Thursday, April 03, 2008

THE HARVEST OF GNATIANITY

Islam is successfully marching the globe. "The Secret" swept the land in the last couple of years. Now Oprah is evangelizing the world with her spiritual recipe. Each tenet has some good concepts; some strong concepts which are good. I resent it that these and other winds find fields of abundant opportunity to blow in. Why is that?

Christianity has swallowed so many gnats we are gagging the world.

We (Church of Christ, Baptists, Methodists, Adventists, etc.) have picked and chipped at each other 'til the world is clueless about the powerful Christ. Read the Gospels. Read of the church. Does anything like we are look anything like they were?

Did Jesus or the early church have anything to say about the invisible curtain that keeps the women from entering the stage area with microphones while the church sings? Did they have anything to say about duplicating the church to look like the American '50s and '60s? Did either of them strain with religious constipation at debating and disfellowshipping the slightest strange movement within the brotherhood? Was their call for the King James Version?

The reason New Age is so luring is the Old Age is completely pooped of power and hope and promise. Denominations and Catholics have reduced their Jesus to form with no power. We offer little but a place to keep a few teens off of the streets and a dab of food to some homeless.

Yes, yes, yes. We have many things going and they are very good. I'm involved in a few. But it irks me to see millions rush at moments notice without unusual persuasion to Christless spirituality; not because they have so much to offer, but because we are so scandalously anemic.

We know of the Gnat and Camel sermon He delivered. But we keep feeding on this deadly diet while we hand out brochures at church condemning those fake gurus who seem to be misleading millions. If we don't present a Christ bigger than life, the world will continue to run headlong into an abyss of empty hope.

May we have the courage to unleash heaven with all of its spiritual freedom upon an obviously dry and thirsty land! The reason there is such a harvest of Gnatianity is not "The Secret's" fault. It's ours. Fear has ruled so much of all of us for so long the Fake finds easy entrance into the hearts of wonderful and precious people. Jesus is still the hope of the world.

May we present him without blemish in all of his glory to such a world!

9 comments:

Matt said...

Terry,

I know this is not your main point but I wanted to mention something about differences between churches (and even denominations). Why do we have an elder and autonomous congregation system? Because it appears that was how it was done in the New Testament. Why is it then, when an autonomous (key word) set of elders at a local congregation decide to do something that doesn't fall in line with the CofC mainstream they get ostracized? You would think the elders had no power or authority to make such decisions. Can you help me here? Do people really think churches and elderships are autonomous? If so, why do they feel they have room to harp and yell and ostracize, or gripe when they don't "fall in line." I thought they were autonomous with the rights and authority to decide what would happen in their congregation to the best of their ability. People have been too quick to call something heresy and as a result have done more destruction to the church than the things they feared would destroy it.

Elderships are either autonomous or they aren't. If those who are critical of ministers (who are under their eldership) or elders themselves (which we have to be very careful what we say about and the attitudes we have toward) really believe they are autonomous then people need to butt out and do their best in their own congregation to glorify God and leave the rest up to God.

Am I off base here?

4:18 said...

how can we accept gods mission when we cant agree on who we will allow to be a part of it?

we have to reunite with our brothers that have no biblical reason not to be ONE with us. john 17

love your blog, many thanks to you for being what you are

Terry Rush said...

Matt,

Your point does fit well it seems. The concept of autonomy should work. But the policing of other's flocks to see that we all fit the "norm-form" gums the Spirit works.

You make an important observation.

Rusty said...

Terry,

I preach for the Alameda Church of Christ in Norman, OK and have enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for all the advice you give through this blog to young ministers/preachers.

I was the guest speaker in a class at Oklahoma Christian for senior Bible majors recently, and I was asked to speak on leadership in ministry. I gave the class a bibliography of leadership resources and included your blog. So, hopefully, many more ministry students will be coming to this blog for advice and leadership lessons. Thanks for creating this resource and keep sharing what God has/is teaching you. We're reading!

jasonretherford said...

terry,

good post. those who we would see as outsiders don't care about the issues that those of us who are supposed to be insiders are fighting about.

we have made the gospel powerles, and christ unattractive. shame on us!

Greg said...

I offer as resounding an AMEN as is possible through a blog response! Having grown up in churches of Christ, preached for 30 years, and raised my children as such, none of us are affiliated with "our" movement any longer in large part because of what you've written. We got lost in policing the religious world while people went to hell.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry: Your post is so full of truth! I think Satan has led us to dwell in this soup of weak faith. Too scared to move on, too weak to stand up to what we know to be right. Not wanting to "cause a brother to stumble", yet not living up to the example of Jesus overturing the tables in the Temple. Satan has marginalized Christianity and we have let him do it through us. And when a church dares to be different, we criticize and abandon them as no good.

Thanks for sharing, Lynn

Anonymous said...

To: Terry,
From: Larry Wishard

Thanks for this post. It made me stop and think.

I thought of a couple of principles from Jesus that it illustrates. Love is proven by actions.
God is love.

Yes, we are tempted to gag on a gnat. We cannot let the Pharisees, Scribes and Rulers of the Elders of our world destroy the work of Jesus. We must obey God rather than men. We must keep meditating on Jesus daily as you obviously do in order to know the difference between following Jesus and “religion”.

Yes, some things we do looks like Jesus. We have five workers who glean the fields of day old bread and such in Denver and then give groceries to 80 hungry families per week. This looks like Jesus. I choose to think of these workers instead of the “religious bigots” who speak to me.

No, you are not duplicating 50’s and 60’s American religion and neither is Dusty or Tim or others whom you have trained and influenced in your friendship circle and the Workshop. Keep it up!

He who marries the spirit of this age will be a widow in the next generation. We have married Jesus and He is timeless.

We will not hand out brochures at church that do not reflect the truth of what is there. What must be at SE in Denver is a new kind of love. We have a ways to go, but this is our sign. This is our brand. Not any other sign out front will do.

The Secret when it works is repeating Jesus.
Oprah when she works is repeating Jesus.

Yes.
Thanks again.

craigallenhicks said...

Mercy always triumphs. And are you claiming Jesus did NOT use the King James Version? Because if you are I'm going to...just kidding. We all know He did.
love ya