Church 'Seems to Be of Little Help' in Answering Real Life Problems, Says Pastor Tony Evans

Despite an increased availability of Christian media and other resources, the Church "seems to be of little help" in providing "real answers to real problems," says Pastor Tony Evans of the 11,000-member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship church in Dallas, Texas.

(Photo: Courtesy of Alli Rader)Dallas pastor, author and syndicated radio and television host Tony Evans speaks at the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's Leadership Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, March 26, 2015.

In an extended post to his more than 1 million followers on Facebook Saturday, the prominent evangelical leader lamented what he sees as the "devolution" of America as a nation and the loss of the American dream before knocking the ability of "God's Church" to provide "real answers to real problems."

"America is in serious trouble. From sea to shining sea we are witnessing the devolution of a nation. Regardless on which side of the political isle you sit, it is clear that things are unraveling at warp speed. The United States is quickly becoming the divided states as disunity and conflicts abound," Evans began.

The post, which is an excerpt from his 2015 book, America: Turning a Nation to God, pointed to issues such as the breakdown of the family, racial discord, the immigration crisis and others such as the redefinition of marriage and abortion on demand.

"We are as a nation sliding south fast," Evans emphasized.

"As people gather unofficially around the water cooler at work, or officially around government sanctioned summits, seeking to find solutions to the myriad of issues that plague us, real long term answers continue to elude us," he continued before delivering his warning bell to the Church.

"In the midst of all of this, God's Church seems to be of little help in giving real answers to real problems in spite of the proliferation of Christian literature, programing, and facilities. In fact, the Christian faith and its symbols are more marginalized than ever," he continued. "The American dream is quickly becoming the American nightmare as more and more citizens become disillusioned with the direction things seem to be going."

The Christian Post reached out to Evans Monday to elaborate on his comments about the Church's ability to provide real answers to real problems and he explained that "far too many churches have gotten ingrown."

"They, the church think it's for the church. That's not God's purpose. God's purpose is for the Church to exist for the world and for the advancement of His Kingdom," Evans said.

"And when the church becomes ingrown then it does not become effective. And what we've done is we've emphasized church membership more than we've emphasized developing people to be public visible and verbal followers of Jesus Christ, impacting the world in which they live by being salt and light in the culture," he explained.

"We are asking the culture to come to us when we should be preparing people to enter into the culture — every realm in the culture to represent the value system of Heaven in the chaos that is taking place in history, both individually and corporately," he said.

Evans told CP that he has developed a three-point plan to address this devolution.

The first step, he explains, is for the Church to gather in a "solemn assembly."

"A solemn assembly is a sacred gathering," he said.

"Whenever there is chaos in society, God's people come together in unity and invite God's manifest presence back into their midst because they recognize the chaos was not merely people doing wrong things, but the exiting of God from the culture. And so God responds first to His Church as He doesn't skip the church house to fix the White House. He will respond to His people inviting His presence back in," he emphasized.

Churches, he noted, also need to start developing disciples instead of members.

"[Churches need to] move from an emphasis on membership to discipleship, equipping our members to represent Christ in every sphere of their lives, personally, in their families and through their churches and positively through their communities."

(Photo: Screen Grab via thegathering2016.com)

The final step, he explained, involves churches impacting their community through good works.

"Churches coming together in every community across the country and doing something that benefits their community like every school being adopted by the churches or every block being adopted by the churches," Evans continued. "Providing mentoring, tutoring and family support services so that our communities are overwhelmed with the good things of the Church."

"We don't force people to accept our faith but we don't hide the fact that when we are doing it, we are doing it in the name of our faith. And if we can do that we can have a positive impact in a decaying climate," he added.

Evans said he will promote the plan at an event scheduled for Sept. 21 called The Gathering. Further details are available on a website for the event.

In the excerpt from his book, Evans suggested that the state of American society could mean that Christ's return is imminent or America is suffering "the passive wrath of God" for rejecting Him. He further argued that if America is currently suffering God's judgement there is usually an opportunity for revival.

"The more the true God of the Bible is marginalized the more chaotic things become. However, such judgment opens the door for revival when God's Church, which is often an unintentional co-conspirator in the culture's demise through its compromise with the culture, returns to Him in humility and repentance. The return of Christ is outside of our hands, but revival and its social and cultural benefits are very much in our hands," he said.

"That is why so many of us are calling for America to turn to God in hopes that He will reverse our course, and restore our union to His definition of what a nation is to be when it operates under His rule," he said.

Contact: leonardo.blair@christianpost.com; follow me on Twitter @leoblair