8. We have given lip service to the presence of the Lord in our midst and ignored Him.
The problem is our traditions, our ruts. Used to the same order of worship all the time, we find it easier to insert a few hymns here and a solo there, a prayer here and the offering there, and the sermon here, and go forward. Too bad if the Spirit has other plans for the day.
We say all the right things about the Lord being in the midst of even two or three disciples (Matthew 18:20), but for the most part, we act as though that is some kind of spiritual principle but not an actual reality.
We have raised a generation of practicing atheists.
9. We have put our continued employment above faithfulness to the living God.
The problem is our selfishness. We have to pay our bills and send our children to school. And we do. And so we allow ourselves to curb our enthusiasm for the cutting edge of the gospel lest people of affluence and influence be disturbed and take their support elsewhere.
You can understand why the Apostle Paul said it’s better for such a servant of the Lord to remain unmarried (I Corinthians 7:8ff). If they get crossways with worldly leadership in the church and find themselves jobless, it’s a lot simpler to load up the car and move on to the next town.
We have raised a generation to “keep” the preacher, almost as a lap dog. (I say to our shame.)
What is the answer? A rich relative, maybe. (another smiley face goes here) The answer is for pastors and spouses to accept when they enter the ministry that courageous leadership may well mean they will be asked to leave a church and so to be prepared for all eventualities.