I wanted to share with our church family portions of a letter that I received from Bro. Virl Stalnaker of Vancouver, WA. Bro. & Mrs. Stalnaker are being used of God to plant New Hope Baptist Church in Manitoba, Canada. I wanted to share part of his letter as I believe that the preacher is very astute at discerning the times and he delivers a charge that we ALL NEED to keep in mind. Please read below:
“…The task at times seems so immense as we continue in the daily work of reaching the lost for Christ. Many visitors have passed through our services since we last wrote to you. A few have repeated their visit for which we are thankful. Folks are seeing something and I sense uneasiness in their lives. There are many things that divide our people and have turned many away from God. We live in a day when many feel abandoned by their church as pastors have led them away from the Bible into a ‘seeker sensitive’, ‘relevance oriented’, ‘come as you are and leave as you were’ type of ministry that often seeks to cheapen the gospel. The gospel they peddle has no ‘responsibility’, no ‘repentance’, and ‘no clear definition of sin’. The old hymns are gone and replaced with ‘seven-eleven songs’ (seven words & eleven verses) that say little and often mean even less.
This past Sunday a man visited who came because he saw that we sang the old hymns of the faith. He said, ‘I so miss them and when I brought that to the attention of my pastor he said, ‘what? …we sang three hymns this morning!’ After further discussion, the man realized that he meant they had ‘blended their music together with contemporary sounds’ that so changed the song that the listener does not recognize the hymn at all. The lack of stability and constant change has led many to drop out of church altogether, or become ‘drifters’ who wonder [sic] from one church to another. Still others give in to the whims of the ‘rock and roll’ style of the ’emerging church’ that can’t define ‘sin’ and won’t teach separation. Yet, there is still alive in America churches that have not compromised, but stand faithfully for ‘The Book, The Blood, and The Blessed Hope’! These are they that still believe that our Faith is the True One, and the Unfailing Gospel still changes old sinners into faith[ful] followers of the Lord Jesus Christ! The promises given to us are many and give us the strength to go on. Promises like, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ‘Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.’ Luke 12:32 ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ Jeremiah 6:16 ‘Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. …’! Let’s stay faithful in these latter days!‘”