Millions of people around the world are confused about what they must do to have everlasting life. This easy to read book gives an entertaining and illustrative view of the concept of eternal life and what you must do to receive it.
Lucas Kitchen is an American author of both Christian fiction and non-fiction. He has written over twenty books. His book Naked Grace was an Amazon bestseller in 2020, and For The Sake Of The King was as well in 2021.
What I discovered in my research seems likely connected to a phenomenon that you've probably spotted. If you've been a churchgoer for any length of time, you will have noticed that there are fewer shoes under pews as of late. Sure, some churches are growing in number, but the broader picture reveals that church attendance as an American pastime is dwindling.
It is no secret that massive numbers of people are leaving the church, but what is hotly debated is why it's happening. There are many reasons given for this phenomenon. Some say that the church is full of hypocrites, but that's nothing new. It always has been. When someone says the church is full of hypocrites, I often reply, "I know. It's the only place that will accept us." It gets a laugh and makes the point that of course church should be full of the world's reprobates. We're in church, hopefully, because we want to grow out of our immaturity. There are dozens of other reasons people give for leaving the church.
However, one reason for the exodus is strangely absent from the debate, a concept that seems to be more important than all the rest. A piece of recent Pew research gives some clarity on the leading reason people are staying out of churches. The study has shown that a majority of people who do not (or no longer) affiliate with church cite a single reason for skipping. Unaffiliated individuals don't primarily stay away because of issues of policy, personality, or irrelevancy. It's not even the adage that "Christians are hypocrites,” According to Pew the chief reason people are staying home on Sunday is because they question the teaching.1
They question the teaching. Let that sink in for a moment. People avoid church primarily because they don't believe, or agree with what they hear. It's not a people or policy problem; it's primarily a message problem. The church’s message is too often confusing, frustrating, or contradictory. Thus, thousands of people are abandoning the institution altogether.
On Mondays I meet with a group of men who are feeling this exact emotion. They've opted to stay in the church because they have young kids. They question the teaching, but they don't feel comfortable airing those questions at church. They don't feel as if their Sunday school class could handle their doubts and inquiries. So they don't question. They just allow the frustration to build. This is happening all over the country and has happened throughout the world as well.
Another kind of message-related angst exists as well. Imagine that you go to only one church for your entire childhood. You've been taught the fundamentals of the faith. When you move away from home, you start looking for a church in your new town. You're appalled to find the fundamentals you were taught are what another church calls heresy. You try another congregation only to discover that church has an entirely different set of essentials from the first two. The fact that some of the most fundamental Christian tenants are not transferable from one congregation to another frustrates people's desire to attend.
We have a mess on our hands. Are you ready to do something about it? You can be part of the solution. I’ll tell you how.
1 Alper, Becka. “Why America’s ‘Nones’ Don’t Identify With a Religion.” (2018): https://pewrsr.ch/2LVhDls (accessed January 24, 2019).