THE CHURCH'S RESPONSIBILITY
by paul hoffmaster
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THE CHURCH’S RESPONSIBILITY
The Christian community faces many challenges on its road of servitude. For some perplexing reason the communal effort to follow God’s leading has led, not to the fulfillment of its mission, but rather, to an excursion into areas of judgment. More and more the Church is leaving its foundational base and is leading an outreach based on the human interpretation of the Bible. Rules and regulations flow from the Christians’ lips. When God rent the Veil in the Temple at Jesus death, tearing it from the top to the bottom, the way to God was opened to the “whosoever.” What is happening today is Christians are restoring the Veil by sewing it back together and in so doing are making it very difficult for the world to find the way to God. The Church wants the sinners to change their life style before they can be introduced to the Life Changer. The Christian community has become an agent of division instead of a conduit of love from God.
I submit to your consideration what I believe to be some of the causes of an ineffective Church. 1. Zeal without knowledge. It is basically promoting self serving Scripture that is taken out of context. Many of these teachings are based upon misunderstanding of the text. 2. Knowledge without zeal. This is knowing the Word, but not practicing what it says. It is a tendency to accept the Bible as the Word of God, but doing little to promote it. 3. Truth without compassion. Practicing the Word almost to the degree of legalism, but when it comes to responding to the sinful world, there is little compassion. 4. Compassion without truth. Willing and able to feed the hungry and give to the poor, but failing to share the Word of God and His gift of eternal life. 5. Worship without commitment. It is lifting up hands in praise and adoration, but not committed to consistent attendance whenever the doors of the church are opened. Also, there is a lack of trusting God’s directions. 6. Commitment without worship. Living a Christian life style, but void of outward displays of adoration. Even in their homes there is little, if any, time for worship and praise. 7. Prayer without sincerity. This is praying as a form of ritual and not with the sincerity of knowing that God is listening and hears the petitions and requests. There is little knowledge of what it is to “pray through.” The brevity of prayers is evidenced by the second hand of the watch. 8. Sincerity without prayer. Prayer is almost non-existent. After all, is thought, God knows the heart and what is needed so there is little or no need to pray.
If the Church would only consider developing zeal according to knowledge, having truth with compassion, would worship with commitment, and pray with sincerity, then maybe the Church would function according to its calling. Let us rearrange our priorities from human editorials of Biblical truths to IT IS WRITTEN; from the “want ads” to the “good news;” from the classified to the clarified. It is time to move from the Cliff Notes mentality to the whole Truth, from the abridged to the unabridged Word of God. Instead of promoting sin consciousness, let us devote our energy to bringing people to a God consciousness. Instead of centering on issues that are characteristic of worldly standards, let us introduce them to the one who brings forgiveness and abundant life. When people come to know God through the blood of Jesus, issues like abortion, homosexuality, drugs, and immorality will cease to be important. Jesus said to His disciples at Jacob’s well, “…Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35) The world is waiting for the answer to its problems; what are we waiting for?
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