Matt Walsh: Christian Church ‘Doesn’t Have Much of a Future’ – Unless This Changes

Have you struggled with not feeling spiritually fed at your church?

Christians around the country are starving to hear biblical, honest teaching that holds them accountable in their lives. TheBlaze’s Matt Walsh joined Glenn on radio Thursday to talk about the spiritual dangers of a church that doesn’t give people the truth they need to hear.

“We need explanation. We need to be told how to navigate the spiritual minefield of modern culture,” Matt wrote this week. “We need something to hold onto.”

While some may be happy with their pastor and their church, every Christian needs to recognize that culture is changing the church, not the other way around.

“To deny that this is a problem is absurd,” Matt said on Thursday’s show. “We know that the faith is decaying in this culture.”

Glenn used the hospital analogy to talk about how desperately people of faith need to come to church each week to have a safe place for spiritual conviction and repentance.

“I think our churches should be spiritual hospitals. I’m coming in there every day, and I need triage,” Glenn said. “Instead, what’s happening is our churches are turning into someplace that is either an entertainment center or it is a place where all the people think they are doctors and they’re talking about all of the other patients that they need to help.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Matt Walsh who works with TheBlaze, wrote an article that was posted yesterday that you need to read.

A certain sermon I heard a little while ago stuck with me. It began with a reference to Toy Story. Yes, the cartoon with talking toys. The Pixar film, the pastor explained, contained many examples of friendship. Friendship is important. It's good to have friends, in case any of you thought friendship was bad.

He was standing up boldly, if anyone wanted to stand up and boldly declare otherwise. Remember that Randy Newman said, "You got a friend in me."

The pastor remembered it. He quoted it at length. Now, I have no problem with a sermon that draws on art or literature outside the Scripture to illustrate a theme contained in it. But all of the poems, novels, songs, films, paintings, sculptures that may reveal some divine truth, he went with Toy Story?

Oh, but Toy Story is relatable, you see. Relatable to whom?

The message preached from most of the pulpits in America is just like this: Superficial, childish, empty, and seemingly designed to insult the intelligence of anyone who hears it.

Christianity is dull and lifeless in this country. Because that's what the church and leaders have done to it. They've made it into something so bland, so generic, and inoffensive that it no longer bears any resemblance to the faith of our Christian ancestors. Indeed, the primary goal of the modern church is to avoid offense at whatever cost.

And this is precisely why they are dying. Because they're not merely boring people. The problem is more specifically that they are starving people.

There's no substance. No meat. Nothing in the message being preached. The congregants sit there and slowly starve to death. Your flocks are starving, churches. And you are starving them.

We're getting killed out here. Do you even understand that? We drag our sorry, beaten carcasses into church every Sunday. Fewer and fewer even bother to do that anymore. After another week of languishing in Sodom. And what do you have to say? Friends are good. Really?

The troops are suffering massive defeats in battle. And when they consult their commanding officer, what do they hear? Yeah, it's rough out there, guys, so let me tell you what I learned about teamwork from watching Guardians of the Galaxy.

People need to be woken up. They need to be offended. Offend us, pastor! Make us uncomfortable. Make me look at my reflection and see the things I'd rather not see. Pull me out of my comfort zone. Make me angry at myself.

Or at you for making me angry at myself. Can you stand to have people angry at you? If not, then you've chosen the wrong profession and the wrong religion.

Whoever doesn't want to be challenged, whoever insists that they are above approach, whoever wants only sweet nothings whispered in their ears, whoever wants a comfortable Christianity does not want Christianity at all. There are not limbs on the body of Christ, there are malignant growths. They are toxic. Cut them out.

We pray that they return to the faith, but not until the faith -- not until the faith is the faith they truly desire.

If they are sitting there hoping to have their ears tickled and their preconceived notions confirmed, it is the duty of any pastor or priest to disappoint them and offend them. Because sometimes there is no other way to tell the truth.

GLENN: Matt Walsh is here. That article is at TheBlaze.com. Matt, you know what I like about you is you take on -- you take on your own. You know, you're not pointing fingers at others. You're taking on your own. Your own faith, your own church, and I appreciate that. And making people uncomfortable.

