One World, Under God… Fighting the rut of the average church-goer!

          Over the past few months I have been thinking a lot about our duties to the church, to the body and to God, thinking which has done more to convict me than anything else. Up until recently, I seem to have fallen in a rut, you know?… The one where we go to church every Sunday, raise our hands during worship, mouth the words of holiness and feign an authentic faith? Yes, I know you all know because everyone falls into this rut from time to time, some longer than others. So in thinking about our duties to the church and the body I have been led to a few simple but profound truths from the word, and the Holy Spirit has led be back onto the right and true pathway of faith! Praise His name for that… These three truths are also the summation of several different blogs I have posted on here, so if any of you feel I am being redundant, understand I am reiterating these truths intentionally.

          The first truth is that Sundays are the Lord’s day, not our day! I talked about this in the last blog, but I wanted to expound on this further. 2 Cor. 3:18 says “And we with open face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into His image…” This word changed comes from the Greek word translated metamorphosis, and presents the picture of our sanctification process being likened to that of a caterpillar being transformed into a butterfly. But how does this verse imply that this happens? Not by going to church, rather by getting into the word! Our daily nourishment and our fuel to get through day after day comes from the holy Scriptures more than anything else, and by being humble and willing to accept what He has to say when we open the word, we are more able to dwell on His image, thereby aiding in the profound change He wishes for all of us.

          One of the biggest lies emanating from the church today is that “It is all about us and how God chooses to relate to us!” and while there is a certain element of truth within that ideal, it misses the mark. The right and true church understands that it’s not about how God relates to us, rather it’s how we relate to God. And yes, God does meet us exactly where we are at, but that doesn’t mean we are to be lazy in our pursuit of Him. It takes great humility and discipline to be sanctified and to change into that glorious image! It takes an understanding of love and grace and our complete and utter depravity to be able to appreciate that grace, and to be able to know that love. Why are we so blinded to this fact? We had to die to ourselves in order to take up the mantle of Jesus, and to be begin on the path of being “perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect”. The easiest way to know Christ is through the word, and the best way to glorify God is to submit to Him in that word. Church is a beautiful opportunity as well to glorify God, but it is mean to be a time where we collectively glorify the Father! “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together” is what the Bible has to say about church, but it doesn’t say “… So you may be blessed”! Church is about glorifying God and evangelizing to the lost, but the first and foremost truth is that church is for God, not for the followers of God.

          The second truth is that the more we honor and serve others, the more we will be served. I liken this thought of ministering to others to a metaphor of a maid service. We have the opportunity to “clean” our own house and we might very well “clean” our home nicely, but if we choose to go out and “clean” another’s house, then while we are serving that other person, God will divinely “clean” our house, better than we ever could in the first place. The more that we humbly and without agenda, sacrifice for those in need, the more God will replenish us for the services we have done. I truly believe that when the Bible talks about pure and undefiled religion in James 1:27, it actually means that we are to go out and minister to those who are in need- to the widows and the orphans and the poor and the sickly. Our greatest opportunity to resemble Christ is to follow His commandments and to serve our fellow man.

          Fundies adamantly say that preaching a relevant gospel and trying to reach people where they are at is heresy. They say that we should preach the gospel one way and should not adapt the story or the message to meet the needs of individuals. They say that preaching hellfire and brimstone is relevant for all in the same way. Check out the picture below.

          Is preaching hellfire and brimstone to this man going to get him saved? No! Giving him food and clothing and shelter will do more to share the message of Christ than anything. Therefore when we are at church and in our community I believe that it is imperative for believers to serve others before serving ourselves. That means we volunteer to clean our church, mow our neighbor’s lawn, buy a homeless man a cheeseburger, and get our families and friends actively involved in bettering our community. Next time you are at church, pray about how you can meet the actual needs of your congregation, your facility and your community, for in so doing you will be blessed.

          The third truth is that there is no caste system with God. We are all equal and equally fallen in the eyes of the Father and therefore should not look at the faults of others or the methodology in which they live their lives with judgement, unless that methodology blasphemes the message of Christ. I am not saying that we should accept and overlook false prophets, for they are a cancer to the body that needs to be removed. I am saying though that issues like the method of baptism, the use of contemporary music within the church, and the uses of spiritual gifts, are not issues that need to cause such division. We should worship where we feel comfortable, but we should not blacklist those other members of the body that believe differently! If our focus is on others and where they are wrong, our focus is not on Christ and how He is right. Denominational differences, for the most part, are not reason enough to disassociate ourselves from those believers! And in this spirit I believe that Pentecostals and Independent Baptists, should be able to worship together without getting into an unholy debate (not to say that these are the only two groups that should, these are just the example I am trying to make).

          The ultimate truth within this thought? God does NOT know castes, or classifications, He knows our hearts and that is all that is important to Him. And in the light of eternity there are only two distinct groups of people in this world- those that know Christ as their personal savior and those that don’t. Those that do have a duty and a privilege to show those that don’t the ultimate love of Christ, and what a beautiful message that is to spread!

          So I ask all of you as you go about your daily lives, ask not what your church or God can do for you, ask what you can do for your church and your God (I know I ripped that line from Kennedy, but what an amazing thought that is!). We have but one life, and that one life is “but a vapor” according to the word, therefore we should live our lives extraordinarily, serving the Father with a Carpe Diem attitude and a broken and contrite spirit. May God bless you on this day.

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~ by Tim Kurek on September 25, 2007.

3 Responses to “One World, Under God… Fighting the rut of the average church-goer!”

  1. Good post Tim!! All of it is great but one of your last statements is so true:

    ——————————
    So I ask all of you as you go about your daily lives, ask not what your church or God can do for you, ask what you can do for your church and your God (I know I ripped that line from Kennedy, but what an amazing thought that is!). We have but one life, and that one life is “but a vapor” according to the word, therefore we should live our lives extraordinarily, serving the Father with a Carpe Diem attitude and a broken and contrite spirit.
    ———————————

    Amen, Amen!

    I never could figure out where the mind-set came from that we’re to look toward the churches (plural) for what they can do for us..heck, WE ARE The Church! lol Its “we” that should be doing…

  2. Thank you so much for the nice comment. I am pleased that the Lord used my humble words to bless you in some way. Please keep checking back and I will definitely be praying for you!

    your covenant brother,
    tim

  3. I have just “found” your blog, and I am so happy to read what you write. Amen and Amen! We must all realize that in the end, it is only those things done for God that will last or be of value.

    Blessings,
    bjmmckee

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