I’ve been going to church for most of my life. So, I’ve been “on the inside” and I know a lot about the inner workings. There are so many good things that the church does and that’s what I love about it. However, I’ve seen so much that I can’t support.
I’ve mentioned some of these things in other posts, but I wanted to revisit it with a fresh thought process. In the church there are things that seem to be heavily pointed out. Let me explain what I mean. I’ll give you a few examples.
When I was growing up inside the Pentecostal church one thing that was always preached on was tobacco and how you were going to hell if you used it. I understand where that thinking comes from. Do I completely agree with the statement? I honestly can’t tell you. Why? Because I’m not God.
Second example. This one isn’t just in Pentecostal churches but in quite a few if not most denominations. Preachers focus on homosexuality and preaching against it. Now, don’t mistake my viewpoint here. I do believe that it is a sin. I do believe there is a time and place for it to be preached, but the way the church approaches it doesn’t do God any favors. It’s usually done in a way that doesn’t show love.
My last example is a little different. The church seems to have fallen into teachings and preachings that make people feel good. Everyone loves to have that warm and cuddly feeling. It fills seats. That’s the goal of most churches. Fill those pews up. If we’re being completely honest some of that can be traced to the money behind those behinds in the seats. Not everyone though. There are churches who legitimately love people and want to see them saved. Even though at times they may not go about it in the best way. That’s just how it goes though, no church is perfect and it’s always a learning process on how to do things.
I don’t want to get sidetracked.
One of the biggest issues I have with church is the lack of preaching the full truth. There are things the bible is black and white about that tend to get swept under the rug. We have an epidemic in the church and it’s killing us. Not only that but we are endangering our souls and the souls of others.
I gave the examples I did because they have a bearing on what I’m about to say. As the church we tend to single things out that are “big sins”, things that we can point to that will make us not look as bad. While no one will tell you that’s the reason I believe it is the reason.
The bible does speak plainly about homosexuality being a sin, in both old and new testaments. However, do you know the bible speaks just as plainly about divorce? Probably not. Why is that? It couldn’t be because there is a high divorce rate in the church could it? It couldn’t be that the pastor himself is divorced could it? Let’s be real folks. If you preach about that, your church is likely to empty pretty quick.
The Bible says this in 1 Timothy chapter 3 verses 1-3:
This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop,[a] he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,[b] but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
It’s basically telling us that pastors need to only be married one time. Not only that but it goes on to list other requirements, one of which is not greedy for money. Yikes, if that doesn’t hit some churches hard what does? This list of requirements for pastors is no joke.
The bible also speaks of gossip, but its rampant in and out of the church. Gossip is good for nothing but tearing people down. It’s hard to not partake in it. It’s easy to get caught up in a story about someone else, but when the gossip is about us it’s different.
We have to stop and take an honest look at ourselves. We have to take an honest look at the church. If we can’t be real and transparent how can we expect anyone to want to be partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ? We have to clean out our own closets before we can invite guests to hang their coats and make themselves at home.
So let’s make the changes needed. I think we’ll begin to see healing come to the body of Christ because we won’t be trying to cover gaping wounds with cheap band-aids. That’s what it looks like to me. We tell others how to bandage their wounds while we are bleeding to death ourselves. It has to change. We have to preach the full truth for full healing to come.
In closing, I want to say that I don’t condemn anyone. It’s not my place to do the condemning. It is my job however to tell the truth and I will do that to the best of my ability. Just know that your relationship with God is just that, YOURS. He will be the one to judge you, not me. But listen, if there was a competition and the prize was life, and you didn’t know there was part where you had to build a treehouse, you can’t go tell the judge you didn’t know. That won’t change the rules of the competition. You will lose. It’s the same when we face God. You can’t tell him I didn’t know because you refused to read the instructions or to LISTEN to them.