"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pleasing People to Start a Church

Image from HuffPost.
I've seen it happen countless times since I was among young people in church. Pastors doing everything they could to get people in so they can start a church. They'd been doing it then, young pastors are still doing it now. And what do they have? A disaster that often starts out right but turns horrible (and more horrible) as time passes. No "ever-increasing glory" which Paul talked about to the Corinthians.

Jesus wants a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. He won't settle for less. I can't imagine Christ settling for a semi-glorious church with stains and folds and creases. They always say church is a collection of imperfect, flawed people God has accepted by grace and mercy. And that's what church has been---flawed and imperfect and getting worse as time goes by because some preachers pointed church to that direction. They taught us there's no perfect church so just settle for messed up ones.

They even insist we are "saved sinners."

No we're not. We're saved saints. John said in his letter that no one born of God continues to sin. Yeah, we were flawed and imperfect and dirty and hopeless when God took us in. But his grace and mercy enabled us to change from this to glory and more glory each day. That's how the bible tells it. We may fall a bit now and then but his grace enables instant and FULL RECOVERY---if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us so we can continue with a holy life. Why this? Because God wants a glorious, radiant church, without spot or wrinkle that goes in ever-increasing glory.

Nowhere in the bible it says that God is settling for an imperfect church.

It's NOT God's will that we remain in sin at the same time enjoying salvation. We need to go from glory to glory. We cannot go on justifying ourselves that we are just humans. In Christ we are God's sons and daughters, not anymore mere humans.

The way things are, church buildings, church income, church properties and church memberships are the only things that increase, not the glory. This is because people are being pampered to attend church and given everything they want to make them stay. I've seen it several times. Immature people, sometimes even the unspiritual or carnal, given leeway to have their own way in church and given positions and important roles so they'd stay and feel important.

There was this church that allowed drug addicts who were under the influence to join the choir so they wouldn't get discouraged and stop attending church. And there's this popular strategy among pastors of often visiting people and trying to get them to join the church, luring them with church attractions and sometimes offering leadership positions.

Yup, they'd join you sooner or later but you'd owe them that. You're going to be indebted to them and be at their mercy. If you don't do as they please, they'd stop going to church (and influence others in a campaign) and you lose people. And that's not a good report during your annual church denomination meetings. So, at the very start, the church is compromised. The pastor is held hostage and at the mercy of his members, especially influential members. At the outset, Jesus is not Lord of that church. People are.

Jesus never did it that way. People desperately joined him. There were instances when he even turned some of them down. Would pastors today do that? Jesus pleased no one but the Father. Most pastors, especially in church denominations, can never do that. They have to please people because that's the way they started out. The pastor went around the community knocking on doors, inviting people and trying their best to get them into their churches by hook or by crook. They call that evangelism. Jesus never did that. He went around and preached and then left. People pursued him. This should be our church strategy model.

We should let the Holy Spirit convict and convince people. If people turn to Jesus this way, the glorious church is built and Jesus is Lord. If we do it our way and with our own efforts, we build a worldly church where the people act like gods and lords.

We should let Jesus build his church. There's going to be a lot of "temple destroying" (persecution and sacrifices and ego demolition) in the process, but it's all worth it because it will result to a glorious church. It's easier to beg people to come to church and become members than let God work in people which often seems ineffective because we see nothing happening fast. Gold will come out shinning only through fire.

We easily get impressed by fast increase and big sizes. I see very few pastors concerned about a glorious church. To them, glorious is big, peopled, moneyed and propertied. And it changes the value system in church, so that you see leadership often being manned by loud, intrusive, arrogant and vain people.

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