This post is actually over 3300 words and a lot to read at once, so I’ve separated it into two posts.
Now the title of this post is intentionally provocative. People will read it and be like ‘huh, of course we need to save the world’. But my response is this, we’ve become so focused on healing the world, we’ve ignored the fact we need to heal the church? The church is barely strong enough to save itself from itself, what then do we have to offer the world. It seems like we’ve corporately forgotten that we were sent into the world, not to become a shadow and partaker of it, but to set a new standard for it. Churches, clubs, brothels, the streets…. Sometimes it just feels like the buildings & locations change but the people don’t. But I’m on a roll so let’s get into it.
I was on Facebook and I read a story about how the new incoming pastor of a church donned the appearance of a homeless man and entered that church in disguise. He wanted to see the way the church would respond to him. Despite us knowing how the church should of treated him like, in our heart of heart we could probable already tell how this story will go. They shunned him and out of the thousands of members, only a few smiled at him. Though hungry, nobody gave him change for food when he requested it and when he went to sit in the front of the congregation in an empty seat he was shunned away to the back. Once the board of ministers announced that the new pastor was in their midst, the church stood up in cheers and claps to see who their new man of God would be and low and behold he got up and made his way to the front. They were shocked and stopped clapping, waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell them they were being punked perhaps? He then went to read Matthew 25: 34-45 as a means to admonish them with many hanging their heads in shame. He then dismissed church and sent the congregation home.
Now this made me angry and sad at the same time within my spirit. We know these verses well enough, we can recite them but corporately, we don’t actually live them. So this then triggered me to unleash a serious of tweets which I’ve formulated into sentences and expand upon in this blog. This was necessary and is an issue that has been on my heart for years now. When I stand back and look at the state of the world and what is to come, it’s about time that the church start being the church or stop calling itself one. But the lives of too many people depend on the church doing what it was called to be. So would the real Church of Jesus please stand up, please stand up, please stand up! The rest of you wolves in sheep’s clothing can have several seats. Hope you enjoyed those cultural reference!
Good people & Christian people
Every so often I’m talking to a non-believer about Heaven etc and someone always says something along the lines of ‘but what if someone is a good person, they give to charity and help the needy and poor, why can’t they go Heaven.’ I then use factual scripture and whip out some Romans 10 (esp v3, 9-13). And to be honest they make a good point, but I also do not make the rules. I was not there when God laid the foundations of the earth! BUT let’s flip this one on its head. Why is it that non-believers, despite having with no knowledge of the heart of God are better able to walk in His will for us to love and serve one another with a ferocity that is very rarely matched by the church? Why do we see more world changers outside of the church than we do from within? Yet we are the ones who have been blessed with the advantage of knowing Christ. But not all Christians know Christ I guess, but that’s for another blog post.
I know more non-believers stirred up with a passion to take love to the hurting and dying parts of the world than some Christians. This isn’t to rag on Christians but I hope this will serve as a wakeup call. Perfect I am not, but serious about Christ and the life He died to give me, I am! On my 2012 Adventures of a servant, I met so many people whose hearts ached and broke for the injustice in the world, the only difference between me and them was that I knew Jesus. Yet our hearts bled the same and we cried for the injustice the same. Yet people whose hearts truly break for the things that break Christ’s are few and far between. The pursuit of prosperity, favour, our own breakthroughs and blessings have clouded our adherence to the mandate of Christ to love others. He didn’t say just love those in your clique, church, or even your country. He said all. And sometimes you need to leave your comfort zone to successfully complete the work of Christ. But the church these days is too preoccupied with fronting and excluding those who don’t fit their ideals. But then again, ain’t anybody got time to save the world when there are book deals, concerts and new trappings to acquire.
The fact Jesus said He ‘built’ His church on Peter shows that it had never existed before. The church was built as a new type of place and symbol of fellowship with God. We were no longer bound by the temple, the embodiment of rigidity, structure, hierarchy & religion. On the cross, Jesus tore that down to allow us to boldly approach the throne of grace to enter into new life with Him and receive salvation. He gave us the Church and we’ve somehow regressed and traded it back in for the temples. Do we really look like the church Jesus saw when He laid our foundations on Peter? Are we the church the apostles died for? Are we the church that hundreds of thousands of people are being persecuted for as you read this? No but really, how did we get back to the temple? How did we get to a place of giving God the bear minimum trying to rob him of the spotless lambs and animal fat He once required? Yet now, He requires much less from us; a heart that loves Him wholeheartedly; feet that are firmly stayed in Him and not half in Him & half in the world; a heart that is faithfully obedient. How did we become SO comfortable drowning in sin and only resurfacing every so often to see atonement through half-hearted repentance and petty sacrifice?
Some of it boils down to priority. At the time of Paul’s writing in the bible, the church was under ferocious attack yet the apostles of the time endured and in doing so, they were able to lay the foundations of the church we now enjoy, albeit with their blood. Going back to Romans 10, why is it that we the church are not doing what is commanded of us in verse 14-15. In this day and age, we won’t minister to our non-believer friends or even call out our fellow Christians living in sin for fear of being branded a Jesus freak, too-radical, not cool and dare I say it, for losing friends. We’ve become a church of compromise, compromising our message to the world, but also our message from within. We’ll preach one thing from the pulpit but behind close door another message is being shared. Pastor’s having affairs, embezzling money, addicted to pornography, abusing their position of trust. The emphasis has shifted and is not laid on the wrong things. Church has become about offering a good experience with little to no revelation. The only place the blind will lead the blind is to hell. Open your eyes to see and find the path that’s headed back to the heart of God. Someone call Jonathan Dimbleby, because it’s about to be Question Time again. Men & women of God, you might be able to bring a phenomenal word, but are you living by it? Worship leaders you might be the vessel God has used to create an immense atmosphere of worship, but is your life an instrument of worship unto God? Church members you might come to church and get slain in the spirit but when you get home and you steeping yourself in an atmosphere that allows you to get slain by sin? Apart from on a Sunday, or celebratory seasonal service, does God know your name? Can you pick up your phone to call heaven and the angels already know whose calling? When God sees you does He see the church or someone fronting like the church? Christianity is not a label, nor is it an endorsement. This isn’t like Beyonce getting paid to claim she actually drinks Pepsi because let’s be honest, who actually drinks Pepsi LOL. But in all seriousness, I heard it said that if you’re a Christian and you are not living like Christ, you either need to change your life or change your name.
I’ll leave you with this for now, mull it over and I’ll see you in part 2. Feel free to comment or reach out to me if you’ve been challenged.
So let’s spread the word, feed a spirit, encourage a soul!
Twitter : @TolzThundercats