What makes is even more urgent, is that fact that since I started to write this blog a day or so ago, three people have died. One a woman younger than me with two children; 23 and 21. Another, a hero of mine in the faith, Jill Austin, and the husband of another sister in Christ. I believe he was also younger than I am.
Aren't you hungry for more than a simple "get through the week" sermon, and some Jesus music on Sunday morning? I am! I want to hear from Heaven.I have been meditating on this verse for some time now.
Matthew 5;16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Where are the good works? I guess what I am having trouble with, is not the there is sin in the camp, but how we deal with it. From the failure of the PTL Club to the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal in Massachusetts and Ted Haggarty, the church is not being a very good witness.
What I want to know is how do we get into the Christian life so that it is thoroughly in us, and pours out of us? I have a few thoughts.
First, just acting religious does not make us a good witness. From my perspective, non-Christians have the following opinions about the church:
-1 We only care about money; hence the investigation of Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn.
-2 We are intolerant of homosexuals - IE: Rick Warren
-3 We need to clean up our own house (take the speck out of our own eye) when it comes to folks like Bishop Law and Ted Haggerty
-4 We need to get rid of arrogant showman and minsters IE: Benny Hinn and some other popular televangelists.
-5 We need to stop proselytising; faith should be kept to ourselves.
-6 We need more positive and motivational preaching, not so much about sin. IE: Joel Osteen
I agree with the observations, NOT the reasons behind them. In my view we, the church global, are basically concentrating on the wrong things. Not that the guys mentioned above have done anything wrong. Of course the world is focused on their pocketbooks, not the fruit of thier ministry.
Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
The verses in this blog are very clear what our witnesses should see. If we are going to be witnesses, then men, all men, not just saved men, are going to glorify God, then we are going to have to do things which glorify God. If we are going to release ministers, then we need to have accountability. Yeah, right, how? It is called relationship, not attendance. These are deep relationships where we are transparent with our leadership group. The one man in power model is never going to work. Read Ephesians 4:11. We have got to work as a body, not as a group of soloists.The world sees us talking about healing, and not many are healed. They see us talking about family, and our divorce rate is the same as theirs. They see us voting against the homosexual agenda, and then some of our prominent ministers get caught in the lifestyle. They see us vote for traditional marriage, and yet they don't feel loved.
What do we do? The Bible says that we have become a new man, and yet most of the preaching efforts I have heard for 30+ years are aimed at trying to fix the old man. How about letting the old man die and just let the new one out?
James said, "Faith without works is dead." We can't give lip service to our belief systems, that makes us like all other religions and philosophies -- we are just one more to pick from. Our faith needs to show like were pregnant with it! Those around us need to see it working for us. If we have it, and we are being led by God, we'll be attracting converts like the apostles did.
The evidence of true Christianity is love and supernatural power. Do you have it?