Words from the Bible are in " MAROON "
Words of Jesus Christ are in " RED "
Greek words are in " PURPLE "
Text in " DARK BLUE " are hightlighted points
More than likely this article will make quite a few " Born Again Christians " very upset or possibly even angry ..... but many people and/or Christians have been upset with me before and I can take it.
However this is something that needs to be said, especially in this day and age as our Lord comes ever closer to coming again for his saints. I pray that those who read it will read it prayfully .... and question themselves, their relationship with Jesus Christ, and with their local church.
My opinion doesn't come lightly ... or without much thought and prayer. It comes from alot of thought, prayer, study, reading, and from me simply wanting to understand this basic question, " Where Is The Church ? " And I ask that question because:
And yes ..... that includes all the many different types of Christian churches be they Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterians, Catholic, Pentecostals, Episcopal, Independant, Fundamentalist, you name them and they all fall into this trap!
The church has slowly but surely become corrupted by those that " truely " aren't Christians even though they have walked down the aisle, cried, and said what has become the magic words to become a part of the " Social Club ", which are " I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior ". But ..... remember what Jesus said:
To many churches over the years have been seeking more and more members to play the numbers game. That is, " how quickly can we make our church grow ? How soon can we hire a fulltime secretary, assistant pastor, education pastor, or youth pastor ? How many more do we need before we can build a bigger building or add an addition to our current building ? How many more do we need so that we can start a Christian School ? "
Now I realize that getting more members means more people are in churches listening to the word of God which is a great thing. " However, how many members do you get before there are so many that the members aren't really being given spiritual guidance in their lives ? " In my opinion, for a pastor to adequately provide spiritual guidance to members, no church should have more than 200 members. And yes ..... that count includes men, women, and children.
My wife and I were in a local Fundamentalist Baptist style church lately because someone had recommend it to us as a good strong Christian Church with a dedicated and Godly pastor. It only took me that one Sunday to realize that this church was about one thing and one thing only ..... " GROWTH " !
During his message the pastor said:
" When Pastor so-an-so first started this church in his home little did he realize the way it would grow. He built what is now our educational building as our first church building. Then when he retired Pastor so-an-so took over and he built this building five years ago that we are now in which holds about 700 to 800 people and I promise, now that I've taken over as your pastor, that before I leave I'll build one on the land that we currently own that will hold 2,000 people or more ! " The members clapped and cheered him on.
So he went on to say:
" We must all work hard to get as many members as we can so that " MY " dream of leaving behind a great church building for the glory of God when my time comes to retire will be realized. Nothing would make me happier ! "
Now that church must get as many people as they can to join the " Social Club " by walking down the aisle, accepting Jesus Christ, and be baptisted and become good members.
My Christian brothers and sisters, when you hear pastors say things like this a little bell should go off in your head ..... ( it did in mine )
Is the pastor worried about leaving a legacy for himself ? Shouldn't we be spending the church funds to help the community as a whole come closer to Jesus ? Aren't there people in our community that need our help ? I know for a fact that there are homeless, hungry, and very poor people in that community ..... Since that church hasn't even " come close " to filling their current sanctuary ..... why are they seeking to build a bigger building ? The lost are not " attracted " to bigger buildings ..... they are " attracted " to a church that is showing love for their fellow man !
Moving along ..... let me ask this question. When was the last time your church kicked someone out of the church because it was discovered that the word did not fall on " good ground " ? Remember the parable of the Sower ? According to this parable of Jesus only " 25% ~ 1 in 4 " of the people who accept Him as Lord and Savior will actually become part of His kingdom.
Why is it that we let people simply join our churches because they walk down the aisle, say that they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and get baptisted ? When will we realize that " 75% of them " ..... don't really mean it ? Read the parable of the Sower as expounded by our Lord:
Once we let the " 75% " in ..... " THEY " are the majority ! ..... " THEY " decide which way the church is going, who will be the pastor, when we will build a bigger building, how and when we will worship God, and where the money of the church will be spent ! With the " 75% " in as members, a " SOCIAL CLUB " is now in full force!
" NO ONE " should be allowed to join a local church body until such time that the pastor and church elders can determine that the seed fell on " good ground ! " This could take weeks, months, or even years to determine based on the individuals life.
You might say:
" But Pastor Russ, if we do that people won't stay in the church. They will get upset and tired of waiting until the pastor and elders decide if they should be a member or not. They will leave and go find another church that will accept them as they are."
If the process is explained to them ..... and they are part of the " 25 % " where the seed fell on " good ground " ..... " they will respect it and wait ! " In fact they will study and learn all the more to become better and stronger christians ! And that is " exactly " what the church is suppose to be doing for the church as a whole and for the individual !
If they won't wait then guess what ..... they are part of the " 75 % " where the seed didn't fall on " good ground " and they are just joining a " Social Club ". Do you want a " church " or a " social club " ?
Let me ask you this:
" How does your church decide if someone should be a voting member of your church or not ? "
I'll bet I can tell you ..... They walked down the aisle ..... say that they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior ..... and then get baptisted. ( Many churches don't even require a walk down the aisle or baptism anymore. ) Then the pastor has them stand in front of the church and says, " All in favor of this person becoming a member please say amen ". The members " always " say " amen". And then he says, " Those opposed say nay " ..... and you can hear a pin drop as no one objects.
Another thought ..... Local churches collect thousands of dollars every year to send to missionaries overseas to help feed the hungry and spread the Gospel. And yes ..... I know that the Lord said:
But my brothers and sisters in Christ ..... There are people within your own community, in the United States, that are hungry, homeless, and don't have enough clothes to wear. And many, many, many, of them have never heard the word of God or experienced the love of God ..... Because the " Social Club " doesn't want to be bothered with those that are close.
It's easier to send money to a missionary overseas to do our work for us. That way we can feel happy with ourselves like we are doing something ..... without getting our hands dirty so to speak. " Why aren't we spending the Lord's money to take care of and "EVANGELIZE" our families and neighbors? "
Even small towns always have " someone " that is in great need of help ! Single parents having a hard time, those out of work, those that are having addiction problems, older folks with their houses needing repair or simply needing someone to clean their homes and yards, people in nursing homes that are lonely and need visitors and supplies, those in prison that need a visit and supplies, teens who need somewhere safe to hangout, college students, and the list goes on and on ....
Remember what our Lord said:
You may say:
" But Pastor Russ, we have helped people in the community before but they still don't come to our church or even seem that greatful and thankful that we helped them. Sure, they say thank you but we never see them again. "
If you are helping others in hopes of getting new members instead of to plant a seed or spread the word of God ..... then you are helping others for all the wrong reasons. For all you know you planted a seed with that person that might not grow for years to come ..... but it just might grow into something magnificent !
Another local church is in a small community that has a small college ..... now if you think like I do you would say " What an opportunity! " Start a " fulltime christian ministry " for those college students to help now that they are away from home and to help instill christian values instead of sending the money overseas. But they don't. Why is that ?
A local pastor, who in my opinion is one of the few that is a godly man, once told me about his church. He noted that the church was small ..... only held about 200 people. Then, of course, they built a bigger church that held 500 ..... He said to me, " I wish that we had never built a bigger church because now, with so many people, I can't properly teach or interact with those of the church that need spiritual guidance. "
When will the Church " wakeup " and realize that what he said hits the nail right on the head ! The local church should be " small ", one where a pastor can work with his flock on a personal basis ! In a big church with many members how does a pastor give his best to so many ?
Look around your church and what do you " really " see and hear ?
Send E-mail to Pastor Russ:
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Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2020