This is an age of personal belief over external and eternal truth, and this culture I believe has seeped into Christian culture. In particular the notion of 'church shopping', where I believe, predominantly young Christians move from one church to the next.
In my time in churches I have seen a few waves of people leaving the church that I was attending at the time, often after a particularly confronting and challenging sermon. These sermons have however been doctrinally sound, but have been rebuking attitudes and myths held by people in the church. People are not putting up with sound doctrine, preferring to suit their own desires (2 Timothy 4 verse 3).
It is important to understand if we do not find the content of sermons personally challenging then something is wrong.
Either we are not being corrected or rebuked by the church when needed (2 Timothy 4 verse 2) or we believe we are far better than we are and are being self-righteous.
As Christians we should be wary of shopping around for messages that purely make us feel better. We should seek those who will teach us, correcting and rebuking sins in our lives.
Furthermore teachers and members of the church should be prepared to endure the hardships of evangelists, including those in the church turning away (2 Timothy 4 verse 5).
Without being challenged in our faith and life we are unable to grow. We need to challenge each other, and allow ourselves to be challenged.
If not we risk ignoring the work that God is trying to do in our lives. The message and path to salvation is not easy, but is eternally important.
This the entire passage -
2 Timothy 4:1-5
1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead,and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourageâ€"with great patience and careful instruction.
3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Nathanael Yates from Perth, Western Australia, is an award winning young scientist completing a PhD in the neurobiology of schizophrenia
Nathanael Yates' previous articles may be viewed at: www.pressserviceinternational.org/nathanael-yates.html