What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.
Lately I have been in a very different place in life. Due to work I have been unable to go to church for the past 6months or so. In most circles I would be considered a 'backslider'. I have been told my priorities aren't in order, among other things. But despite it all, I have had a growing hunger for God and for the things of God. Having spent 15 years of my life dedicated to God and the church, being at and participating in every opportunity that would arise, I have seen something very strange being on the 'Outside' for once.
Something to ponder - http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/08/27/almost.christian/index.html
I read this article a week ago, and it really hit home to some things I have been seeing in the church for years. I have seen it in different denominations and sects, watching it dilute that which I have dedicated a major chunk of my life to. I am done! I am ready to pin the truth to every door of every "Church" that proclaims Christianity.
I know I am speaking very generally, so let me expound a bit...
For years, growing up and leading in the church, I have heard leader after leader speak on the importance of soul winning and the importance of bringing people to Christ. The Mantra of "Each one Reach one" has been ringing in my ears for as long as I can remember. I have heard countless sermons on evangelism, and on the need to reach the lost as well as countless debates on the way to reach the lost. I have seen person after person put on this air of "God put me on this earth to save you" that it has caused countless number of people to be turned off by the idea of God.
Please bear with me, as I am not saying that soul winning is a bad thing, in fact it is A biblical theology. Not only in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) spoken to the disciples in Galilee, but also referenced throughout the bible in places like Jude 1:23 where we are instructed for some to "Snatch them from the fire and save them".
What I am seeing however, is the truth, and our mission has been skewed away from truth, and showing People Christ, to one of either putting ourselves in a place where we are elevated above those "WE" are trying to save, or to that of being a bestest friend and having a church party sleepover.
This is all really a big deal to me. Why? Because I have dedicated my life to study God's word as well as to help lead people in the way I believe the Bible instructs. I see churches every day that say "It's not our responsibility to feed you every day".
Now, I can say I sort-of agree with this statement, in the cases ONLY when the church is and has been teaching them to feed themselves. I have heard this for years in Children's and Youth ministries, and now that the leaders are over churches the mentality has continued.
This is as foolish as saying to your three year old... "I will feed you breakfast today, but you are on your own the rest of the week". HOW INSANE!!! Even taking the biblical analogy of sheep and a shepherd, the shepherd's RESPONSIBILITY is to lead the sheep to a place where they can feed, and protect them along the way. Granted, it is not the shepherds responsibility to feed the sheep, or make them eat. In the same way if you put food in front of your three year old... if they are hungry, I guarantee they will eat.
Unfortunately, it seems as a LARGE number of churches think it is perfectly natural and ok to expect their flock to feed themselves, while only providing the sustenance you would provide to a newborn, with NO teaching/training in how to eat, or what to eat. NO WONDER there are so many in the church swayed by sensationalism!!! That's also why there is such a large number of church goers who base their view on church solely on how "Good" the music is, whether or not the singer is "Professional sounding" or how catchy the back drop and intro videos are.... Here's the deal... If I want entertainment, I am going to go see a movie!
The Responsibility of the Ministers (pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, apostles) is, and I quote, Eph 4:11-16 NASB "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."
WOAH!!!!! Hold On... read that again...
...to the building up of the body of christ UNTIL ... to a MATURE Man/Woman... AS A RESULT...
Result? you mean there is to be a result from the 5 fold ministry gifts? The RESULT should be to NO Longer to be children...
Ok, I have to stop here for a second... No Longer Children.... well that sounds to me like there has GOT to be some way of taking a child, and helping them to BECOME NOT a child... hmmmmmmm ..... Feeding them icecream for breakfast, gummy bears for lunch and a bit-o-oreo's for dinner?? BY NO MEANS!!!! It is by feeding them healthy food AT THE SAME TIME teaching them HOW to make right decisions. Just like a child, however, this is not a simple process, but attained over time... that means you/we need to be constantly teaching, training, and instructing them on the right way to walk/learn/etc./etc.
I understand, that there are a lot of misconceptions in the church on the responsibility of the church, but when you have people leading that only want to feel good, what you get is the same issue a lot of modern parents get... The Parent(church) wants to be a friend, so they are very leniant and easy going while the child becomes dissobediant and lawless because they have no guidance.
HEY PARENTS>>> 3 Year olds do NOT need to be "Reasoned" with... they need INSTRUCTION, and DISCIPLINE!!!!!!!!!! (Same thing goes for you 'church leaders')
Now I will also say that YES the church, in the past, has taken this too far and as a result created a lot of BAD Church experiences (think hellfire-and-brimstone, or i'm better than you because I wear crosses hanging off from every possible point of my person). This happened for the same reason as what is happening now... those in charge, were NOT operating out of love, and a sense of leading/teaching people into the fullness of God, but into their own ideals of how the outward should look/sound/etc. This is Also NOT the purpose of the 5 fold Ministry Gifts!
Now on this note, I am going to have to take a break.... I have a LOT to say, and unfortunately too much work to do to be able to say it all in one setting.... BUT check back! This is weighing heavily on me, so I will post more soon!
And, if you want to comment... Please feel free, but I ask this
1. If you are on facebook reading this... go to soylentgreenroom.blogspot.com to post a comment as I don't get onto facebook enough to see any comments
2. Remember... This is not finished. I ask you not assume I am saying/not saying something you don't agree with if my thoughts aren't full. I don't mind comments, I just think there is no purpose for "Flamebaiting" on this blog [;o) Just saying!
3. Please do not think I am talking about you! If I have a specific issue with you, I will let you know. If you do things referenced in this blog, it is purely coincidence. Think about it, and if you feel you need to change do so. Otherwise... don't! I am not trying to change anyone here, just trying to give a broader perspective I think has been missing in the church at large for a while now.
4. If you are offended... well.... as my wife says... "Put your big girl panties on" and deal with it. No offence is meant, so if you are offended, well... it's your own issue [;o) Love ya!!
I Hope you are tremendously blessed and I will post again soon!