Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (11/21/13)
TITLE: You Can't Judge a Church By Its Steeple
By Lisa Johnson
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Moving all over the country, due to my husband's job, meant having to find a new church every new place we went. For me, it was always important to find a place to worship and fellowship. For my kids, I wanted them to have Christian friends. I had no idea how difficult the search for a good church would be.
In town number one, church number one came highly recommended. Pulling into the parking lot, we were amazed at the number of cars. It was a small town, and it seemed like everyone in town must have been there. It was dark in the sanctuary. So dark, in fact, that I could not see to read my Bible. When the hymns were sung, no one was smiling, making the music seem like music at a funeral. The message was something "New Age"-ish about being "Plugged In." After the message, numerous people got up and talked about how they were "Part of the Power of Everyone." Not one person mentioned needing or having a relationship with Jesus.
In town number two, church number two was not much better. Once again, the church was dark. The music was so loud that you could not understand the words. The message behind the music was lost in the driving beat. All of a sudden, spotlights flared from all four corners of the sanctuary, and chaotic, swirling patterns of light exploded across the ceiling. To this day, I could not tell you what the sermon was about. I was never able to get past the fact that there was a disco ball in the sanctuary.
In town number three, church number three, like the other two, was a dark, dismal place. Once again, the church came highly recommended, and was full to overflowing. The minister prefaced his reading of the Word with a disclaimer. "I am going to read these passages, but I am not going to tell you what is right or what is wrong. There are no absolutes. . . you can decide for yourselves what the passage means to you."
Needless to say, my family and I did not go back to any of these churches. We were blessed, in each town, to find true Bible-believing churches, that
unashamedly preached Christ, and Christ alone.
I can't help but wonder how many churches, in how many towns, are like the three I describe. They "had a form of godliness" but denied the true power of God. They preached popularity and prosperity, a "feel good gospel" that avoided making people feel uncomfortable. I can't help but wonder, too, how many people are deceived by the appearances of these churches. They look good on the outside but, on the inside, they are tools of Satan, leading lost souls down a primrose path to Hell.
Oh, how we need churches that will be a true representation of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ. We need pastors who will tell the truth about how sin separates
us from a Holy God. We need pastors who will be more concerned about
sharing God's gift of grace, in His Son Jesus, than about being "Politically Correct." We need churches that are as Godly on the inside, being "clothed
in His righteousness," as they look on the outside.
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2 Timothy 3:5
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