Slickdrums Chronicles

AvatarSwim Against The Grain..



Being A Christian Means Getting Out There

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The 2nd part in the series Overfeed the church or Feed the Hungry? written by the same friend:
 
If what is written makes sense, then please act on it by sharing with your church leaders - in humility & love. In good faith, I plead only for justice to prevail. I said all that to say this;

Christianity in general, if I may so bluntly put, have fallen short of God's intent and purpose. I cant be absolutely sure about this, but 'testimonies' from non-believers seems bent on it. Who's to say who holds the right opinion or who holds the wrong opinion. That is not the issue at hand here. What we should be doing, is finding out if there is any truth to this claim. A dancer may blame the floor for his/her bad performance, but is it equally true...that he/she may not be as good of a dancer as he/she thinks. When an accusation is thrown our way, we should not scrutinize the accuser, but be quick to look if there is any truth in that accusation. So when someone claims that Christianity at large has failed, we should ask what have we done wrong and how do we set things right in good faith.

I, on the other hand agree that we, as a church, have by far failed. The church has yet to rise to the occasion. We have been placed here, on earth, to bless the inhabitants thereof. We should have an eye out for the people. Seeing the need, meeting the need. Yes! I understand that the church has it's part to play in the global outreach. It says so in the bible. No doubt about that. The early apostles did exactly that. But if one were to search the scriptures, one will realize that God's heart also yearns to see us as a body ministering to the under privileged. If people do not recognize the existence of a church in a certain community (for the right reasons I mean), then we have failed. When people start complaining that we are noisy (on Sunday mornings), then maybe just maybe, somethings not right. When people point out that it is us that double park outside the church, then somethings not right.

Well it's true that the church has by far been working with the underprivileged. Sending them clothes, visiting the sick, handing out some form of monetary help the those in need. I agree. I have witnessed it myself. However, there's much room for improvement. Our vision by far, based on my observation, does not actively allow us to minister justice to the weak and the oppressed.

We cannot afford to say, that just because other churches are helping out the poor, so we'll focus on other areas. I think, that if that is our mindset then we will not fully see the extend of God's blessing being poured out on us. I mean even if God decides not to bless, we should take it as our responsibility to change our community. That's spiritual warfare 101 in action. I've even wondered why are the Non-Governmental Organizations are actively involved in this, but the church of God is far from it. Shouldn't it be the other way around. We have God with us. From where I stand, it seems that the church is looking out solely for 'numero uno'. Our outreach programs are geared at getting in people that we assume will fit in with our agenda, ou church programs, our vision. I think that, that vision is too microscopic in God's universal agenda.

If our goal is to increase the size of our cell groups with the current programs, then my friends, our vision...is too small.
 
If our church-wide activities are geared at increasing church attendance, our vision...is too small.

If it is just to improve our praise and worship performance so others may be attracted to the music, and then share the gospel to  them, our vision...is too small.

If we encourage our people to dress our Sunday best so others may see a difference in Christians, our vision...is too small. Wrong and small.

Micah:6:8KJV He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

God have shown us all that is good. He has and still is pouring out His blessings on us. By the worlds standard, we are not bottom feeders. God is all good. There are always people in our lives all around us  that we could lend a helping hand if we wanted to. We are required by God Almighty to do what is just. To be just is to fight injustices done to “least of Jesus' brethren” not with pitchforks and knives, but, out of love and compassion. Provide work for the jobless, provide widows with daily needs, care for the down-trodden and social outcast. To push back the enemies stronghold on our community regardless of creed or religion. God is Just. Jesus is the embodiment of all that is Just. The Holy Spirit cries out for us to administer justice.

God requires us to love mercy. To enjoy being merciful and to embody mercy. Jesus in words and deeds, exuberates the essence of mercy. Leaving the 99 in search of the 1. Putting the 9 aside, turning the house upside down to find the 1. If our community has an orphanage home that needs a computer, be merciful, please donate one. Why not sponsor a kid through college. Help the sick on a regular basis, not just a one time hand-out. We have got to change our priorities. It's has got to change. We cannot afford to be merciless. Not now. Not ever. Learning to be merciful through WFL or even the sermons will not help. Not anymore. We have got to be radical. We have to wake up from our slumber. Open  now more than ever the eyes of our heart. Get the ball moving. Build momentum. If the church vision does not incorporate mercy in it's operations, it's bound to fail.

God in all His mercy, calls for us to walk humbly. Live humbly. Putting the needs of others before us. Living within or below our means, and setting aside a certain amount to help others. After all, it is God's finance anyway. Not ours. It never was ours to begin with. Do we really need fancy cars? Do we really need luxurious homes? My goodness, are we too pampered. All that excess finances could be channeled to the needy. We have been sucked in to the ever increasing demands of this world that we have become too arrogant. Honestly, we don't get it. We  think we are actually doing something good. We think that we have got to enjoy heaven here on earth. We think that what God has so generously given, is for us, our family and our immediate friends and care group only. Once in a while when we feel generous, we give to the missions fund and to the church building. I have no doubt in their sincerity. I feel that the priorities of the church are imbalanced.

Is our young adults cell groups doing enough by being a blessing to our community? I'm highlighting this group because you and I both know that there is untapped potential in it. Most of whom are singles and professionals. And it pains me to know that more often then not our immediate neighbors aren't joining us for care groups. Why aren't they? Aren't we supposed to be a beacon? Why is the ministry house not a lighthouse to them. Why aren't they finding our care groups interesting? What's missing in this picture? Could it be...just maybe...that we are missing JESUS!!!

Occasionally we celebrate birthdays by having expensive dinners but never did it crossed our minds that we could have actually set up a neat buffet for the orphans. Why so selfish!? Almost always have we forgotten about the plight of the unfortunate. And, when we actually do, we pray about it and see if the activity is in alignment with the church vision. Why isn't the church, all for meeting the needs of these beloved people that God so loved? Why the exclusivity? What makes us so special? I mean we organize movie nights, bowling, all sorts of games, but once a year or two, we'd remember the forgotten. How convenient.

We have homogenous groups so we could give specialized attention to our immediate circle of friends. I get that. Meet all you want. Get ministered in that groups. But do not forget to minister to those who can not repay you. The parables of Jesus teach that if we hold a feast, do not invite the dignitaries only, but turn to the streets. Bring in those that in no way can repay you with favors when the time calls for it. Now that's radical. That's Jesus.

Listening to the sermons these days, I find them to be shallow, stale and selfish. What should be done is that we stop and start walking the talk. Sunday sermons should inspire us to go out and touch the community. If not, then all we have is a false sense of purpose. I am not here to tell you what to do. I'm only highlighting issues that needs attention. Why don't we incorporate radical christian outreach on Sundays. Forget about protocols. Who says that we need to have 4 praise songs followed by 4 worship, communion, testimony, offering, the sermon, lunch etc. All this to keep the people in the church. Yes we need to worship God. Express our love to Him for God is worthy. But we also fail to realize that God delights when He sees us being what He has called us to be. I believe we should bring the church to the people. I think we should break all forms of religiosity. Jesus broke the norms of His culture. The healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick. Jesus came to seek those that were lost. He went out from the synagogue spoke to the prostitutes, healed the blind, set the captives free. And all we do is come back to church for yet another session of meetings. The Jews placed emphasis on church going.  

People do not need to hear about Jesus. People need to see Jesus at work. We are the body of Christ. Jesus is the head. We are not the Head. And Jesus is all for meeting the people wherever they maybe. Physically and spiritually.

Regards!


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