Wednesday, July 09, 2014



Church is a triple-edged word, it seems.  It is loved.  It is also despised.  In many ways it is ignored.

Those of us in it surely care about the church-at-large.  We wish for acceptance; yet have sympathy for those who don't see church as much of a blessing.  I, therefore, alert us (the churches) to be aware of the multitudes who have washed their hands of our lingo, our facade, and our oft spiritual arrogance.

How I earnestly yearn for there to a be a meeting of the hearts.  By God's grace and mercy, this might at least increase.  I don't blame those who can't take us.  I get it. So, may I toss a couple of ideas your way for your consideration?

One, let's talk about building hope in those who frankly can't take organized religion. Yes, we organizers have our glaring faults.  And, these faults have become nothing more than crutches for generations of people who simply don't take the time to think; to investigate the very thing they mock.

By this I mean to inquire, do those who reject the idea of God do so because of honest search or is it, rather, a matter of moving thoughtlessly with the herd of unbelievers? Do you not notice life after death; like the seed in the ground or the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly?  Do you nonchalantly shrug at your own impending death with lazy disregard for your spirit which yearns for more than this life?

Why would you gamble yourself away in disinterest without research?  Should you deeply ponder the concepts of God and reject them, so be it.  But to pass through this life with no attention to Him because your circle of friends has inherited the same neutrality from their families is a grave mistake; emphasis grave.

Two, let's address the hope of those of us in organized religion.  We are perpetually shooting ourselves in the foot when we wish unbelievers would join our ranks; and yet we send constant signals of not doing so well ourselves.  Something catastrophic has happened/is happening to churches.  Church has become our god and Jesus has been reduced to a name to close out our prayers.

Christianity has been traded for Churchianity.  We have substituted life in Jesus for the gods of doctrine, habit, and debate.  The world has gone deaf to our call because our voices have grown hoarse from yelling at one another.  We may feel smug about being in Truth while the TRUTH is we find ourselves losing ground.  Would this be because of God's indifference?  Or, could it rather be due to our failure to center upon Jesus?

The strong hope of the church is that the church will get back to knowing and loving Jesus.  We have fallen prey to too many false gods within our walls.  Therefore what we want becomes suspect and rightfully so.  We want things for the kiddies, for the ladies, for the men's groups, for the worship style, and the for the missions efforts.

The question of church strength lies within none of the above.  Only one matter is most essential; but we are numb to the need.  Are we in deeply in love with God?  Or are we enamored with the multifaceted aspects of church?  The former breathes life into every congregation while the latter smothers and suffocates.

May both groups experience a new and stronger hope of the church because our beautiful congregations become increasingly devoted to giving praise to God before we specialize in any other spiritual effort.  Maybe if we churches could gain momentum in honoring our God, He would in turn nudge those who see us as suspect to be drawn to Him as well.

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