Jesus Wants the Rose!

I’ve referenced Matt Chandler here before.  He’s certainly my favorite preacher.  His relevant and timely message of grace and one of the most moving I’ve ever heard.  He gives me hope that there are churches out there that still area a church and do not just “play” church.

 

 

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The Unreliable Church

churchlostpromises


Revelations 3:15-16 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other. So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of mouth.

What Happened to Committment 

I’ve often thought about the letters to the Churches in the New Testament and if a letter were to be written today, what would it look like? I think it would address the lack of committment to the Church.  I have been getting increasingly unsettled as I hear professed Christians spreading diatribe in regards to socialism.  I’m not a fan of socialism, but I understand that there are needs out there that simply aren’t being met by the church.  With the election of President Obama there seems to be an onslaught of people who feel that as a Christian they simply must speak against welfare and socialism.  Fine, whatever….but remember, the church was appointed to care for these people.  The nature of life is to fill voids.  If a non-believer doesn’t have God to worship, they will worship other things; money, celebrties, music etc…  If God’s people will not fulfil their mandate, the need does not cease to exist.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world

What are you, as the Body of Christ, doing to help the widows, orphans, single mothers, homeless and the hungry.  I don’t agree with many of the President’s policies or social views, but an angry church raging against the world, is exactly what the world expects of the us.  Anger from the Church toward the world is rarely useful as a tool of change.  (read Matthew 22: 17 and 21)  Look at the Bible, with virtually no exception (I can think of only one) Christ’s rebukes and challenges come against the religious Church leaders and not the Romans.

Oh sure, we’re happy to go to the other side of the world for a few days to pray with and deliver supplies to children of other countries; but what are you doing here at your local church?  I’ve recently spoke to a pastor from a church, not my own, who shared my lament of  the Church, as promises are made and not kept.  Our primary observations have been that those younger Baby Boomers, Gen X and Y are the least dedicated to their commitments and promises.  Look around, and you’ll see that the older generations and those who attend more traditional churches are almost always more involved and more dedicated to their Church Body.

The Body is Wounded

The Body is hurting and its hurting because we’re dependant on one another and those parts performing their calling and contributing to the church.  Unfortunately the church of the past generation, bleeding into the upcoming generation, is so accustomed to being entertained and served, that we’ve lost the ability to be dedicated to anyone that doesn’t feed that indulgence.  Don’t believe me?  Look around at most any Evangelical church and notice that the number of people who arrive “on time”.  I’m not being legalistic, I’m talking about pure disrespect for everyone else.  In most cases this is symptom of someone who places their leisure above respecting those who are there to serve.  Most of these people would never be late for work.  How about those that agree to lead a ministry and then acutely resign, because it becomes challenging?  Or those who leave a church after committing to it, because they haven’t made any “friends”.  Friendship and dedication require action and effort.  Being engaged takes time.  A church takes engagement, relationship, effort and dedication.  Christians cannot put their own entertainment, comfort and laziness ahead of God and then expect to met their destiny or calling!

Are you a Symptom or a Cure?

I’ll be the first to admit.  I’ve become a victim of frustration and indifference at times with the American Church.  A church that can met freely without threat of government action, and is the least passionate about being part of the Body.  There are far too many distractions, but they are hardly to blame.  You, as a believer, have every ability to stand up and say, here I am – use me! 

Isaiah 6: 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  And I said, “Here am I.  Send ME!”

I am not apologizing for sounding angry….I am angry!  I am agnry at myself and at the others in church who profess to be part of the Body, but are luke-warm and only participate in the Body when it feds their narcissistic need for enlightened self interest and entertainment.  It’s as if Christians feel this is a country club, where those with similar beliefs gather for cocktails on Sunday mornings.  The Church’s of other lands, can sit for an entire day and listen to His word, they will pray for hours until the Lord has moved in miraculous way and here we sit in America and take no action that doesn’t “benefit” us and doesn’t meet our schedule.

“For Such A Time As This”

I’ve yet to meet a believer that hasn’t said “I just want God to use me”, but I often question if they really mean it.  

Esther 4:14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews (Christians) will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?

I think we are all given this option:  you can choose to use your life to serve Christ or you can be silent.  If you’re given the gift of music; sing.  If you’re given the gift to teaching; teach.  If you can pray, do so and to serve, be a servant!  Do it, do it well, do it for your Savior, do it for the Body.  The time is now, and where you may feel that leading worship, child care, sound or accounting may not be a grand enough calling the Word says this:

Matthew 25:26 & 27 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where i have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

I’ve found that many people volunteer or offer to participant and ministries, but after a short time, or when it’s no longer convenient they fade away.

Matthew 5:37 But let you r statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil

I know that this is a difficult post and that today’s Christian desires to be challenged, not at all.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard on Christian or another tell me that they finished a book or scripture because it was too condemning or didn’t match the God of Love that they worshipped.  I happen to think that if something doesn’t challenge me or push me to be better than it was a waste of time for me to read.  The mere fact that the Son of God came and died for YOU, should make you uneasy, pressured and challenged.  Love such as that is incomprehensible for us!