“Assembly required” is probably one of the most alarming parts of buying something. It is not a challenging experience to those that are puzzle workers or direction orientated individuals, rather, it is an edifying excursion into an adventure of object versus the human intellect. The majority of the times that I accept the challenge of assembly, I find myself reassuring my mental reserve that “I can do this!” When I am finished assembling the “mismatched parts,” I can usually tell what it is supposed to look like, but I cannot understand what all those extra bolts and “thing-a-ma-gigs” are all about. It is at this point I call my wife to ventilate my frustrations. The first thing that comes out of her mouth is, “Did you read the directions?”
I have found that many Christians know Biblical concepts, but fail to understand how to apply the Biblical directions in their life. It is more like trying to be Biblical without fully understanding what the Bible actually says. Much of our Christianity is adopted from hearing what other people believe or observing how they interpret the Scriptures. The Christian life is more than listening to sermons and teachings. It is more than just guessing what the Scriptures are saying. It is more than putting together Biblical principles that fit our comfort zones. There are many self-created churches that are put together as a result of choosing a doctrine that is based on group interpretation, rather than following Biblical directions. The result is a blemish in the Christian movement. They become candidates for ridicule, not only from other churches but from the unsaved as well. I have no problem with independent churches, as I have pastored a non-denominational church, but it must be created by following the Biblical directions. Whenever we try to take shortcuts to Biblical knowledge, it will only lead to frustration and disappointment.
I remember being interviewed by a church board for their pastoral position. One person asked a specific question about my belief and my response was, “Is it in the Bible?” My whole life has been around the authority of God’s Word. I have never sought extra-Biblical interpretations. I have read the “owner’s manual” and have prayerfully sought the Holy Spirit’s guidance in creating the status of a true Believer. I have preached and taught with no thought as to whether the people would accept or reject the message. When a person is called into the ministry, his whole life is dedicated to abiding by the “owner’s manual.” When a church is built correctly, there will be no concerns about financial and numerical issues. Psalms 37:25 contains David’s proclamation, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
It is interesting to note the similarity of so many churches. The “worship” experiences center around performances. The altars have disappeared. The pulpits have vanished. The organs are a fleeting memory. Altar railings have been torn out. Bibles have been transformed into electronic gadgets. Choirs have been transposed into “teams” of energetic individuals. Hymns have been buried. Dressing up has given way to anything that covers. Mega TV screens dwarf the platform. Even the cross has become conspicuously absent. Churches tend to adopt each other’s actions. I am not saying these changes will or will not affect the Holy Spirit’s involvement. What I am saying is that each church should follow the Lord’s leading instead of mimicking the “new way deal” of the modern church movement.
When my wife helped me reassemble my challenging project, it looked so much better, and there were no leftover bolts! Let us build our lives around Biblical directions, and then watch how brightly our lighthouse will shine!