Thursday, November 10, 2011

What is Wrong With the Church in America?

They will know you are Christians by:

  1. The huge building and all the people coming on Sunday
  2. How well we all manage our money
  3. How good our worship band is
  4. How relevant our message is
  5. How hateful you are toward sinners
  6. How well you understand Biblical Doctrine
  7. How many people go evangelizing on Saturday
The list could go on and on could it not?   What is the Answer? Does anyone know, I mean really know?

We know what the Bible says, but how many have really experienced it?

Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other."  (Joh 13:35)  Gods Word

What was that?   LOVE.   For a few years now I have queried of fellow believers, "How is the love that we are showing each other different or better than the worlds love?   How can we attract people to Christ if our love cannot be differentiated from the worlds?  Truly in many fellowships what exists could not even be called love.  So if we cannot produce love for each other I guess we have to attract them in other ways. And many a fellowship has by using some of the items from the list at the top of the page.

Maybe it is because we aren't producing real disciples for Christ.  So if they don't exist then the love doesn't either.  It is a sure bet love cannot be manufactured.  It has to be nurtured and grown through small groups of trust relationships where our lifes deepest and darkest secrets and foibles can be talked about, prayed about, and gotten rid of.  That should be taken care of in a young, in the faith, disciples life. Under the guidance and protection of an older,  mature mentor.  We should not have to deal with hidden issues in the body of Christ all of our lives.   That is the first way LOVE is shown.  

Another way it was shown was:

Act 2:42  The disciples were devoted to the teachings of the apostles, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. 
Act 2:43  A feeling of fear came over everyone as many amazing things and miraculous signs happened through the apostles. 
Act 2:44  All the believers kept meeting together, and they shared everything with each other. 
Act 2:45  From time to time, they sold their property and other possessions and distributed the money to anyone who needed it. 
Act 2:46  The believers had a single purpose and went to the temple every day. They were joyful and humble as they ate at each other's homes and shared their food. 
Act 2:47  At the same time, they praised God and had the good will of all the people. Every day the Lord saved people, and they were added to the group. 

Read those verses carefully.  

  1. devoted to the teaching of the apostles, breaking bread, and prayer
  2. kept meeting together, and SHARED EVERYTHING WITH EACH OTHER
  3. Sold things and gave to anyone in need---this is a big one
  4. All had single purpose and went to "temple" every day---listen to someone speak---testimonies
  5. humble, joyful,and shared homes and food
  6. And praised God
What did that produce?    The good will of ALL the people. and every day the Lord added to their number.

Wow!  Sounds like loving each other.   SOUNDS LIKE LOVING EACH OTHER.

Now I want to talk about something that is really hard to hear. Especially for Americans.  We have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Compared to 90% of the world it is Opulent.  We are rich in comparison. Even the poorest among us is rich in comparison.  As American Christians we have done all kinds of gyrations to justify our money and houses and cars.  We have developed an attitude of deserving it.  Despite many warnings from sectors of the Church we have continued to justify ourselves and our lifestyles.  We even took it into how we do church.  I have to say I think the Lord will get our attention one way or another.  I believe it will soon be taken away from us.  For me that has already been done. My family and I have been living on faith of the Lords provision for a while now.  There is no doubt He provides what is needed for His children.  The hard part though is what you think you need is probably not what the Lord says you need.  That is a difficult period to get through.  

Jesus had much to say about rich folks.  The story of the widows mite. The rich young ruler,  The eye of the needle.  Oh yes much to say.  Here is the problem  most in the Western Church trust in there money and possessions or job or insurance policy instead of the Lord..  Jesus said you are not His if that is the case.  Story of sheep and goats sound familiar?

I am not passing judgement on anyone. If anything I am warning folks. What does that one verse say up there?  Sold what they had and gave to those in need.  The question always comes up, "then what?"  Well, you trust the Lord for your daily needs like the rest of the world.  Really it is better than losing your eternal life.

We are sojourners here.  We are the travelers from a far country. We are to get rid of the things that hinder us from following the Lord first and then living as if we are on a trip together and help each other to the destination, In the process we attract others by that love and then teach them about our Master and how to be like Him.   

If there is any doubt as to what I say.  Think about who gets the Glory in any action you do.

We have financial seminars to manage our money better, so we can use more for the Kingdom..  Excuse me?  Who gets the Glory?    I will spell out the first one.  "look how well I have learned to manage my money, so I can do more work for Gods Kingdom.  Versus there is no way to pay the electric bill,  Lord please help.  He takes care of His children.  Test Him on this.  He said He will share His Glory with nobody.  

Do you see now why Jesus told the rich young ruler that the one thing he lacked was NO MONEY.  Very few can handle money and still be safe in Gods eyes.  The Lord said Sell all you have and give to the poor then come and follow ME.  Nothing but total trust in the Lord and nothing but Glory to the Lord for taking care of the rest of your life.

If you pat yourself on the back for all that you do for the Kingdom with your riches,  let me throw one more in there. The widow gave EVERYTHING she had.  Jesus once again said what?  She has given more than all the rest combined.   There is that pesky "everything" again.

We won't believe it.  We say it is a different world and the demands are different.  But we must not forget that Jesus said "I am always the same"  "I change not" and many other variations.  

Be heartened though, If you are His, I do not believe you will get there without being stripped one way or the other on this side first.  It can be voluntarily or forceably,  but I am sure total trust and giving everything up for Him is still a requirement, and He won't let us lose the importance of that lesson.

So to answer the question asked in the title, what is wrong with the church in America?  We do not produce proper disciples.  How do we produce proper disciples?  By loving one another.  How do we love one another?   By giving time, effort, and trust to raising young believers in the ways of the Lord.  How do we do that?  By providing for the needs of one another so the time is free to invest in new believers.  That in turn shows the world a different kind of love that is very attractive.

And so the cycle starts again  

Peace to all and Glory be the the Father always,
Troy Hansen

1 comment:

  1. Hello Troy
    I have some links you might enjoy. This is the real bible, there are two copies, one buried in the cellar of the vatican and another that made it's way to daylight via the austrian museum.

    You know Jesus was the avatar and representative of the Christos but the Christos is a form of light that penetrates the universe and every living cell. Jesus was not named Christ he was Jesus Abbass. That was his last name. The bible for the most part was written by Constantine of Nicea, the British warloard who killed the Vedic priests and took over the vatican about 200 years after the murder of Jesus. It was to sustain a faltering roman empire around a central religion. It was debated as to whether Alexander would also be considered divine. The bible was later re-written by William Shakespeare on behalf of King James many believe. All of the truths were not deleted and most believe Revelation was written by John the brother of Jesus. The gospel of Thomas was however deleted but has turned up in Greece. He was a gnostic with views similar to modern day Buddhism.

    Another interesting piece.

    Sites where I have been known to hang out also from time to time.

    I am truly sorry to hear you are unemployed, that seems to be the case with far too many people these days.

    Cheers Dublinmick


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