Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eyes Wide Open

What if Jesus returned today? What would he say about the condition of the majority of churches in our community? Are we unified? Are we coordinated? Are we on track? Are we doing the work the Lord wants us to do?

If you were asked to define the word 'church' what would your definition be. A body, a group, a movement, an idea, a culture, a mission, or an objective. My definition is all of the above and more. I can better define what a church isn't than what it is. Church is not infighting, gossip among members and visitors, title grabbing, the 'look what I did' syndrome, slander, 'holier than thou' attitude. It is not 'I founded this and I founded that'. It is not perfect attendance or overwhelming participation in programs and activities.

Church should be a smooth running clock. A fine tuned instrument. A drum that never misses a beat. A finely coordinated symphony. It should have infinite capacity for compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. It should never run out of energy because it is burning at its core. Each vessel within the system should burn with the desire to give testimony to what God is doing and what he will continue to do in the lives of all who put their trust in him.

We as a people must continually reassess our relationship with God. We all fall way short of being that perfect instrument. We find God in our pain, our suffering, and the roller coaster ride of the flesh. God has not and will not turn his back on us. He will not forsake us in our time of need. He will deliver us from evil. He will save us from the snare of the evil one. God's power is always available. His mercy is overflowing. His capacity to love us in our flesh is endless.

The major problem in church today is we are all trying to out do each other. We are like little kids trying to win the teacher's respect. We are like boy scouts working for a merit badge. We are in competition with each other instead of unity. Church has become a part of the worldly machine. It has become capital driven. It is all about the money 'show me the money'. It is called organized religion.

In the real sense of the word 'Church' has nothing what so ever to do with organized religion. Organized religion is a man made concept full of counterfeit deception, smoke and mirror games, and hypocrisy on a grand scale. It has been the downfall of countless ministries all over the world. What many preachers, evangelists, and teachers don't realize is that it is the quality of the group and not the quantity that makes the difference in the effectiveness of the ministry. I agree with many preachers that I have talked to that say they had rather have ten seasoned bible believing God fearing people on Sunday morning than one hundred that are clueless as to the church's mission and calling.

You have to be careful when you decide to grow the church. Everyone needs to be ready to take on the world so to speak. The main body of believers has to be in agreement and of one accord as to the benefits and liabilities of such an endeavor.

Something that has always astounded me are the countless denominations that make up the Christian church. Each one of these groups seem to have figured out a way to alter the gospel just enough to fit into the way they think the whole thing should work. Some are even 'my way or the highway' churches. Some will ostracize you if you were far from what they think is perfect . Some are so puffed up and self fulfilled that I don't think they would know Jesus is they saw him standing on the corner.

How many people or should I say professing Christians really know the nature of God or have a real tangible sense of connection with him. God is not like a magic genie in a bottle who you can call on and make wishes when things aren't going your way. God is an all inclusive, omnipotent power that is like a mighty flowing river. Its course cannot and will not be altered or manipulated in any way or by anyone.

In order to make the full connection with God first you have to turn the power over to him. You have to let go of the steering wheel. Then move over and let him do the driving. That doesn't mean you have to give up your intellect, reason, or judgment as some think. Christians are not robots or puppets on a string. They are free moral agents created by God. We have freedom of choice. We have the power to choose right from wrong. We can do good or bad.

It is completely up to you and you alone. You are stuck with you. Good, bad, or indifferent. The only thing that separates humans from animals is self awareness or the ability to know thyself. It is a scary thought to be able to think to be able to think about thinking. To contemplate who we are, where we are, and what we are. It is an awesome concept and to me completely incomprehensible. Yet here I am able to talk about it, think about it, and write about it.

God is awesome. Existence and consciousness make my head spin. Go figure.

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