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The Disappearing Church

Compromise (Convictions) Doctrine-Sound Secularism

Source: Lowe, Christian. “Clergyman Says Church Has Vanished.” Reuters, Moscow. November 11, 2008.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Luke Raczykowski | Date Posted: 2022-07-26

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:16 ; Galatians 1:10

Author: Luke Raczykowski
9

ILLUSTRATION

A church has vanished from the Russian village where it stood for almost 200 years, the local diocese reported.

The Church of Christ's Resurrection, in the central Russian village of Komarovo, was built in 1809, but in early October (2008) someone took it away brick by brick. Father Vitaly a spokesman for the local Russian Orthodox Church, told Reuters:

“We have sent a letter to local prosecutors,” he said.  “Who exactly did this, the investigation will show.”

“This is not an isolated case,” said Father Vitaly. “In many villages in central Russia sites of historical interest are being dismantled and people suffer by being deprived of their cultural heritage.”

APPLICATION

Churches all across America are in danger of suffering a similar fate.  Although our bricks may not disappear, our theological foundations are constantly in jeopardy of being pilfered by capitulation to secular forces.  Brick by brick, the Church is at risk of disappearing as we compromise the timeless truths of the Christian faith. 

"Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you" (1 Timothy 4:16, NLT).  

Hope in the Citadel of the Secular

Hope Secularism Resurrection

Source: Variously attributed to "Wise Christians Clip Obituaries" by Gary Thomas, as published in CHRISTIANITY TODAY, OCTOBER 3, 1994

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:11

Author: Gary Thomas / Illustration Exchange
3

ILLUSTRATION

A story circulates concerning the funeral of Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982.

As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev's wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband's chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband. 

APPLICATION

Brezhnev’s wife's hopes for the post-death salvation of her husband were as empty as the promises of the communist regime to which he'd committed his life. But the source of her hope was anything but empty. Jesus Christ didn't remain in a sealed sepulcher as Brezhnev will. He alone conquered death and offers that same, sweet victory to each one of us who consciously receive it.

"This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him" (2 Timothy 2:11, NLT).

Illustration Exchange

Competing Monuments

Atheism Secularism Man's Knowledge

Source: "America’s First Atheist Monument is a 1,500-Pound Granite Bench" By Ollie John, published TIME Magazine NewsFeed, June 04, 2013

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-08

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

ILLUSTRATION

"The first U.S. public monument to Atheism is set to be unveiled outside a Florida courthouse later this month," reports TIME Magazine. "It’s a granite bench engraved with secularist quotes. And weirdly, it owes its existence to the Ten Commandments."

The atheist monument is in direct response to a five foot, six ton stone tablet engraved with the Ten Commandments which is displayed outside the Bradford County, Florida, courthouse. It was commissioned by a local Christian group called the Community Men's Fellowship.

The American Atheists then took Bradford County to court to have the tablets removed on the grounds that they violated the principles of the separation of church and state.

The case ended in a compromise: the Ten Commandments slab would stay, but American Atheists would be allowed to put up their own monument, as well. Hence, the 1,500 lb granite bench, which will be engraved with secularist quotes from figures like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, as well as American Atheists founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair. ... The bench will also feature quotes from the Bible listing punishments for breaking the Ten Commandments, like execution—a move that’s designed to “make it clear that the Ten Commandments are not the ‘great moral code’ they’re often portrayed to be,” as American Atheists Public Relations Director Dave Muscato has said. 

APPLICATION

It's interesting that this first atheist monument will be a stone slab bench upon which one is to sit and rest. It is a fitting symbol of those who would rest their hope and trust on the wisdom of man.

Two monuments. Two foundations. Two choices.

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).

The Best Things In The Worst of Times

Cultural Trends Witness Secularism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-25

Scripture: Matthew 5:16

Author: Joseph Stowell
1

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Father Shields His Son from Hail of Bullets

Fatherhood Secularism Cynicism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-06-12

Scripture: Proverbs 14:26 ; Proverbs 18:10

Author: Robert Brignall
1

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Faith Compression

Cultural Trends Secularism Faith

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-04

Scripture: Romans 1:22

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

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All Genius Belongs To God

Man's Knowledge Humility Secularism

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2012-03-23

Author: Mitchell Dillon
1

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Why Not Wear A Tie?

Faith Secularism Apologetics

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-24

Scripture: Hebrews 11:1

Author: Byron Sherwin
2

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Atheism Finds Its Voice in 9/11

Secularism Atheism Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-09-29

Scripture: Proverbs 10:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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God Gets Little Press This Christmas

Christmas Cultural Trends Secularism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-12-27

Scripture: Luke 2:7

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

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