Wednesday, December 18, 2013


For some the word "church" seems to be a glory straight from heaven.  For others, it would barely deserve a shoulder's shrug.  Yet, for others it is the epitome of a six-letter curse word.  There seems to be reason for each.  I have wandered through all three territories.  If there is one thing the word "church" does, it often causes emotional responses from the masses.

It is most important to tread lightly upon this deep subject for opinions and inclinations within and without these organizations are as varied as fingerprints.  Thus, we can see immediate reason for division as well as confusion.

The idea of church is from God.  Therefore, all would do well to pay attention.  According to Holy Writ, Jesus builds his church and is the head of it.  But a surprising thing takes place in Bible reading.  The only sinners Jesus steadily rebuked were religious leaders; Pharisees.  The adulteress, the thief, the wasteful spender, the neglected; Jesus lived to hang out with this sort.  Yet, no one opposed church leaders like Jesus did.

The next question would be as to why Jesus stood against these who operated in the name of God.  These imposed rules and traditions that did not come from God.  It is the weirdest thing to me, but laws and traditions have a way of killing the heart of well-intentioned men and women.  This is why today so many churches are dull.  God is all about robust life.  Too many churches are more like the configurations of funerals.

Being a minister, I am not discouraged by our mistakes.  These merely serve as warning signs to stick with Jesus and his concept of organized religion.  Church organization has been a mistaken culprit.  It is church stagnation that is the guilty element.  We have trusted our own understanding over God's Spirit involvement.

This is disastrous.

The Spirit of God is new and calls us to be new.  Men and women, however, tend to take something that works in church and then fossilize it; if is worked in the 70s, it should work now.  However, nothing should ever be more current and more new and more alive than Jesus and his church!

Many in the church feel the same as those unchurched; they want to see it live if they are to join in.  The difference is some stay away in frustration while others remain hoping to see God raise up a new generation of believers.  By new generation, I don't mean simply the younger; but that all of us would become younger today than we were yesterday...II Cor. 4:16-18.

Walking away isn't the answer.  Bad-mouthing is silly.  Believing God can do what isn't yet being done is called faith.  Yes, the church can become even stronger.  Faith sees it and in several places churches are experiencing it.  Plus, faith keeps us in the mix because it believes God can create something from nothing as well as give life to the dead...Romans 4:17.  Churches are in need of resurrection power....always.

Finally, nearly all seem to have a gifted knack of overlooking our personal flaws.  I was pretty outspoken in my earlier days about churches being right and others being wrong.  Then God had a way of breaking me down and it turned out that I wasn't the hotshot religious man I thought I was.  I had become a Pharisee who knew exactly how church was supposed to be.  I was wrong and Jesus opposed me.

What the churched might want to know is that the Spirit of God is the one who makes things soar; not our organizational and controlling skills.  What the unchurched might want to consider is that many of us see our flaws and we apologize.  We should be doing better.  We will get better.  Maybe you could help us.

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