Despite vibrant worship, great religious zeal, and lofty numbers of people gathering at the three worship centers of Israel – Bethel, Dan and Beersheba – Amos announced that the days were coming when God would send a famine on the land, a famine not of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.
Are we in such a time today in our land? I am convinced we are! Pastor Steven J. Lawson writes, “[in their] new way of doing church, exposition is being replaced by entertainment, preaching by performances, doctrine with drama, and theology with theatrics.” With no spiritual sustenance offered from the pulpit, the church has gone into ‘survival mode,’ staggering and seeking a word from God in every place but where God has ordained it to be found. While ‘boomers’ and ‘busters’ have settled into their seeker-friendly, purpose-driven megachurches, ‘Gen Xers,’ ‘Ys’ and ‘Millenials,’ exasperated by the ways of their parents, are ‘doing church’ in emerging fashion. Seeking to conform to the changes in culture, the emergent church has adopted a post-modern philosophy where there are no longer any cold hard facts, but only warm, fuzzy subjectivity. Meanwhile, the hyper-spirituality of the signs-and-wonders movements have sent a generation of people literally staggering from Pensacola to Toronto seeking gold dust, gold fillings, laughter, barking and howling. Add to this the staggering of the church, up and down the radio dial, and internet, and it becomes implicitly clear – there is indeed a famine of the true word of the Lord in our day!