By Allen Palmeri
KANSAS CITY—Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is typical in that it is a blessed American institution surrounded by many material wonders that were duly noted by the Feb. 9 chapel speaker.
Bob Loggins, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) prayer and spiritual awakening specialist, preached on 2 Chronicles 7:14, the formulaic national prayer text that ends with the familiar truths of God forgiving a nation’s sin and healing a nation’s land.
“Everything seems to be going very well in America because we have all types of expensive vehicles and lavish clothes and glamorous homes and ornate toys and scenic vacation spots and all kinds of games and gadgets and technological innovation,” Loggins said. “Therefore, America must be doing well. But are we?”
Loggins preached that America has “wicked ways.” Despite our best efforts to work the formula, we just might be stuck.
“We’re in trouble with God because we have some wicked ways,” Loggins said.
The concluding words of the text may be music to the ears of the praying American believer who believes in the happy ending, but Loggins said the “wicked ways” section cannot be glossed over.
“In America, we, as God’s people, need to act like we belong to God and have the character and the heart of God’s people denoting that we belong to God,” he said.
Right now he said those words do not describe us.
“Have we chosen to be politically correct, but truthfully we are morally and spiritually bankrupt, and are in desperate need for a mighty moving of the power of the Holy Spirit of God?” he said.
Loggins sought to convince the seminarians that America has wicked ways.
“God has blessed us so much in America until our pulpits no longer preach about sinful ways,” he said.
He acknowledged that it is hard to preach about wicked ways when America is laden with suburbs full of beautiful people in beautiful churches.
“It appears that we are doing well,” Loggins said. “Our churches are getting bigger. We have more people in worship today. We have some churches with two and three and four and five worship services a week. We have a number of churches that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all kinds of recreational centers, family life centers, indoor jumping gyms, swimming pools, softball fields, camps, retreat centers, cafes, Starbucks, clinics, counseling centers, numerous ministries, radio and TV programs, libraries, bookstores, mission programs, and the rest … yet, our nation is in trouble!”
The pathway out of the “wicked ways” wilderness is paved with three types of material, Loggins noted.
First, we must act like we belong to God.
“We need to act like we are Christians!” he said. “Act like we’ve been saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Christ died for us, so we are supposed to act like His people, he said. That means we are to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and the seed of Abraham.
“We are to act like God has changed our hearts,” Loggins said.
He then challenged the seminarians to lead the way.
“On this campus, do you act like you belong to God?” Loggins said. “In your ministry, are you living out that new creation of Christ? Are you different at home than you are at seminary?”
Second, we must look like we belong to God.
In a world where it is hard to tell believers from non-believers, humble believers are rare.
“We have Christians in America who are often hiding behind the mask of pride,” Loggins said.
“Humility is about the character of one’s heart. Humility is a visible representation of the Spirit of God that’s been working in our lives in an invisible way. Humility has to do with character, and character is what we look like to a sinful and dying world. Humility is a matter of choice that comes out of character. We choose to be humble, and sincere prayer offered to God never comes before Christian humility.
“Prayer and humility, in essence, operate together like hand and glove. Prayer is the glove and humility is the hand of character in the glove.”
Third, we must live like we belong to God.
The Bible requires Christ followers to be that way 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, Loggins said. That is a call to be separate.
“God is calling this seminary as a place to develop men and women who not only act like, look like, but live like we belong to God,” Loggins said. “When God does that in the hearts of His people, then churches will change. People will change.
“The solution is the crucified Christ. The solution is to take all of your troubles and let the Lord God Almighty nail our troubles to the Cross at Calvary.”