In the past few years, you might have felt that you aren’t getting as much out of each sermon on Sundays. You might have even felt some of the teachings were rudimentary or childish. These are signs that your church is dumbing down Christianity.
Churches are starting to offer only emotional, feel-good theology which will only hurt Christians in the long-run. Real questions aren’t being asked, doubts aren’t being addressed and we’re only learning the basics of the faith. These practices are halting Christians that want to grow in their faith.
Changes in the Church
One of the biggest questions is why the church began to dumb down sermons at church. In the 60s, the United States was considered a Christian country. However today, less than 65 percent of Americans claim to be members of church congregations. Our world has changed drastically in the last few decades, and the church had to learn to adapt.
The traditions of the church began to change to adhere to a generation of people that missed out on the church. Many hadn’t gone into a church building for anything more than a funeral or wedding. Organized religion lost many followers, but the generation was still interested in spirituality. The church realized it had to come up with new ways to minister. They began to dumb down their sermons – going back to the very basics of Christianity – in order to make it more relevant for this growing group.
Problem of Dumbing Down the Word of God
Due to these changes in the church, we have replaced rich theology with emotional music and reminders that “God loves everyone.” This is great for bringing in outsiders through the doors. However it is poor at growing believers into mature witnesses with a deep understanding of God. If you ask most Christians today any theological questions about the Bible, you are bound to get a response that suggests such discussions are only meant for pastors or church leadership. It’s now become accepted that there isn’t much else you need to know except that God loves you.
If you dive deeper, though, the opposite will begin to prove true. The more that you learn about God, His Word and the theology of the Bible, the more you can love and worship Him. You are given that much more to adore and be amazed by. Christians have become complacent about their faith. They don’t bother to learn anymore because the church isn’t giving them avenues to seek knowledge like it used to. It’s one thing to not know much about the faith, but another to have no desire to grow. Nowadays anyone can start a church, and as long as it’s engaging and entertaining enough, people will show up. The church use to be a place where believers could come to learn robust doctrine and theology.
Just as a marriage cannot be sustained by the tumble of infatuation, a life of faith cannot be sustained by passionate emotion. Yes, it may be a wonderful (and necessary) entryway, but without depth of knowledge and understanding, it will be “blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).
There is Only Focus on the Church, Not the Faith
Another huge issue with the dumbing down of Christianity is church members putting focus on their pastors, church leadership and the church itself over their faith in God. Their lives become revolved around the church, church activities, camp meetings, conferences and Bible study groups. While these things can be great, the majority of Christians are putting in effort to the church and not to Jesus Christ.
For example, their vocabulary becomes about “church” and “my pastor” rather than about Jesus Christ. They believe it is bad to question the teachings and practices of their church; they never research issues for themselves, and let the pastors interpret the Bible for them. They don’t take the time to study the Word of God for their own spiritual growth. Why should they, though? The church, dumbing down the faith so much, is not encouraging the members to grow.
Dumbing down Christianity is causing Christians to be unable to grow in their faith. While it’s great to help welcome in new members that might not know anything about the faith, it is not helping to create deep relationships with Jesus Christ.