The Godless Church

God has NOT given us the spirit of fear but I’ll admit I’ve been a little fearful of what others might think about what God has called me to do with my life. That was until last Sunday, when I was told I wasn’t allowed to pray with my friends at the alter before church, as we had done for the past year and a half. Maybe, they wanted more order as people where coming in or they just didn’t want the so called distraction but whatever the reason I felt betrayed, ANGRY, then dirty. I walked away asking God to forgive us and have mercy on us as a whole because we have FAILED Him! We have become more concerned with what people think than what God wants.

It was at this moment that the Holy Spirit empowered me to be a voice and to deliver a message of Hope, a hope that says we can change things and bring Him back into our churches but to do this we will have to give Him control.

Are YOU ready to give Him control? You have to ask yourself some tough questions. Do we allow God to do what He wants in our services or do we stick to ‘the program’? I got news for you, God is sick of our machine we call CHURCH and our so called PROGRAMS! Angry, would probably be the best word. We show up, smile, sing 4 songs, pat each other on the back, and go our merry way. When did we stop asking ourselves where “The Lost, The Hurting, The Poor, The Needy, and The Sick are? The answer hurts, they are where we aren’t. They either can’t afford to come to church due to us setting ‘church’ up as only available to middle-class / upper-class America or they come and see a bunch of smiling happy people that have NO problems what-so-ever and leave feeling like they don’t belong.

I feel ashamed, I feel sick for allowing myself to be a part of these atrocities.

I can NO longer stand by and watch a church of 500+ people show up to a social gathering, stay for an hour, shake hands with 3 or 4 people, and leave the same way they came in…it’s disgusting!

I have watched as the spirit of God moves in our worship only to get cut off directly after the 4th song EVERY sunday because it’s 11:25 and we MUST take up the offering and do announcements.

Every sunday we give God the same 15-20 minutes and every sunday I look around when they ask on cue, “is anyone here who needs salvation?” the answer is almost always a resounding NO!

The steps of the alter at my church are clean, spotless, and show less wear than if we had put the carpet there last week. How did it come to this?

When did we feel it was just more profitable for us to close the alters; I mean, all we did at our church is gain 500+ members basically from other churches. They got bored where they were at and so, we where able to obtain massive growth in a very short period of time.

Problem is, now we cater to the numbers instead of God. Our pastors would rather please them than God. So, every week we get more programed, more to the minute on both services, and promise to have you home before the football game starts!

God, please forgive us and allow us to pick up and start over!

In other words, THANK GOD FOR GRACE!

As of this moment, I will NO LONGER stand by and watch us be proud of the kingdom we have built for ourselves, I cannot and will NOT keep quenching the Holy Spirit and where it is trying to lead us as a people!

God help us, because Hell is coming and in the end we will ALL have to answer to why we stood by and did nothing to save those in which Christ came for.

So again, ARE YOU READY…to take BACK our heritage as Christians and allow GOD back into our CHURCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s time for a REVOLUTION…is anyone with me…let your voice be heard if you feel God tugging on your heart as He is doing mine.

God Bless,

S

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When I Have it All Together…..

I’ll be able to do something for God then. Just a few more issues to work out.

How many times have we used that excuse? I know I have used it several times….I have even had people say that about me as well….’you really need to work on this or that and then you can do something’…………..

Does that sound familiar? Have you told yourself that?

My friend….we are NEVER going to have it all together. Let’s face it. Our striving for perfection is NOT going to work. Without His grace, forgiveness, and mercy…we are nothing and can do nothing!

We are never going to be good enough, holy enough, or have it all together enough to earn the right to say we have arrived or that we deserve what Christ has done for us.

It is only through His grace, His righteousness that we can accomplish what He has laid for us to do.

If we could only get our head around this and understand that His grace is more than enough to overcome our faults, failures and weaknesses, and that in our weakness He is strong, lifted high and glorified.

It’s not through our works, but His grace. It’s not through our worthiness, but His righteousness. It’s not on our strength, but through His!

Recommended Reading: TrueFaced

Does It Matter If We Worship With Other Believers? (a slight rant)

****I originally posted this on my own blog here****

Earlier this week a guy in my business quit. He went to a weekly Monday morning meeting, sat through an uncomfortable time where he essentially made up some numbers then he walked out and quit. He couldn’t handle being criticized or experiencing rejection. I sympathize with him, I don’t like going through those either. What was interesting was this guy talked so much about what he was going to do. He was going to do this and he was going to do that. He was going to study for this major thing and do this great event. He never did any of them. While I sympathize with him, I want to change gears now and look at church attendance in light of his talk, no walk activity.

Going to Mars has been one of the most healing things for our family. When we moved here there was some wounds from the churches that we had served in that needed healing and we have found a haven where the Word of God is preached, and our faith is giving the opportunity to be put into action. Invariably, when people talk about Mars, there are many who say they could never feel connected at the church. I think this may be true for a few of them but it is my belief that most people who say this are people who have an expectation of the church to connect them. They don’t feel that they need to make an effort to be connected; rather they feel the church owes them. That’s a different topic for a different day, but I will say that my family has never felt more connected to a church.

