The Barna Group’s “State of the Church 2020” has ranked what American pastors considered the biggest issues facing the Christian Church. The top 10 are:
- Watered-down gospel teachings: 72%
- Culture’s shift to a secular age: 68%
- Poor discipleship models: 63%
- Addressing complex social issues with biblical integrity: 58%
- Prosperity gospel teachings: 56%
- Reaching a younger audience: 56%
- Political polarization in the country: 51%
- Negative perceptions of the Church: 46%
- Diminished influence of churches in the community: 45%
- Church leader burnout/exhaustion: 40%
A new bestselling Christian book launched the same time as this research was released. Its proposals coincide with 9 out of the 10 challenges identified by Barna. With a provocative title, TRUMP’S UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 10 PROPHECIES TO SAVE AMERICA the latest book by Pastor Steve Cioccolanti does the following for its readers:
1. Presents the Gospel of the Kingdom as the clarion call of the end times. Cioccolanti makes a convincing case that the Gospel of Personal Blessings must now be balanced with the Gospel of National Salvation.
2. Exposes the sinister root of a 70-year-old plan to secularize and sexualize our children. Whose agenda is being followed in modern education? What alternatives do Christians have? How can the Bible be brought back to education without violating the separation of Church and State?
3. Disciples leaders with God’s template of justice. Jesus said that Christians are called to disciple nations. Learn how to apply God’s Law to our modern society and solve some of our biggest challenges today.
4. Addresses complex social issues with Biblical integrity. Christian points of view are often dismissed as simple and unsophisticated by secularists. With this book, you will be equipped with secular arguments about why infant life protection is a civil rights issue and why abortion, like slavery, should be abolished. You will also get the latest information about Climate Change–what’s real, what’s fake, and what makes parts of this movement cultic.
5. Corrects the Prosperity Gospel, which is an over-extension of the Gospel of Personal Blessings–it makes Jesus about “me, me, me.” As we come into the fullness of time, more Christians will embrace a Gospel that includes social justice, educational responsibility, and political authority. God’s plan starts with the individual, but ends with a redeemed community positively influencing surrounding nations—it’s about “we, we, we!”
6. Reaches the youth with what is relevant to them. The primary reason youth leaves church, the author proposes, is injustice. They are attracted to social justice warriors because they offer young people something that the Church has ignored for too long: the Justice of God. The Church presents Jesus as the Lamb of God but has hidden Christ as the Lion of Judah. The most prominent pastors preach only grace and mercy, even when wicked and unfair situations call for truth and justice. In this way, Christians make peace with evil and offer unsanctified mercy. The youth wants to know Jesus as their Avenger!
7. Bridges the political divide. Despite the title of the book, there are surprising acknowledgments of what the Left gets right and the Right gets wrong. The focus is not on Trump but on healing America. This book presents a spiritual agenda for a Great Awakening, not a political agenda for merely winning elections, though it does that, too. Cioccolanti advises Christians to steer clear of becoming pigeonholed into a “one-issue church” or as a “single-issue voter.” Both sides of the political aisle need pastoral guidance and moral clarity which come from a Great Awakening to Justice.
8. Reminds us of the positive role of the Church (when the Church was once sought for wisdom and justice) and calls us to replace the state as the moral institution of society. Law, marriage, divorce, and justice used to be the domain of the Church. The Church’s social status has suffered from its leaders’ moral failures and from bad press. Secular media and academia have long pushed negative perceptions of the Church and marginalized its positive influence on society. In Trump’s Unfinished Business, the reader will understand what happened and how to recapture our God-given place in order to stop the moral rot and save the Republic.
9. Gives a bold vision for how the Church can become relevant in the community. The Church should play a key role in promoting world peace through defending religious freedom, and in promoting social welfare. Many international issues will not be solved without the wisdom, gifting and callings inside the Church. While parts of the world will grow more sinful, parts of the Church will increase in influence until the Second Coming of Christ. Like him or not, Trump is surrounded by born again Christians inside the White House. They can immediately utilize the templates given in Trump’s Unfinished Business.
10. In an indirect way, Trump’s Unfinished Business can help exhausted ministers and battle-weary saints revive their motivation to preach passionately for Christ. The modern application of Scriptures long forgotten is refreshing. Biblical themes that the Church has ignored for centuries can be re-discovered in an exciting way. Reading this book will blow fresh wind into the sails of stagnant churches and tired leaders.
Judging by George Barna’s survey of the top issues facing Christians, Trump’s Unfinished Business may have arrived at a most opportune time. The prophetic declaration of 10 major policy changes resonates with the top 10 issues facing Christians and church leaders. Each chapter reminds the reader to pray for America, yet to do more than pray. It’s high time for good people to take action. It may start with simply sharing the book with a neighbor who is struggling with these complex social issues.