Church Membership, Sin, & Preaching

PT Forsyth wrote, in 1908-1909, the following words concerning Church membership in his day:

“The reports that come in are clear about the cooling of that interest as they are about the drop in membership of the churches. The decay in membership of the Church is due to a decay of membership in Christ. Our social preoccupation has entailed real damage to personal and family religion For even among those who remain in active membership of our Churches the type of religion has changed. The sense of sin can hardly be appealed to by the preacher now, and to preach grace is in many (even orthodox) quarters regarded as theological obsession, and the wrong language for the hour, while justification by faith is practically obsolete.”–The Cruciality of the Cross, 33-34 (emphasis mine)

He said this nearly 100 years ago and I cannot believe he is less relevant today. The church needs a good dose of Christ and biblical religion. We need to learn again why Christ died on the cross: It was for our sin. Too much preaching in today’s pulpits simply disregard the issue of sin in favor of preaching about ‘your purpose’ or ‘your best life now’ or the ‘believer’s voice of victory’ or ‘sowing your financial seed’ or some such other nonsense. Notice how it’s all about what is ‘yours’? Why is it there are no preachers, at least at the popular television, megachurch level, reminding people also of ‘your’ sin? But do we make light of God’s grace when we never broach the subject of sin? So many know so much about so much; too few know about the price Christ paid for our sins.


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