My wife and I were talking this recently about gathering with other believers on Sunday morning, commonly referred to as church attendance. One of the girls that was supposed to help with her class didn’t show up because she was out too late the night before.  Even attending a great church like Mars there are still Sundays where we don’t “feel” like attending the gathering. Most of the time, we still go. Now, I don’t want to go all legalistic about this but I want my life to be marked by regular gathering with other believers to worship God, to heal and be healed.  For me and my house we have decided that this is important. We serve because we believe it is important. What amazes me is how unimportant regular gathering is for so many people. Now, almost to a person if I talked to them (I have with many) and asked them , they would tell me that weekly gatherings—going to ‘church’, if you will—is important. The truth though is found in their actions. And the truth is that it isn’t all that important to them.

In fact, I would say that for most people going to a sports outing, going camping, or going to work is more important than gathering with other believers to worship God.  Come on, let’s be honest no one who is even remotely responsible would ever think of oversleeping for work. Or if someone had a big vacation type event planned out they would be more than willing to get up and give up sleep to be on the road on time. But how many of these same people will be out late Saturday night so they can have “fun” ,because that will matter for the rest of their life, and sleep right past their alarm, if they even set it on Sunday morning?

I’m convinced that for the average American Christian fun matters more than any gathering of believers. We would rather applaud a touchdown or homerun then bow before the Creator and experience Eucharist.   Too many of us like the idea of serving others through our local body but don’t want to be inconvenienced to serve. We want God—and consequently all the goes with Him– on our terms.  That’s why we can get up Monday to Friday at whatever time is necessary for work but we can’t make it for a gathering on Sunday.

In some ways, this may stem from our view of membership and the modern church. Too many of us believe we are in some sort of country club where attendance to group functions is nice but not necessary. Service is a nice ideal to be aspired to but not something that should actually cost us anything. I think this probably why the average person gives less than 3% of their income to their local church body.
Can I be honest?

Much like the guy who left the business this week, annoyed me because he was always talking about what he was going to be doing and never actually doing anything I am tired of people telling me how important God is to them when their actions say something completely different.  It’s not that I don’t want to accept people where they are, I do but I want more. I want a Christianity that is authentic and all authentic Christianity will involve regular interaction with other believers and regular service.
Bottom line, our actions tell on us. We get out of bed for the things that are most important to us. We sleep through the things that aren’t that important. We sacrifice for the things that matter to us, and ignore the things that don’t.  Most of the time we do what we want to do when we want to do it.  Most of the time we worship our bed or the ever elusive fun we’re having more than we want to worship God.

God is pursuing you

The Bible is more about God pursuing us than it is about us pursuing God. It makes me wonder why we measure our spiritual journey and more often the spiritual journey of others based on how much they are “pursuing God.” Sounds like religious crap to me.

What is a “Church”?

Come on…you know you have an opinion.

What do you think church is…or at least what do you think a church should be?

Webster defines a church as:

    1. a building for public and especially Christian worship
    2. the clergy or officialdom of a religious body
    3. a body or organization of religious believers

Which definition is the one that you most identify church with?

Why?

Webster has church listed as a noun…shouldn’t the church be a verb?
Just my thought.

Jay Bakker and the Soulforce Connection

Jay Bakker who is the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and the pastor of Revolution Church in New York, has aligned himself with an organization known as Soulforce. Soulforce is a national civil rights organization whose main push is for “freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.”

“Jay doesn’t believe in an exclusive God, only one that embraces us all for who we are, including same-gender-loving individuals.” (source)

According to an article today in the Houston Chronicle, and Soulforce website, Soulforce and Jay Bakker have extended invitations to six mega-churches to be a part of a “nationwide fellowship effort called The American Family Outing. The project, which aims to create dialogue between LGBT families and families at six American mega-churches”, including Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, texas.

So far, Osteen has not agreed to or responded to the invitation. However, several other mega-churches, including The Potter’s House in Dallas(T.D. Jakes), Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois (Bill Hybells), and Hope Christian Church in Maryland (Henry R. Jackson jr., have agreed to meet lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families through The American Family Outing.

I have no problem with the idea that we are supposed to love all people…even those who choose to be gay or lesbian…but where I start to have issue with the whole Soulforce connection is that it appears to be advocating their chosen lifestyle.

Contrary to Jay Bakker’s particular belief that Christianity is non-exclusionary, according to scripture there are those that will not be saved. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their acceptance of the ‘alternative lifestyle’.

I don’t want to come off like some of our friendly ODM sites around the blogoshpere, but this is a very dangerous thing for Jakes and Hybells to ‘link’ themselves and their congregations to.