What is the future of Christianity?

MATT: I don't think it has much of a future in this culture, if this is what we get. This is what strikes me when I go to church -- and I know that, and I wrote that, and there were plenty of Christians who said, "Well, my pastor is great. I don't know what you're talking about." And that's fine. If you have a great pastor, a great church, then good for you. You should be very happy for that and grateful. But to deny that this is a problem, is absurd. We know that the faith is decaying in this culture. It's very clear.

You look at any indicator, starting with church attendance. It's lower than it has ever been. There's more atheists in this country than there's ever been. You just go right down the line. And it strikes me that at least from my experience and from talking to people, that the main problem isn't that people are going to church, and they're hearing hearsay and blasphemy. Well, they're hearing that too, so that's a problem.

But even more than that, it's not that it's just -- it's just this nothingness. It's like you're going to church and the person talking to you doesn't understand -- doesn't realize what century they're living in or who they're -- you know, it's like --

GLENN: It is a complete disconnect from -- you walk in, and it is completely disconnected from the world you just left. And not in a good way.

MATT: Right.

GLENN: It's as if it could be 1950. It could be 1800. It could be 2024. There's no connection at all to my life. It feels that way to me.

MATT: Yeah. And to the struggles that we're --

GLENN: Yes.

MATT: It should feel not disconnected. But it should feel like an oasis of sorts. Like, you are -- you're in a safe place. A sanctuary is what they used to call it. And it's what is supposed to be.

GLENN: See, may I point something out to you? Because I wonder if you're -- if we're saying two different things. Because I just -- I was just asked to be a part of the bishopric in my faith, and it's a lay ministry.

And we're wrestling with this very thing. And I -- I said, you know, sanctuary, it needs to be a sanctuary for God's people to be able to come and be safe. And you can say anything.

But, you know, the name Israel itself means wrestle with God. God expects you to wrestle with him. He expects you to ask tough questions. He expects his people to say, "Wait a minute. Hang on just a second."

And what's happening is, I think our -- our churches should be spiritual hospitals. I'm coming in there every day, and I need triage. Please, help me, help me, help me.

I need spiritual medicine all the time. And instead, what's happening is our churches are turning into some place that is either an entertainment center, or it is a place where all the people think that they're doctors, and they're talking about all the other patients that they need to help. I think that's upside down.

MATT: I think it's like churches are today -- what's that dumb -- well, I didn't like it that much -- that Robin Williams movie where he pretended to be a clown.

STU: Patch Adams? That's a weird reference to bring into this.

MATT: Okay. Well, I'm saying, people are dying, and so the DACA puts on a clown nose and makes them laugh, which is great. But they also need medicine. It's like, if I'm going to a hospital, it's great to make me smile. But also, treat what's killing me. I don't want a doctor to just come --

GLENN: I don't know if you -- I don't know if you just watched the trailer of Patch Adams, but he was a very good doctor as well.

MATT: I don't know. But let's put this reference aside.

GLENN: All right.

MATT: Put this doctor aside. Churches are like what I just imagined Patch Adams to be, which is, hey, let's ignore the actual cancer that these people have, what they're struggling with. And let's just make them smile or put them to sleep.

GLENN: So here's the argument -- the pushback -- because I've talked to pastors. And, quite honestly, this is happening in conservative media, it's happening in liberal media as well. It's happening all over: No, no, no, but if I say those things, then I'll diminish the audience, or I'll diminish the number of people who are coming to this church, and then I won't have a voice at all.

Where my feeling is, you're not going to have a voice at all anyway. You have to understand, you just keep going along -- there's no -- why would anyone come to you when I can get it from watching Patch Adams or I can get it from watching Toy Story? I need something that is real, authentic, and eternally true that can tell me and help me next week.

MATT: Right. Exactly.

GLENN: But nobody is doing that because they're afraid people are going to leave.

MATT: Right. But there's no reason for that. You're not giving them anything that they need. There's no reason for you to exist, unless you tell them the things that might make them leave.

