Many people when they think of a church may be drawn to think about the pastor of that church as though that pastor defines that church and what that church is like. But did you know that a church should not be known that way, as it is the Church of Jesus Christ and He is the head of any true Christian church. Part of the problem over that last few hundred years however, is that clergy have been less than willing to share the burden of ministry.
Did you know that Christians are all “clergy” in a sense? Peter tells us of this in 1 Peter 2:5, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” What this means is that we no longer need to approach God through any particular priest or pastor; instead, we are allowed to approach on our own through our great High Priest Jesus Christ, because of the sacrifice of His body and blood which makes us holy if we trust in Him. Continue reading “Altar Call”
“Now, let’s see. I am low on milk and eggs. And I think I need something for dinner since the whole gang is coming over. And I better get plenty of bread since my kids seem to polish that off in a heartbeat.” Common words perhaps, that often describe our rationale for running to the store. And so we head off to load up on needed commodities, armed with little more than our wallets, and maybe a few empty reusable grocery bags. All in all, a pretty justifiable behavior for a consumer.
Wikipedia defines consumerism as: “a social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts.”
Let’s see, I guess that pretty well nails it, at least, what I see in the capitalistic environment of our county, though I would add, “…to fulfill perceived, or actual needs.” We lack, are in need, and look to the nearest store to replenish our deficiency. We have empty bags going into the store, that we expect to be filled upon our exit. Seems logical, and more so, it is to what we have all become accustomed; but is that the same expectation we should have upon our weekly visit to church? Continue reading “Consumer Church”
I am sure we would be surprised to find out exactly why people actually attend church, or a particular church. Among the multitude of reasons that would be cited would be a nice building, a good youth program, an avid sports ministry, the use of visuals during the sermon, great music, perhaps it would be that person has “always” gone to that particular church or even that their parents had always gone there. Some may even attend, as strange as it may sound, for no other reason than the word “church” is in the name on the sign out front. And maybe, just maybe it is solely that particular church’s affiliation with a particular denomination which draws a person.
Of all the options, I think the more appropriate concern should be, “Is this Church demonstrating that which it was intended to be?” Continue reading “True Church”
How many times have I heard these kinds of statements; “I don’t want to go to church because it is full of hypocrites. Those people in there make me sick; you can’t trust any of them. I don’t want to have any part of them. I used to go there but no more, no way.”
Well, I have to agree with you, I have been more hurt by Christians than people who don’t profess to believe in Christ. I have suffered thousands of dollars of loss more by those within the walls of a church than outside of it. I have been lied to many times by my “brothers and sisters.” I have seen behavior totally equal to, or worse than that of pagans. All true. To be honest I am certain that there are quite a few Christians that don’t come to church because they don’t want to fellowship with people of this kind either. Continue reading “You Hypocrite!”
Football has been defined as, “thousands of people who are desperately in need of exercise, watching 22 men on a field who are desperately in need of rest.” No more so will that be the case than this Sunday when the big event occurs at “game time.” Nearly 100,000 patrons will fill the seats of the arena. Millions will watch on television and mobile devices. Radios around the world will be tuned to the great event. The press will be present in full portion awaiting the outcome of gridiron brilliance. Anticipation will fill the air as the teams enter the stadium in full battle array, ready for the action, and “oppositionally” position themselves on the sidelines.
Can you imagine if, as the whistle blows to start the competition, all the team members remain on the sidelines? After a while, as the excitement begins to wane, the field remains vacant and all the players look to one another for someone, anyone to take the field, but no one does. The fans look expectantly at one another. Everybody has shown up expecting a great game, yet that is not to be. Slowly, one by one, little by little fans begin to filter out, the lights begin to dim. The players were to take the center stage and perform; they are idle. The fans were meant to cheer; they are quiet. Continue reading “On the Sidelines”
Who didn’t love the ingenious colorful little plastic inter-locking building bricks of our childhood known as Legos? These little foot gouging objects have spawned a vast global empire of youthful imagination and productivity. Children (and adults) can spend hours designing and constructing endless architectures of the mind. They originated in Denmark where the word Lego means, “Play well”. Interestingly enough in Latin the word means “I put together”, and in Italian it means “I connect”, or “I tie”. Hmmm. What a great contemporary colorful metaphor for the Church!
When I graduated from school and was headed to the pastorate, I tended to looked at people in the Church sort of, as Legos. I was under the impression that the simple task was to take these 26 Legos, or 2600 Legos, or however many, and help assemble them, click them, inter-lock them, into this workable, simple, yet God-glorifying structure for the Lord. Continue reading “Lego Theology”