Friday, February 11, 2011

Fixing the Church from Your Pew! - Part 1 of Many

I decided that I am going to write a series on what the average Christian can do to make church better, and more godly.

The is the intro, and I don't know how many posts it will take, but I am not worried about it. I do know that if we love others with our gifts, the job will get done.

Working backwards from the goal, we can maybe see what steps we can take to turn the church around. So here are the first few thoughts.

- Love: We need to better understand love, we often identify it with some mushy feeling that we felt while watching a romantic comedy. Think about it, how much love do you think Jesus felt the day he was crucified? If he always loved, and he does, do you think he was having mushy feelings for the Romans? Was he all choked up over the kindness they were showing him?

- Holy Spirit: If we can't sense God's presence, or hear his voice, how would we ever know what to do? There are more than 31,000 verses in the Bible. Let say only a third of them are actually do-this or don't-do-that instructions. That means at any given moment, we are over 10,000 choices for how we should act. We could pray without ceasing, or praise without ceasing; we could love our neighbor as ourselves, or heal the sick, or feed the poor, or do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We could not worry, ask stuff in his name, repent, sing a new song, have joy, experience conviction, speak in tongues or prophesy. Whew, what to do? How could we ever decide what to do based on a relationship with a book?

And there are the don't-push-the-limits verses like do not exasperate your children, or be angry but do not sin. How much is too much, where's the line.

We need to have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, and be certain that we hear his voice.

- Grow Up: Maturity is a rare thing in the church. If we have a God who cares but seems uninvolved, we are in trouble. Eventually (maybe even always), we rely on our feelings, not on Him, or we make bad choices and blame it on the devil. Do we honestly even know what the Devil is doing? Have you had an encounter with the Devil? Do you know what his schemes are?

It is interesting how so few Americans rely on the word of God. No more than 20% of the 82% who say they believe it is God's truth, do. If we did, and we had a deeper relationship with Holy Spirit, we have to grow up. But for now, it's easy to go to work, or flip on the TV, or sit on the computer, then to practice hearing His voice and carry it out.

I constantly read about divorce rates, and a myriad of other issues that simply add up to selfish and immature. We cannot be good enough to make it work!

Well, there it is, a start: love, Holy Spirit, and maturity.

How about you, do any of these resonate as your personal needs?


Charlie's Church of Christ said...

duh David when there are 10,000 verses to follow you choose the one that is the best deal for you or will get you the best outcome. silly David! :)

Renae said...

This really is good, David.. So many every day Christians don't feel like they can do anything to change the church. But when we begin to realize that we are the church, and when we allow Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us, and begin to be mature (perfect is the word in the KJV, but the original means mature) then we will really begin to see changes in the church. - That's US!!!

Tracy said...

Over and over as I take time to read the Bible a bit each day I see this same theme of love. Bearing with one another and over looking offenses. Seems to me that it's spoke about so frequently because it comes down to where the "rubber meets the road", where we live each day. We're human and as such we can really annoy each other; and that's when we've got to get a grip on our emotions and just choose to keep on loving and praying for each other. Whenever someone annoys me in my local church, I remind myself of this simple (but not easy) truth and make myself just pray for them and NOT talk about them. I'm grateful for those mature Christians that I've met through the years who have modeled this out before me.

photogr said...

Granted we must all love and earnestly seek the spiritual gifts as well as listen for the Holy Spirit or God speaking to us.

Maturity, now that is a good one. It has been said we should seek God as if we are children and look upon Him as the Father.

I don't know if I want to be mature in religion. I have been around those that profess maturity for many years. Those are also the ones that state miracle healings and prophesy no longer happen any more.

As far as the devil or demons. Every time you are swayed to sin, you have been influenced by them. The big question is: Which powers has the most influence over your life? God or the demons?

Churches in general do present a worthy way to worship God and is a viable place for newcommers in Christ.

However, at what point do they fail and fall into the trap of a business as usual operation neglecting the true reason for their existence?

When the church leaders put the Holy Spirit and God into a neat little box with boundaries and time limits.

When the new commers are
looked upon with dollar signs rather than people seeking God.

When one is judged by the members before they know any thing about the newcomer.

When there is no love shown for others

Tony C said...

That's a great way to kick things off!

I'm glad you started with love because we come up short on that daily....if not hourly.

But love is nothing but a buzzword carried over from the 60's if not rooted in Truth.

Looking forward to this series.

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