And I think that -- if we get to a point -- it would be great in this country, separate the wheat from the chafe. Let's figure out where we actually stand as Christians. So if every church operated this way, if they got up and told the unvarnished truth. And you had -- you have a church of 100 people, and 98 of them get up in the middle of the homily or the sermon and march out and you leave two there, well, then, great. Because those are the two. Those are the actual two Christians. Let's start there. Now we know how many actual Christians we have in the church, two. Let's start with them. Let's build them up. Give them what they need. And then maybe they can go out. Because this is the whole point. They're supposed to go out into the mission field and go win back the other 98.

But when you're not -- so it's really the two. It's the two that you need to kind of cater to. You need to give them what they need because -- here's the problem: If you lose those two, but you keep the 98 --

GLENN: The 98 --

MATT: -- then you're done. You're not really a church anymore. You're just --

GLENN: They're leaves that will blow away in the fall wind.

STU: So going back to your story here on TheBlaze, because this is interesting -- are you making the point, like they have to make sure they're making the uncomfortable points in any way possible and not skimming from that?

MATT: Right.

STU: Or are you making the point that they shouldn't be making these points via the vehicle of Toy Story references?

GLENN: Yeah. Hang on. This is an important question. Are you okay with a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, or are you just saying there's nothing in those?

MATT: If there's medicine -- yeah, if there actually is medicine in it. But what we're getting is the sugar, but there's no medicine. So it's just sugar makes the sugar go down, which is great. But there's no medicine.

STU: That's a good way to get diabetes as well.

MATT: Yeah. Now, if you can figure out a way to use Toy Story to make some deep spiritual point that's going to like satiate the deep yearnings of these Christian believers, then you're very talented. And, great, go for it. And you have seen much more in Toy Story than I saw. Because I've seen the movie many times, and all I see is talking toys. But if you see something deeper, then great. Make that point.

But in my case, all he made was the point that, yeah, let's make friends with people. Well, I just -- just -- then just put on the movie Toy Story. Let us watch that. At least it would be more entertaining anyway. Tim Allen and everything is in it.

STU: Because you made a point earlier about -- about bringing the tough truth, right? And you have to make sure you're giving the tough truth. And you did that with an illustration -- kind of an illustration of the trailer of Patch Adams, in a way that I think -- like, that's an effective way of making those points. If you could bring the truth through those vehicles, I don't necessarily mind it. I will say it's a sad circumstance that Christians have to get that message through movies. And it's more relatable because of movies.

GLENN: Jesus spoke in parables. I mean, I actually have -- from the pulpit, I have actually -- and this made a lot of people very angry. But I actually -- I talked about Willy Wonka and the Golden Ticket. And I tied it into --

STU: You're not helping my case here.

GLENN: I know. And I tied it into a gospel message. I think it can be done.

MATT: It can.

GLENN: But if I'm talking about, hey, and, by the way, you can lick the wallpaper on the way out, no, uh-uh. No. You can't.

MATT: Yeah. It can be done if -- and that's something -- and you're right, Jesus used parables that were very simple to appeal -- so that the people that were listening could understand it. But obviously the point he was making was very deep. And sometimes the points he was making were frankly terrifying.

GLENN: Yes.

MATT: He was finding a way to package it so that -- not just so that it would be palatable, but so that we could wrap our minds around this concept. So if people are doing that, then fantastic. But that also takes a certain level of insight and talent that I think a lot of pastors just lack, which is no -- you know, that's -- I don't think you need to be necessarily a brilliant public speaker to be a pastor. You know, there could be normal people that are taking these jobs. But if you're in that camp, then I think you just need to be more direct. And even if you're just writing it down and reading from it, but just tell the people the truth that they need to hear. Don't try to get too cute with it, unless you really are a brilliant orator, which most of these people aren't.

GLENN: Thanks, Matt.

STU: You can read the story from Matt Walsh up at TheBlaze.com. And how many times a week are you doing -- are you doing columns at TheBlaze?

MATT: Two times a week. Then I got a podcast coming out.

STU: Nice. Yeah, the podcast too. Listen to that as well. Matt Walsh. Thanks, Matt.

MATT: Thank you.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!