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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: The Self Righteous Son
By Irene Joshua
12/13/07


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"What a wonderful church” declared my father in law as we walked into the huge cathedral. I was amazed by the structure. Beautifully carved images and decorations all over. It must have taken a lot of time to construct that building. Building! I murmured. Yes it is and not really – The church. The real church is “We” - children of God, washed, sanctified and filled with the Spirit of God. We are the church of which Jesus is the head. But does the church really represent the Master? The question which always corrode my soul.

It pains to see many times that the believers of Christ (the church) have been worse than unbelievers in the world. It is sad to see people who know the truth, who are water baptized and baptized by the Holy Spirit of God, who are prayer warriors and scripture quoting scholars walk in the flesh or live a life of misplaced priorities. I do not judge others holding myself a perfect child of God; but I am definitely a child who is correctable and teachable.


I have always grieved to see the church behave like the elder brother of the prodigal son. Self righteous, haughty, seeing others with a judgmental attitude, envy, slander, gossip with little or no introspection; playing politics for position and fame and what not, without any likeness of the Master. The body of Christ lacks honesty (with themselves and God) and the fear of the Lord.

If I am saying that something is wrong with the church, then I should say that something is wrong with me and my family (i.e. the church) because I am the part of the church. I cannot separate myself from the church. I have to often examine myself before God to see if I am right with Him. My attitude, perception, motives, character, speech, behavior, the decisions I make and the way I live my life. If this has no relevance to the way it pleases the Master or grieving the spirit of God then my salvation itself is questioned.

How can I pray for a revival for the nation or state or neighborhood, when the revival has to come in me?
How can I preach the gospel, when my tongue speaks lies and deceit?
How can I sing praises to God, when I speak ill about others?
How can I pray for others, when I fail to be like Him?
How can I do good deeds, when I don’t do my responsibilities?
How can I blame the church, when I don’t examine myself?
How can I lead others, when I myself am blind?
How can I stand elected, when I lack integrity and holiness?

Oh spirit of the Lord, come, oh come and cleanse,
Thy sheep needs thee.
With winnowing fork and fire.
All hypocrisy and blindness gone,
In truth and holiness thy children built.
Let thy radiance shine our hearts,
That we may truly be called by thy name,
By people who don’t know thee.
Then all knee shall bow and tongue confess thee Lord,
When thou shall be seen in thy children indeed.


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This article has been read 444 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Wilber 12/16/07
I like that you didn't just cast blame on "the church" (because there are many, many believers who do good in the world) - but turned the finger toward self. Then you pointed to God - who can cleanse us.
Sharon Henderson12/16/07
You make some great points. I like that if we want to see change in the church it has to start in us or in our family.

There are few grammatical things that you will want to watch for...like father-in-law should be hyphenated...as well as some of the punctuation.

All in all the story made me (the reader) think, so it was a success.
Paula Titus 12/16/07
I love this piece, you show honesty and humility -well done.
Jan Ackerson 12/16/07
I really like the paragraph that compared the church to the brother of the prodigal son. Never thought of it that way before!
Yvonne Blake 12/18/07
Good analogy! I liked that you made it personal, letting the reader make his own application instead of preaching.
Good writing.
LauraLee Shaw12/19/07
The heartfelt passion, authenticity and truth spilling out of this piece is wonderful. True wisdom comes from humility, and you have shown us a picture of that. Your analogy to the prodigal son is so insightful. Incredible job letting the Holy Spirit write through your hand.
Joanne Sher 12/19/07
Excellent questions especially in the middle - much to ponder. Enjoyed this, and it gave me much to learn.