Looking in the mirror and seeing problems

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The Church is Yahweh’s idea. Jesus founded it, built it and leads it. The Holy Spirit maintains it, unites it and fills it.  And by “it”, I mean “us”.  Me. You. We are the Church.

I’m a Church lover.  I am passionate and dedicated to being an alive and active member of the Body of Christ.  I am a fully vested part of the local church.  I am all in.

I love Matthew Barnett’s blog posting today.  It’s about the Church and one of the (many) problems we have: Division and Factions.

What I love most is that Matthew Barnett is not an “outside” judge.  He’s not speaking from an inactive, external point of view.  He’s a fully vested Church lover.    I get sick of hearing people complain about the Church but stand at a distance.  The way for the Church to be healthy is for all the parts to be engaged and active!  (1 Cor 12, Eph 4, Rom 12)

There are many beautiful and awesome things about the Church.  I am proud to be part of it.  But there are many things that are not good on any level.  We should all be looking in the mirror and searching for anything and everything that needs to be worked on. Yes?

It starts with me.  It starts with you.  We need to be, individually and collectively, more like Jesus.

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. (1 Cor 1:10)

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Church Gangsters…Warning, Pretty Hardcore Posted on June 6, 2012 by

I’ve seen it! The devastation of street gangs in a city. We’ve picked up kids on a bus from a housing project, only to have to run a separate bus a hundred yards down the street to pick up kids from a rival project. It would be so simple to combine these routes. However, there are too many fights and divisions on the bus. The division is over hate which has no reasoning behind it.

I often wonder how a few yards can separate communities that should share so much in common. Both communities could rally together concerning fighting poverty or better schools but instead the fight is over something small and meaningless. Kids are raised in camps taught to despise and divide. Usually, it’s over some small beef that took place years ago which simply lingered. Gang division destroys generations.

But there’s something worse. Church gangsters. People fighting over methods and strategy. Blogging about what they don’t like in a minister or ministry based on certain doctrine. It’s the same attitude of Bloods and Crips, raising up a group of people to divide and usually it’s over method, style, or someone else’s success. We should be rallying about Jesus dying on the cross for mankind and cleansing us from our sins. Repentance and confession that lead to salvation.

My heart breaks as I see this play out. The conflicts of street life have entered the church. Pastor, that comparison is too extreme? No, it’s not. People die over this, leave the church, live bitter or angry all in the name of being right or more spiritual than the other group.

A kid was coming to our church. For the first time in his life he was on fire. He found a home in the church. His mother pulled him out of church because we had guitars in worship and wore jeans. The boy never went to church again and we lost him to the world. Street gang thuggery at its finest.

It’s time that we rally around eternal life and what we agree on. Even if we disagree on some things, how in the world is picking on someone who disagrees with you on theology going to change anyone?

It’s time we agree on the important things and leave the gangs of religious camps. The worst thing about arguing over non-essential differences is all the time that could have been used making a difference. I know many people find comfort in their little camp of “Believing their right” but it’s damaging, it hurts people, and has got to stop. Gang mentality amongst ministries might be worse than street gangs because we know the Bible and should know better.

It’s time that the church refuses to “Conform to the world” of gang culture and be famous for our incredible unity on essentials not random things that have no eternal value. Let’s turn in our rags of spiritual camps and come together and change the world.

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How is your relationship with the rest of the Body of Christ?  Do you see unity or disunity in your heart?  Are you part of the whole Church or do you find comfort in a cliche or faction?  These are tough questions but they are worth asking.  Have you looked in the mirror lately and considered what you look like? Are you a beautiful part of the Body?

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 50 ; John 2:1-25

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One response »

  1. I fully agree with what church SHOULD be. I have a deep passion for the church, but I no longer have a place of expression for that passion. One of the greatest griefs of the last few years has been the church I was involved in. I lived through much of what Pastor Barnett wrote and watched it shatter a decent family. At the root of so much of it is selfish ambition, which produces “disorder and every evil thing.” I am glad you have a good church, but I have met so many drifting, wandering sheep, wounded and without a shepherd. May God bring radical change to our American churches.

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