Book Review: So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore?

This is the fourth article in a series on the modern day church. Click the title to read it….

This is the fourth article in a series on the modern day church.  Read what I wrote on The Examiner.com

Click the book to review on Amazon.com
Click the book to review on Amazon.com

You can click the picture of the book to jump to its Amazon.com page for further review.

Running After Papa…

Adam and Eve and the Bride of Christ

God warned us this was going to happen! (First half of this thought is here: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-25068-Fort-Worth-Christian-Examiner~y2009m10d8-Adam-and-Eve-and-the-Bride-of-Christ)

God warned us this was going to happen!  (First half of this thought is here: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-25068-Fort-Worth-Christian-Examiner~y2009m10d8-Adam-and-Eve-and-the-Bride-of-Christ)

God said that the woman’s (implied wife) desire would be to control her husband.  That’s a frightening thought to think that I (we, the Big-C Church) have not only desired to control our husband (Christ) but many have made an all out attempt for a mutiny!  God help us.

Where has it led us?  To exactly the lives, lifestyles, and statistics as those who are not part of the church.  In very few instances is the church making any social impact.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing churches out there.

But here’s the deal.  God did not send Jesus to die for us so that we could be collected together in a building once or twice a week and systematically programmed to respond to musical styles, oratory excellence, or really-hip and relevant talks.

The Acts 2 church impacted the society around it just by LIVING LIFE IN THE SPIRIT.  They were still going to the synagogues and services that existed before Christ came… so it wasn’t about the church building or the service! (See Acts 2:46)

No… church isn’t about buildings – although they have their place; isn’t about programs – although they can serve a purpose; isn’t about services – although they can certainly help…  I’m not even sure when I say “church” that I have a correct picture in my head of what it really is….  This may take some mulling on….

Running After Papa…

Greatest Enemy of Faith

YouTube Link:  What This World Needs [Casting Crowns]


Lyrics | Casting Crowns lyricsWhat This World Needs lyrics

I heard this song while I was running today and I had to listen to it a number of times over the miles.

While the entire song is lyrically and musically amazing, it was the spoken words during that song that captured my attention during my run.  Here they are.

People aren’t confused by the gospel,
They’re confused by us.
Jesus is the only way to God,
But we are not the only way to Jesus.
This world doesn’t need
My tie, my hoodie,
My denomination, or my translation of the Bible,
They just need Jesus.
We can be passionate about what we believe,
But we can’t strap ourselves to the gospels.
Because we’re slowing it down
Jesus is going to save the world,
But maybe the best thing we can do
Is just get out of the way.

I recently was exploring that “Digg” is and stumbled across a link and subsequent comment chain on a quote written on a Church billboard. The quote was a quote from Martin Luther (although it didn’t give credit to Martin Luther) saying “Reason is the greatest enemy of Faith.”

While Martin Luther may have been right for the message he was preaching at the time, I’m really beginning to feel like the words of the song express a closer reality for today… ‘Christians’ are often the greatest enemy of Faith over anything else.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Jesus called it two thousand years ago.  Every time he used the word “hypocrite” he was speaking to the religious leaders; to the church. (Matt 6:2, 5, 16; Matt 7:5; Matt 15:7-9; Matt 22:18; Matt 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29; Matt 24:51; Mark 7:6; Luke 6:42; Luke 12:56; Luke 13:15)

In speaking to them Jesus said:

Matthew 15:7-9 (ESV)
7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

That, I fear, is the condition of The Big-C Church, particularly in America.  How did we get from a single body of believers to a system of religion that has so many denominations and differences of opinion and interpretation on what THE SAME BIBLE says?

We got there because men – in their pride – decided they didn’t like what they heard so they went somewhere else.

Now, here we are – 2000 years later – with such watered-down Christianity that we have watered-down faith.  Most churches in America don’t see God move the way he did at Pentecost.  Why?  The Bible clearly says he’s the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow and that HE WILL NEVER CHANGE.

To me it all comes back to Galatians 2:20 (one of my life verses).  I have to die to myself, to my wants, to my desires, to my “rights” so that Jesus can live through me and be seen.  When people see Jesus, they are attracted to Him… they want to be with him.

I have to get out of the way.  We (believers) have to get out of the way.

Easy to say, hard to do.

Running After Papa…