6. The church is more than a building. The lockdown proved that a biblical congregation could not be defined merely by an edifice utilized for church services. The true church will always find a way to connect, shepherd the flock, conduct outreach to the community and love one another despite the lack of a central meeting place." - Joseph Mattera
Once again though, they didn't. I agree with the premise made but history does not bear this out at all. It took all of two months before pastors were clamoring to start services again. By Memorial Day in 2020 many were reopened, just two months after the onset of COVID. Pastors died. Sheep died. No one seemed to care. This pandemic gave pastors a real opportunity to provide more individualized care for their flock and serve their community even more. They failed miserably at both.
"7. Technology is essential for gospel expansion and church cohesion. With the advent of television in the early 20th century, the church missed a huge opportunity in owning and operating TV stations. (Many Christian fundamentalists believed TV was of the devil.) We have also missed the ship regarding other advances. The pandemic has proved to the church that we need to utilize the latest technologies to advance the gospel and relate the timeless message through changing methods. Unfortunately, many churches had to close because they did not provide online services starting in 2020." - Joseph Mattera
Agreed that the church has always lagged behind on technology. I remember when I was saved in 2002 that our church was still using an overhead projector for displaying worship lyrics! I would be cautious about Mattera's lament here regarding missing the boat on owning television stations. Many were owned and are still today by alleged Christians. All of them have proven to be wildly heretical. TBN and Daystar barely have a watchable show between them. It is the advent of modern satellite technology and ambitious false gospel "missionaries" that have led Africa to adopt the false prosperity gospel as much as they have. Today, five of the richest pastors in the world reside and hold court in Africa, to poorest continent. So, technology is important but not as important as our doctrine.
"8. The church is still divided along the lines of ethnic identity. The death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests revealed that many Black, brown and white believers had different perspectives even though they read the same Bible. (Although to be fair, a large percentage of people walking in solidarity with Blacks in the demonstrations were white.) In some cases, differences of opinion even divided churches and caused great polarity. This crisis revealed that the church still has a long way to go to fulfill our ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20). For more regarding this point, see my article here." - Joseph Mattera
Kudos to Mattera for trying to bring up this subject no matter how he botched it. The problem is that the modern evangelical church has chosen to align with one political party over the other. More so, they confer righteousness to their party even though they have done nothing to earn it. They have vilified the other party and reduced anyone who votes for it to evil. The problem is the party they have affiliated with is the party that is closely associated with white supremacist groups and routinely defend evil in this world at the expense of minorities. Mattera is right that the church has a long way to go but he just cannot see his role in furthering the divide.
"9. Many believers and churches are not biblically grounded. The tumultuous elections, the pandemic and civil unrest the past two years have revealed how biblically ignorant many in the church are. This ignorance was exacerbated by preachers that merely attempted to appease secular culture rather than preach biblical principles. A major indicator of vast biblical illiteracy in the church were the un-Christlike, vitriolic, political social media posts that believers wrote." - Joseph Mattera
While at first blush this sounds reasonable, realize Mattera is primarily speaking about believers who disagreed with him and his NAR beliefs. The "refusing to preach biblical principles" complaint is really about preachers who correctly refuse to sully their pulpits with the preaching of politics. This is not the appeasement of secular culture as much as it is preaching the gospel, period. As for this complaint - of course believers are not biblically grounded! Why would they be! Preachers no longer preach the uncompromised gospel of Jesus Christ. The prosperity gospel of Joel Osteen, the word faith gospel of Joyce Meyer, the sugar coated fantasies of Hillsong, are no more heretical than the NAR dominionist teachings of Joseph Mattera.