Willohroots


What church should be, not hard, not sin
February 8, 2009, 18:48
Filed under: Uncategorized

Having read here, and in many articles and blogs, criticisms of the state of the church today ,and ”Why Church is Hard”, it is my turn to offer an opinion.  See if this has the ring of truth.

Imagine for a moment a place where you could come and not be judged. A place where you would be safe to be honest about yourself without fear of being put down for your short comings.  A place where these words were honored.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. 

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

There should be a place where I can go and get help with those things that trouble me, a place where my weaknesses are looked at as a source of ministry, not condemnation.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

I long for a place where everybody shares common values, has a common mission, and is unified by a Higher Cause.

“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 

make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,”

Could you imagine the joy that would spread if there were a group of people who were sworn to love, to love even you no matter who you were or what you had done. A place where people lived by this commandment:

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

What if we could worship in a place without false righteousness, where the only thing righteous was the Blood of Christ, not the Preacher, or the Deacons, or the mega-tithers, where we were all sinners looking to Him for mercy? 

 

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 

The Reason church is hard is one word, SIN.  We have decided we know more about what is right in His Church than does God.  Is that not the very definition of the Original Sin?  Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.  Based on that meal we now know more than God about how to assemble and what to do.  The church needs to hear the criticisms of  Rob and Chris.  They are not fools, but brothers in the Lord,   reporting  the conditions they see and what they have experienced.  Their experience, like mine and most likely yours has not all been positive. 

So they say get rid of full time Pastors.   They say it is the Church building, or the culture,  they   blame the denomination,  or the Seminaries  [I will own that one] , but the truth is we are to blame,  we sin.  The bible tells us all we need to know about being a true family, a bride deserving of her Husband when He comes again.  The answer is in scripture and in prayer.

Worshipful Father, merciful Author of reality, we ask forgiveness for not following your Word in our assembly.  May the Holy Spirit bring a season of Revival to the Bride, that we may truly love your people in the image of the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

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12 Comments so far
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AMEN!

I watched a Pastor shed tears today, while speaking to the lost. He shed more tears of joy when one of them came to the Lord. I want my heart to be that soft.

Comment by Shawn W

Truly! Truly! This would be a powerful church.
Now, if only I could have a congregation that reacted like Shawn when I occasionally shed a tear from the pulpit. I usually just get offered Prosac.
Loved this piece, Brother Willis.

Comment by Rev Andy Little

Excellent post. I loved the interweaving of your own thoughts and scripture.

Mike Bell

Comment by Eclectic Christian

Thanks E.C. My goal in life is to interweave scripture in my thoughts, it is a work in progress!

Comment by willohroots

Rev. Andy Little ,
Thanks for stopping by. If only we learned the lessons from the Teacher.

Comment by willohroots

I’m with you here.
Our sin is what makes things not what they are meant to be.
Perhaps we will only have glimpses of this kind of community of which you write while we’re in the midst of humble repentance together…at least until the ultimate restoration of all things. Especially us, we need to be restored.

Comment by Chris Sweigart

One of the things that has encouraged me is that as far back as Paul’s day, “stupid” (translated variously as “immature,” “fleshly,” “sinful,” or “inauthentic”) came to church. Most of Paul’s letters had some element of correcting false beliefs, steering high-maintenance believers, or fixing broken relationships.

What I DON’T see then, as I do today, is the church’s frenzied push to be popular (tr. “relevant”), hip, or approved by the world. NOR do I see in the NT this paranoid, prideful practice (dang, I’m an alliterating preacher!) of comparing ourselves with other churches.

I long to lead our people toward what you’re describing here, my friend. Good stuff!

Comment by Andy Wood

Amen Chris, we sometimes forget to walk humbly with our God.

Comment by willohroots

Andy Wood
People were then as they are now. You are right, being worldly is not the answer, being Godly is the goal. Churches should have their own personality, formed of the culture and shaped by the Holy Spirit.

Comment by willohroots

Please check out contextualization at Chris Sweigart’s site. It has a link to a system that would avoid a lot of sin in church. Well worth the read.

Comment by willohroots

i think there is a difference between committing a sin and having a mind set on sin. this plays out in the church like tares among wheat eh?

Comment by graceshaker

The problem with churches is that there is people in them. Find a church without those and you will be able to worship without being judged.

Experiment 1: Walk into church and when someone asks you how you are do not give the standard “fine, it’s been a good week, how are you?” Instead, say, “I am nursing a hangover that would Mother Theresa curse out loud and my dog just died. I slapped my neighbor and I’m thinking about picking up one of those girls on the corner after church, I think they have reasonable fees. How are you?”

You will be the topic of conversation for at least two weeks, maybe longer. The responses to something like this are not concern or genuine interest or anything resembling love. Horror and judgment and being tarred and feathered would be closer to reality.

Preforming this experiment will lead to one of two things: being either very amused or extremely disappointed. Attempt at your own risk. If you come across a response of true love, please let me know so that I may tend to my small bit of hope with excitement.

Comment by TabithaWynne




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