There is a trend in many churches that I think is breaking Godís heart.
Picture this. A meeting has been called of the entire church membership. A group of members are angry about certain changes being instituted. There are members lined up behind their chosen sides and the discussion is heated.
- The praise and worship music is too loud and too modern. Why must they sing from words projected on a screen? Or, the hymns are old fashioned and boring.
- The new youth ministry includes couches and games. How can this be right? Or, the church isnít doing enough to reach the youth.
- Why is the church board looking into expanding to allow for growth when the church building is large enough now? Or, the church building isnít welcoming to visitors.
- Those who are outspoken about their worries are considered troublemakers. Or, those who donít speak up donít care about the church.
Hurtful words fly and, after hours of discussion, no compromise is reached. The result is an exodus of members from the church in search of one that meets their specifications. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
- I donít think God cares what kind of music we sing in church. I think He cares what kind of heart it comes from.
- I donít think God cares if the music loud or if there is only organ music. I think He cares that our ears hear His word.
- I donít think God cares if the members sometimes carry a cup of coffee into the sanctuary or if the pastor wears a tie or if there are blue jeans in the crowd. I think He cares that we love and welcome each other.
Jesus gave us this command Ė that we love one another. This will show the world that we are His disciples. John 13:34, 35
In Hebrews 10:24, Paul tells us that we should plan how we can spur one another toward love and good deeds.
I agree with you that following these words is not always easy. Maintaining a loving relationship with other believers is made possible only through our relationship with Christ. Work to deepen that relationship and He will make it possible to obey His commands.
In China, Christians are imprisoned and tortured. World Magazine
In West Java, Indonesia, churches are being shut down. Indonesian women who ran a Christian based after-school program were arrested and accused of converting children to Christianity. They face possible execution.
Next time you find yourself sitting stewing over either the lack of hymns or too many hymns, take a bag full of food to your local food pantry or homeless shelter and praise God for the ability to do so.
Their Blood Cries Out
Today more than 200 million Christians around the world suffer imprisonment, abuse and even death because of their faith. Yet most Americans never hear their stories.Paul Marshall reveals the reality of this present-day persecution, revealing what we can do to help.