THE EPISTLE OF JUDE,
THE COMPLACENCY OF THE CHURCH,
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
By Raymond C. Knopp
September 22, 2002
Jude 1-2: Salutation
Jude 3: Occasion of the letter . . .
Philippians 2:12 -14:
"Contending" for the faith
Jude 4: Occasion of the letter, continued
Jude 5-10: False teachers . . .
Rom 8:1-2, 6-8: Following "natural" instincts
Jude 11: False teachers, continued:
CAIN (Denying the blood,
BALAAM (Selling the Gospel!):
CORE (Korah - Rejection of the authority of God’s word):
Jude 12-19: False teachers, continued
Jude 20-23: Exhortations . . .
Jude 24-25: Doxology . . .
"9/11" -- HAS OUR FAITH CHANGED?
In the initial days of the Gulf War, church attendance saw a noticeable increase as many people began to question the significance of the events around them and how they might relate to their faith and the Bible. Similarly, 9-11 caused a similar stirring in the hearts of people to turn to the church to help them process the tragedies.
However, after the end of the Gulf War that attendance dropped back to normal numbers and overall saw very little increase in total numbers. A new poll this week put out by the Barna Research Group indicates that we have seen the exact same thing happen a year after 9-11.
"Immediately after the attacks, church attendance spiked for several weeks, rising to about half of the adult public attending religious services during a typical week. That attendance boon proved to be short-lived, though, as levels were back to normal by November."
While there is no doubt that 9-11 was a spiritual wake-up call for some Americans, it would seem the vast majority of people do not attribute the terrorist attacks to having any lasting impact on their religious beliefs.
"I…fully expected to see an intense spiritual reaction to the terrorist attacks," Barna president George Barna said. "The fact that we saw no lasting impact from the most significant act of war against our country on our own soil says something about the spiritual complacency* of the American public."
The lack of any lasting spiritual impact was shown in the Barna poll through both outward religious practice and actual religious belief. Religious activity levels such as church attendance, Bible reading, prayer, Sunday school and small group involvement remained virtually unchanged while the nine core beliefs that are tracked by Barna also remained unchanged.
One possible reason for these results is also revealed in the poll which indicates 41% of Christian churches have yet to address the attacks or their implications. Many churches failed to provide leadership during this crisis in a time when according to Barna, "There was a huge degree of openness to leadership during the weeks just after the attacks. None of the agents of influence seemed bent on seizing the attacks as a teaching moment or as a time to ignite deeper self-examination among Americans. For the most part, our response to the attacks has been to restore continuity and comfort as quickly as possible, without much energy devoted to moral, spiritual or emotional growth."
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