Is Your Church Preparing You For Trials?

There was once a time that we lived “normal” lives. We Americans could have been excused for thinking that life was all about creature comforts. Many of our churches even reflected and encouraged this in their teaching and worship. Living your “best life now” was more than a book; it was the aim of this version of Christianity.

But, then, 2020 occurred. We expected a few changes due to Covid with a relatively quick return to normalcy. (Remember “flatten the curve”?) But now it’s been nearly a year and normalcy is nowhere in sight. We are faced with ever-rising death counts. Vaccines have brought a glimmer of hope; yet, some are raising concerns about their efficacy and safety. Many have lost jobs. A multitude of small businesses have closed forever, wiping out the dreams and hard work of many. Public protests have become riots – not just in our streets but in our nation’s capital. Election results have been disputed. Public leaders have demanded one thing of the general public and acted contrary in their own private lives. Divisions within our culture have deepened. On different sides of the chasm(s) lie competing views of reality, humanity, and equality. In all of this, it is difficult to see an end in sight.

I would encourage you to pause and ask yourself, “Is my church preparing me to endure faithfully in difficult times, especially if I should face persecution for my beliefs?”

For decades, Christians and churches have fooled themselves into thinking that Christianity is about self-fulfillment (“Become a Better You”). The Apostolic Faith has been turned into therapy – “feel better about yourself” instead of “die to yourself.” Rather than receiving Christ by faith through the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments, praise bands have become high priests who are believed to mediate an experience of Christ.

But it is hard to imagine true Christians being fooled en masse by this charade any longer. If the last twelve months remind of us anything, it is that we still live in a “present evil age,” characterized by thorns & thistles, pain, and death. Of course, this has been the case since we were exiled from the Garden, but it has become especially palpable of late. A moralistic, therapeutic Christianity is impotent. Only a return to serious, biblical Christianity will empower us to endure.

Might it be time to ask yourself some questions about your church, its teaching, and its worship? Read more »

Zac Wyse, “Is Your Church Preparing You For Trials?” (Feb 9, 2021)


Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!