Sunday, July 28, 2013

While at Church Today.....

Consider Isaiah 1:12. No, I won't paste it here. Look it up for yourself.

Do some 'people' watching this Sunday, and pick out the your opinion...who look as if they are performing some kind of drudgery or have that Sunday Morning Scowl. Try to pick out the ones who look as if they were dragged to the service by some unseen force and are dreaming more about the fishin' hole than they are about heaven.

It doesn't matter what kind of church you go to. They all have 'em. Now, this test doesn't apply to everybody. Some people have troubles that are weighing them down. Others might have had a temporary setback that has robbed them of their joy. No, the ones I'm talking about are those you see every Sunday, right on time, with a frown and an 'I don't want to be here but I had to come' attitude. These are like a vampire, sucking the life out of everyone else, if given the chance.

The Southern Baptist Church, as a whole, has lost its way. Most of the ones I've been to, the services are more like a funeral than what I like to call 'Heaven Practice'. God forbid anyone should shout 'Amen!', for fear of having the favored deacon's wife turn around and glare at you. The pedal organ should be put out to pasture. When those things are played by Mrs. Beatrice Blue Hair it makes me want to go ahead and crawl up into the casket. The pastors deliver their three points and a poem, making sure not to upset the finance committee or the chairman of deacons so their next paycheck won't be endangered, and then everyone leaves right on time for lunch and the NFL Today.

I chuckle to myself when I see how excited church members get for the MISSION TRIP TO POLAND. All these people line up and pay their dues and are all giggly and awash with anticipation about saving the Poles. Yet, and I'll bet my whole paycheck, you won't be able to get your church excited about a MISSION TRIP TO OUR OWN COMMUNITY. Yes, we're going to march out and cover the four square blocks surrounding our church. Oh, there will be a few, but that's not nearly as exciting and adventurous as POLAND!!! Look at the Great Commission again, and see where you're REALLY supposed to start your mission gig. Churches are dying in droves because they aren't willing to evangelize their own but will go thousands of miles away to evangelize others. It's shameful.

If this description is not your church, then shut up. I don't want to hear how great yours is. The fact is, I don't have to be there to know that it's probably not. The church, the true biblical church, is still out there, but it is on life support. Most of what you see today are 'Bible Churches'. If you see a sign for a church and it says it's a Bible Church, don't waste your time. Here you won't be challenged, you won't hear preaching and you'll be told how great you are how great things are and how everyone's okay. Please.

A lot of people go to church for different, but same, reasons. For many, it's habit. It's what you were made to do as a kid and you keep on doing it because you're supposed to. For others, it's fire insurance. For some, it's necessary to keep up the image they want to maintain in the community. Very very very few are there to become 'disciples' of Christ. The vast majority pay their tithes and/or offerings in the hope that someone else will become a disciple and they can lay claim to some of the rewards since they helped pay for it. Or, the tithes and offerings are paid to make sure the pastor is the disciple and does all the dirty work. That way, if he screws up, they can fire him and their hands remain clean. So they think.

If you go to church for any other reason than you WANT to be there, stay home. You'll do a lot more good for the mission of the church if you do that. God does not MAKE you go to church and, what's more, he doesn't even want you there if you don't want to be there. How do I know? Read Isaiah 1:12, if you can find it.

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