One of the most unique attributes of a Biblical Christian belief is the simple fact that a Christian life is a life of sacrifice and of servitude. Phrases from scripture as “Take up your cross and follow me” “The world will reject you...”and “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” all stand in testimony to nothing about a Christian life being easy. But is that what you heard Sunday morning?
Today's church seems content with half spoken messages of promise without condition, and reward without work. As if God were some type of celestial daddy Warbucks, the body of Christ is widely taught that with enough faith, enough earnest fervor, all we have to do is ask, and God almighty is bound to give it to us. His law dictates it. In essence, we as believers have the ability to manipulate God's will into what we desire.
It would seem the fears born of financial burdens facing today's church have sacrificed Biblical for fiscal. A spoiled and perverse nation does not want to hear of sacrifice for a reward received after death. Who in their right mind would choose a path of servitude? Are you as a pastor going to stand before a congregation living in a world of pain and loss, and preach that God's followers can expect even greater measures of both in their life? It's not what the people want. They won't come to church. They won't tithe their money. Yet wasn't the message of Christ just that.
“Take up your cross and follow me.” The words are plain, and the meaning clear. The son of God became flesh, lived as a laborer, was persecuted by the church, rejected by those He grew up with, lived a life of caring for the lost, was tortured and crucified. He never married, or had children. There was no career path, no modest home with white picket fence and a family dog. Christ lived a life of sacrifice and servitude; period. When looking at the fallout from the church's abandonment of that fundamental concept, the picture is dark indeed.
Christianity is now viewed as a childhood phase for the nerds, or needy. “I used to believe.” is a common statement of 25 to 35 year olds. And why shouldn't it be? When you are brought up to believe that God makes your life great with things of this world; but then He doesn't. Or you'll be healed if you just believe enough; but then your not. You should quit believing. Quit believing that what the pastor says is a true representation of God's plan, even when what's said contradicts the Bible. Quit believing in man more than God. But the world does not make that distinction. The world takes the shortcomings of man, and the hypocrisy of man, and they place it on God. Consequently, the name of God, His word, the sacrifice of His Son, have all become a joke to this world. Only idiots and fools could possibly believe in that garbage, has become a common sentiment from a generation that recognizes the need for spiritual wellness to such degree that it is taught along side the four basic food groups in health classes.
The church in America today has lost sight of it's first love. In doing so it has left itself all but useless, poised on the verge of a spiritual revival. Leadership has lost faith in a God the provides for all our needs according to His purpose, and His glory, and has tried to assume the role of furthering the kingdom themselves. However, we as the body of Christ can not and should not stand in judgment. But rather, move in a spirit of conviction and unity back to that first love. Back to the love of God's word, God's guidance, and the love of watching God's hand move when all earthly logic says otherwise.
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