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Is There Hope for America?

By Buck Jacobs Founder & Chairman of the C12 Group - Is there hope for America? Can our slide down the slippery slope to godless secular humanism, greased by relativism, falsely defined tolerance, and self-centered greed be slowed and stopped? Can the impotence of the American Christian church be reversed and can we regain the moral authority and influence we once had and that Jesus Christ surely deserves? No, there is no hope and it won't happen unless...

We learn from history. If we refuse to learn from history we are indeed doomed to repeat its mistakes. We have only to look across the Atlantic ocean to the lands of our historical roots to see our future. All of Europe lies today as basically a spiritual wasteland. Yes, of course there is a spiritual remnant, there is always a remnant, and there will be a faithful remnant here. But the Church has literally no influence in society or on the citzenry. Less than 2% go to church across Europe and the nations are drifting morally and in the process of becoming "Islamized." It will happen here unless...

We change and change substantailly.I agree with Charles Colson and his conclusion drawn in his excellent book "Faith - Given Once, For All" where he says that the only hope ifor America and the world is for Christians to set aside worldliness and begin to live authentic, Christ-centered, Biblical lives. The gap between the typical evangelical life and values expressed and measured by George Barna et.al.,and what will be required to change the world is gaping and has nothing to do with how the message is presented but everything to do with how the life claiming to belong to Jesus Christ is lived and portayed to those who observe and experience it. There will be no political or economic solution for the moral rot in our nation and in all of mankind. It wouldn't matter if we had a completely Christian supreme court, legislature, and administration, as long as the culture of our churches remains one of corrpromised materialism it will leaven the rest of society. But there is hope if...

The greatest untapped resource having the potential to influence and ultimately change our national culture lies in the Christian leaders and owners of businesses in the marketplace. Americans have become calloused or almost immune to the "programs" of the churches and are not impressed with our expensive buildings and praise teams. But they are not so indifferent to personal example and the testimony in the real world where they live and work. The light shines brightest in the darkest places and in the darkest times and I suggest that the marketplace, business, where we spend most of our time and reveal our true values the most clearly, presents our greatest opportunity and hope.

I once had the pleasure of meeting Max Depree, a godly Christian man and former Chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Corporation. In the course of our introductions Mr. DePree asked me "What do you do Buck?" I answered that "I try to help Christians integrate their faith into their businesses." He paused for a moment and then said, "Buck, don't you have that just backwards? Shouldn't we be seeking to integrate our business into our faith? Isn't Jesus the center of our lives? And shouldn't we be bringing all of our lives under His rule?" It was an revelatory moment for me. Of course he nailed it. Jesus is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. We don't just add Jesus to our lives to be saved and avoid hell. When we are saved He becomes our Savior and the Lord of our life all the time and everywhere, a Lord who rules and reigns. A Lord whose Word is the final authority and whose way leads to truth and life.Honestly, how many Christians do you know who live their faith at a cost of anything? If you closely observe your pastor and the members of your congregation how would you know they were Christians and how would the difference contrast from what you might observe in moral heathen? There should be distinctive differences and they often are seen in sacrifice and service. True believers have always paid a price to belong to Jesus and the Church has never profited from attempting to be like the world or make the world comfortable in its sin.

In 2006 we surveyed our membership that had been a part of our groups for 10 years or more. We found that, not only had they outperformed a comaprable group of typical businesses selected by the Business Roundtable in top and bottom line performance by over at a three to one ratio, but in two of 16 businesses they had recorded over 250 salvations that occurred through business contacts. That is and average of 25 per year or 2 per month! If these businesses had been churches where do you think they would rate against the national average? Do you see 2 per month come to know Christ in your fellowship? Chances are about 95 to 1 you don't. In fact you are more likely not to see ANY in a year based on national statistics, But wait, these are not churches - they are businesses, a construction company and a steel distributor. And they are exceptional only by degree, they have the most but far from the only similar results, and salvations are not the only form of ministry that we see. Employees, customers, vendors, and even competitors are being discipled and placed in local Biblically based congregations across our nation. Profits are given to those in need in the Name above all names in and through these Christ-centered businesses led by Christ-centered leaders. I have observed and participated in this work for 35 years and it is real. But to see it happen requires a basic paradigm shift in the heart and mind of the leader. An eternal prespective must replace contemporary thinking influenced by the world around us, and we must recognize our true identity as Ambassadors for Christ. All of this is happening every day across our nation but will it coalesce quickly enough to make the difference and reverse the downward slide? I don't know, but I believe that we do represent the greatest and perhaps best hope for transformation and renewal we have.
Buck Jacobs is the Founder & Chairman of the C12 Group and a regular contributor to the Business as Mission Network. To learn more about the C12 Group visit www.c12group.com.

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posted by Justin Forman | 8.13.2009 - 8:03 AM


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