The problem with the North American culture is that we have too much money. Or more accurately worded, we are financially blest by God perhaps more than any other culture, but our money controls us. Historically, Africa and Asia were regarded a “the mission field”. Now it seems, the Africans and Asians are regarding us as the mission field! Why? Our money has kept us from God!
It is difficult to preach the gospel in Canada and the U.S. because people regard themselves so financially secure that “who needs God” is the prevailing attitude. I find it interesting that when an evangelist like Rienhardt Bonke holds a crusade in Africa, the salvation response is much higher than the response would be in North America. Africans do not have the material wealth to block their views about God. Here in our culture, we often don’t cry out to God until we are in a mess; whether it be financial or otherwise. Jesus said it was easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle that to enter the Kingdom of God. (Luke 18:18) That does not mean that rich people cannot enter the Kingdom. Jesus used this Jewish parable to make a point. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) What things? The previous three verses refer to our concern about being fed and clothed. Jesus is simply saying, don’t worry about material things, God will provide. Seek the Kingdom first.
I have noticed over the years that churches generally have certain financial demographics to their congregations. Today’s church consists of the middle to lower income segment of society. Why? Several reasons:
- A rich man doesn’t need God; or at least he thinks so. When a person has the standard, “house with a white picket fence, 2.4 kids and a condo in Hawaii,” they don’t need God. His own self-sufficiency is blinding to him.
- He finds the church to be boring, uneventful, not needed and, only after his money. I agree that is the case with many churches! However, obviously the rich man is wrong, but what does that say about how we hold a church service?
- Many rich people are what society considers to be “successful.” They look at the church and say, “what’s in it for me?” – and they don’t see it. This is where we Christians have “dropped the ball.” We are to be blest in every way. If we were, the heathens would look at us and say, “what have they got that we don’t have? (God) However, when Christians are demographically the middle to lower end of the wealth scale, (the opposite of where they are supposed to be) and their divorce rate is the same as the secular world, and when their kids are taking illegal drugs, and they don’t get healed and die of cancer, then the heathens say, “I would be no better off being a Christian”. So, the gospel is not reachable to a segment of society because the Christians have set a poor example in their witness and testimony.
It is for the above reason that I find the church to be so unsuccessful in their goal of preaching the gospel and fulfilling the great commission of making disciples of all men. We set a poor example then wonder why the self-sufficient heathens are blinded and why we can’t reach them! Jesus said that eyes of the world are blind, yes they are but it is our job to help them to see. Their self-sufficiency blinds them and even a scripture like “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but looses his own soul” is unable to reach the hearts of the blind self-sufficient non-Christian.
How has the North American money culture changed you from what the bible says?