What’s missing in the Church today?

Ask people what’s missing in the church today and you will get a laundry list of things from Christians and Non-Christians alike,  ranging from compassion to inclusion.   When we listen to the non-christian tell us what is missing and what we should do to get more people into the church, it’s easy to fall into the trap of agreeing with many things we shouldn’t agree with.  The Non-Christian would tell us that they want to see the Church be more inclusive, more open minded, should ensure that sermons don’t talk about hell and so on.

Church, these are things we can’t agree with!    We are called to be ‘salt and light’, in other words to be candle in the darkness and a welcome addition.   We can’t be either one of these things if we are not any different from those around us.  If we are dwelling in the darkness along with the rest of the world how will our ‘candle’ shine the path to righteousness?

The Church as a whole has left it’s first love.   They no longer believe that the Bible is the true and inspired Word of God.  They have given up man as a beautiful being created in the very image of God and instead have bought the lie that is evolution.  That God gave us no more thought than a tiny speck of matter floating in an endless sea.   The Church accepts many different forms of perversion and says it’s ok and not only welcomes it, but celebrates it.

As we question why people are turning from the Church and as we move forward to face the persecutions that are come upon us we no longer have the weapons to shine truth into a lost and dying world.  We are no longer a light in the darkness, a candle in the wind   How is there hope in the Church when the church is embracing the same sin that people are dying from?

People might say the Church needs more compassion, fervency and urgency in prayer, more evangelism, but those are only symptoms of the real problem.   The Church cannot preach a saving, hope filled message when they are frolicking in the same morass of sin as the rest of the world.

If we look no different and act no different how can we expect anyone to accept that our message is one of hope and life?   The world sees the Church’s hypocrisy and calls it out and the Church has no defense for they have left their first love.

We draw people to our Savior by our actions in and out of the Church, by our character when no one is looking.  People no longer desire to be like us, because they are us and we are them.

Church,  I urge you, I beg you!  return to your first love!  Pray for forgiveness and return to the God who loves you and who has called you to be his people.   God has not changed nor moved away, WE have changed and we have changed the meaning of the Word of God as well.  The Bible must again be considered the True and Inspired Word of God.   We must first understand that the New Testament of Hope and Forgiveness cannot exist without the Old Testament Law.   We must understand the difference.    We must be able to proclaim to a lost and dying world that their hope isn’t found because they find a Church that welcomes and celebrates their sin, but instead it is found in a True and Right relationship with God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.

We have to lead the way.   The Church must turn from it’s wicked ways or it will lead it’s people to hell on path filled with unrighteousness and sin glossed over by the acceptance it has granted.

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White, Black and the case of Privilege in America

You have probably read about it or maybe even been accosted by someone telling you to ‘check your white privilege’.   This is the new rallying cry on campuses and institutions across the country.

If we are not black we are supposed to cower away in shame and feel guilty from gaining some ephemeral benefit from things that happened decades in the past.

So what exactly is privilege?  Merrian Websters dictionary describes it this way:

  • a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others
  • the advantage that wealthy and powerful people have over other people in a society
  • a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor
  • such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office

So right away we can see that historically white people have had many right’s or benefits given to them that were not given to blacks. White privilege definitely existed in a historical context.  Fast forward to today, legally none of these rights or privileges can be denied to anyone because of the color of their skin anymore.  We even have organizations and policies that exist to prevent it in certain institutions.  So continue down the list and see what other kinds of privileges are granted to people.  Now we see privilege based on money, position etc. Privilege exists everywhere you go.

Privilege will never go away.   There will always be people who are given an elevated level of privilege for whatever reason, be it money, family name, stardom, the color of your hair,  you name it.

What happened in the past was shameful, but it is the past. We can’t change it, we can’t make it go away.   If we are ever to become the nation that we claim to want, we have to put the past where it belongs and move forward.

The ‘check your white privilege’ movement (which is strangely mostly directed at white men), needs to be seen for the lie it is.   It is used to stop open and honest debate but more than that it is used increasingly by people who are desperately trying to hide from the truth.  The truth that our nation is broken and that it can’t be fixed if only a single group of people would ‘check their privilege’.  The truth that we all need to willingly accept a hand ‘up’ and not a handout.   We need to pick up our responsibility at the door and recognize that we all must work towards that future, where privilege is granted based on behavior and not on skin color.

The victim blame game

Playing the victim is a dangerous game.   It deceives and blinds us to the truth, not only of the reality around us, but the reality within us.

On any given day there are a multitude of ‘victim’ masks we can wear.   The victim of society, of racism, of rich elitism, of nepotism and a whole host of others.  It is now trendy and fashionable to be a victim of some sort and make that a cause celebré.

We fail to see the inherent dangers in playing the victim game.  Playing the victim game not only has a tendency to blind us to the truth, it also deceives us.  It can convince us that we have the high ground and gives us reason to look down on others.  It takes otherwise rational people and morphs them into people that are no longer recognizable in their beliefs, attitudes and actions.

It blinds to the responsibilities that we hold, to provide for our sustenance, livelihood, safety, happiness and so on.   It slowly convinces us that those things no longer belong to us and the responsibility for providing those now belongs to someone else.

In our new found excitement to join in the cause, we fail to see how it not only changes us, but how it diminishes those who are the real victims.   It shunts them aside like yesterday’s news and they lay in the wake of our eagerness to prove that we are somehow the real objects of concern.

We become greedy automatons, whirling around on one merry-go-round cause after another, caught up in the frenzy and eager to get our share, leaving a string of broken, beaten down people in our wake and stepping on and over the bodies of those left behind in the wake of another cause, rushing to get on the bandwagon before it leaves.

We rush heedless into dangerous situations leaving behind all caution, knowing that if something happens we can just play the victim card and all will be well.

We are playing a dangerous game and the cards are running out.   Soon there will be no one left to blame, no one left to pay the piper.    We will be left beaten down and broken, with no knight on a white horse charging to our rescue.

Alone and afraid,  what will we do when all we have left is the knowledge that we alone are to blame, when we alone could have prevented what happened.

It’s time to take a step back.   Don’t be so willing to believe that every Hollywood personality or every scientist or every politician knows what’s best.   Give yourself time to really think about what is happening.   Not all change is good or even necessary.

But most of all it’s time to step back and stop playing the victim blame game before it’s too late.