights, make up, stage, actors, singers, directors, bands of all sorts, and canned programs. Today, this includes big screen Tv's, cameras, computers, and super expensive sound systems. What ever happened to the calling of prevenient grace?
The modern church is into "worship" which is the new age formalism that lasts an hour or two hours with singing, waving of hands, and even "holy" dancing. It could be said that it is hands on worship. Worship has become a time to get "pumped for Jesus." Hence, Sunday Schools are slowly disappearing, and basic training for the young amount to learning how to "lead" in music during a worship service. The pastors message, while sounding basically Biblical, lacks in the standard of holy living, teaching personal Christian character, and moral Christian belief. It has become the worship of "how I feel about Jesus." Or "man did I get a charge out of it." Sadly, the results in contemporary data show no moral difference between modern Church members and the world. That is crazy. There is no liberation of sin any more in the Church. Christ can no longer break the power of sin. We are doomed.
The Bible says that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12. The church is dying a slow death in that it is doing what seems to be right in its own eyes to save people. To bring people into the Church. To keep their young people interested in religion. But it is not working. It is not working! Our churches now resemble entertainment centers.
Many of the leaders of the Postmodern Church are not interested in holy living. Much less in prayer. The number count is the order of the day and is the proof of a successful "God blessed" ministry. Yet, we find the principle taught in the Bible that God counts success as one committed Christian at a time. Success is the number of people who keep themselves clean from the world and follows Him alone! Those who embrace living a holy Gospel in front of their children and their neighbors are growing fewer by the day. It is those who realize that there is no excuse for sin in their lives. One cannot help to read apostle the Paul and come away feeling that there is nothing in this old world worthwhile protecting or living for. It is for Christ alone.
We live in the New World Disorder! Therefore, we live in a time when the Church needs to do some real soul searching. We need to clean up our acts. Worship is not the key to holy living and faithfully following Christ. True worship is a result of the latter two which comes because He first loved us.
As a Digital Immigrant Pastor, living in a so called Postmodern world, I call to my fellow Methodist pastors to repent of their carnality in worship. I must lift up my voice against the lack of a true personal relationships with Christ among our members. Many of them have no assurance that they are the children of God. They go from one emotional high to the next and still suffer from the lack of victory over the most common sins. We Methodists no longer teach the "Inward Witness of the Spirit" that we can know that we are the children of God. This is not only a key doctrine in Methodism, but frankly all of Christianity. Baptism, communion, and church attendance can never replace the "Inward Witness of the Spirit." On the other hand, it is only through this concept that the latter three can find real meaning in the heart and soul of any Christian within our Churches.
Our political leaders today seem to have no value for human life, they feel that only they can bring meaningful change into society. These leaders are setting God's moral laws against themselves. They have no Biblical concept of God though many say that they too believe in prayer and even God. Sadly, most of our Church members views of God and prayers are no higher then the political high Priests of secularism. This is well below the level of former members of Methodism and many of the other Christian denominations of the not too distant past.
Christianity is not a do your own thing for Jesus religion! The time has come for us to repent, and pray, pray, pray. Nothing else modern will do. We live in a New World Disorder. Only God can bring order out of this man made anarchy. To do this though, we must do it God's way and not "my way."
Pastor Hartman has been in the ministry for thirty seven years. He graduated from the Institute of Christian Service of Bob Jones University. He also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Columbus State University and did post grad work at the same school. He has taught in the public school system for fifteen years, and is currently working with a small private academy. He has traveled once to Russia, three times to the Ukraine, twice to England in a humble effort to help the missionaries spread the Gospel of Christ. After resigning form his pastorate in 2005, he does supply work for other pastors in the community. While he is Independent Methodist, he is currently attending a neat conservative Church. If you wish to contact Pastor Hartman, please feel free to do so.