After listening to a sermon the other day I posted on Facebook a very strong opinion about how preachers should do their preaching. The specific preacher I was listening to at the time was circling round and round a point for what seemed way too long, never really saying much. Being entertaining, but not communicating the point he had set out to make. I was fed up, as I am with most preaching, and spoke my mind in public.
Most people loved what I had to say. Many people have never been on the underside of ministry like I have, nor have the perspective of church things like I do. And they seem to act giddy when someone is willing to speak the truth, even about the church.
The truth that I’ve found and that is central to my message to the Church is that Christ is the One who has earned ultimate authority over man kind and it is our job as the Church to point others unto the glory that is completely His. So that they may begin to walk uprightly with God through the life and presence of Jesus Christ… and in and amongst those who call themselves church.
Like I was saying, most people loved my wild status challenging preachers to speak truth concisely and forthrightly.
It should be said here that I am a preacher, and have many friends who preach regularly, so I know who my audience is. Interesting enough my statement chided one of my friends to lash out at me. He said something to me that I needed to hear, challenging my pride-fullness, so I didn’t follow through with any lecture or argument (thank God for people who are willing to speak their minds regardless of how it affects us. We all need those people in our lives).
But since the other day when that happened I’ve been pondering what exactly happened with that post, and with my friend. There seemed to be something more going on.
I believe what happened in that transaction is indicative of one of many errors we have in the modern church. Namely, false salvation given as a result of participation, reverence, and idolatry of a church system. I believe that my seeming disrespect to the art of preaching and the role of preacher challenged the reverence and adherence that my friend has towards the church. And thus his ability to find comfort in it.
There is a comfort that comes with participation in the local community. As it should be. (not a bad thing, just a terrible ONLY thing) The problem that happens with that is that the comfort of the small groups, the preaching, and the good pastor DO NOT equate salvation in God. Salvation is found in communion with God through Christ; Submission to the presence and will of God; The transformation of our humanity by our willing subjection to the Creator God; Evidenced by the Holy Spirit that Jesus died to impart to us. This where true comfort in God is, where the evidence of our life is obviously salvation. And that type of life fruit is how we become truly evangelical and applicable unto all people. Being able to go into any community in the power and Spirit of God and bring lasting change, by the World Changer that lives in us.
But we prefer the comfort of a “christian community”. We love the hierarchy that allows us to feel good a few times a week, having a man of God whom we can ask all the hard questions to. So we don’t have to.
So when some wild cowboy rolls into town shooting dead the false idols and understandings that hold those hierarchal comforts in place, it’s understandable why someone would be mad.
Today is “Easter” Sunday. Many will go to church today and wear their best outfits, listen to great sermons, cry a little, and then go about their business. Reverencing the church system.
But what about Jesus?
What about the abundant life that He has called us to?
What about the willingness to die with Him because of His goodness to us?
I hate to pee in your easter basket, but there is something much greater going on around us. And if we keep on playing patty cake with the rudimentary spirits of this world, we’ll never know what it means to fly high with God.