Good To The Last Confused Sip!
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints". (1 Corinthians 14:33)
Someone once said, "a camel is a horse designed by a committee". There may be more truth than fiction to this cliché, when paralleled to the church. If you have ever been connected with church business, in any way, you will probably understand this afore mentioned implication.
Once, as a member of the church property committee, our committee literally spent over an hour discussing whether or not to place gutters on the church roof. Not to mention what color to paint the sanctuary.
So, how has the church evolved, from that of spreading the gospel, to one big confusing socializing super club? From broadcasting the true "old time religion" to adjusting or conforming to the control and ownership of the modern day religious mind-set (2 Timothy 3:1-7, 9,13) ?
You see, the church is Satan's last stand against the gospel (Revelation 20:3). He gets a hold on church doctrine (2 Corinthians 4:4), he attends church committee meetings (1 Thessalonians 2:18), he causes perplexes within the order of the worship services (1 Corinthians 7:5), he causes doubt within the congregations witness (Luke 8:12), and on and on.
I recently read a very interesting article describing a new church in close proximity to me. The church demographics included a recreation complex of six interconnected domes, which are designed to house facilities like a banquet hall, a basketball court, a fitness center and a bowling alley. Now, I certainly am not condemning this particular arrangement, as long as the various facilities are used to reach the un-churched, and bring those individuals in to hear the gospel (Matthew 9:12). But what is the perceived message here.
I grew up in the traditional prototypical church. You know the ones with the wooden pews, having just enough padding to keep your posterior from falling asleep. No air conditioning, of course, and a large potbelly stove located in the pew isle. I remember when my preacher Daddy thought he was doing the right thing, by installing that large attic fan in the side window. That big fan brought in all the neighborhood bugs through the windows on the other side of the chapel. Not to mention the noise, if you were luckily enough to be sitting by this enormous contraption.
Nonetheless, that make shift comfort arrangement, along with the crude building complex, had no bearing on my faith. For our church agenda was not one of uncomfortable confusion. Simply put, we believed in the "old time religion" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). It was this interaction with the church leaders, and the genuine heartfelt conversation with friends, occurring inside and outside the church building, that helped me grow as a new believer in Christ Jesus.
(Let me just stop here and mention one of my "pet peeves". Having a fellow church member eat you up, with that big hand shake and fake grin during the church service "meet and greet' segment, only to look the other way when meeting you in "Walmart".)
I realize the business end of the church is very important. The church, however, must never forget its first love. That being the discipleship of saints (parishioners) and evangelizing mankind (Matthew 28:19-20).
Christian discipleship is the process by which we grow in the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:9-11), and how we may be equipped by God's Holy Spirit (John 14:26-27, to overcome the pressures and trials of life (Philippians 4:13, 19).
Reaching out to the unsaved is simply witnessing to what God has done for us (1 Peter 3:15) and by showing God's plan of Salvation through our lives and deeds (Romans 1:16). You see, we are simply saved by our faith in God's free grace, and not by our works, our money or our friendship (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is this simply message of salvation, that needs to be broadcast.
Remember, God never promised we would see results of our witnessing. But never give up. The Holy Spirit will produce the results, which is the results of our obedience (John 15:5-8).
Now, what about our church mission ? What about battling Satan's confusion ? Is the remedy church coffee houses? Is it the donut and coffee breaks between services ? Is it the rock style worship music bands ? Is it relating to those "nursery rhyme" oratories from the pulpit ? Is it giving priority to a denomination over true Christianity. Not ! It's that basic doctrinal philosophy, first displayed by our first church (Acts 2:41-47)
Well now, you have stopped preaching and gone to meddling, you may say. I may be guilty as charged. But my comments, principally addressed to the church trends of today, are reasons for my being rightly concerned about such activity.
What has happened to singing those Biblically based hymns ? What has happened to congregations corporately praying on their knees ? What has happened to Bible based sermons ? What has happened to kneeling at that old fashion church alter ? And what has happened to the "Amen's" and Hallelujah's echoed, as the spirit led ? The church principles, as well as those of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, have not changed (Hebrews 13:8). Only us humans have changed (Revelation 2:4). We believers (followers of Christ) must return to our first love (Jude 1:3).
So, God has never been the issuer of confusion, whether in or out of the church (1 Corinthians 14:33). You see, God is the author, not of confusion, but of peace in all the churches; He orders and disposes peace among them, and they attend to it. Its peace and order, and not confusion and tumult, that prevails in all true churches ( 1 Corinthians 14:40)
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