Matthew 16:15-18He (Jesus) said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Do you remember the fun little hand game that we played when we were little? Here's the church and here's the steeple. Open the door and there are the people. It was a great way to illustrate that the Christian church is not the building, but the people of God worshipping and serving the Lord for the advancement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We must never lose site of what the church is here for because when the church takes its heart's eye off of the Lord and His work in the world, they put it on idols which they walk towards.
Our particular protestant Christian denomination is held its annual conference this last week in California and keynote speaker Bryan Loritts, Senior Pastor of Fellowship Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee opened the convention with a challenging message to keep the main thing, the main thing in the church or else we lose our Christian witness and mirror the world. Never before has there been such an effort to silence Christians and secularize America into atheistic and hedonistic humanism and materialism, but never has there also been a greater opportunity for gospel ministry in action because distractions blind and bind; only the truth shall set you free. Why is it that the darkness of unbelief is advancing and attacking? Pastor Loritts asked, "Could it be that the reason that the church of Jesus Christ is becoming so impotent in our culture and society today is because “church” is just another “Gig” … a platform, where Jesus is another stage and the Bible is another textbook because church is just another performance for the “professional Christian” and we flip the switch on each Sunday and get on with the show?" Where we operate from giftedness; not godliness and from competency; not connectedness. Where Jesus Christ is in our heads, but not in our hearts. People seeking spiritual truth in Christ are looking for authentic worship and praise in the presence of Almighty God in the church service, not entertainment at a quality scale. The purpose of church is not to put on a great show, but a service that meets our spiritual need for our Holy Father, our Blessed Savior and loving Spirit. We are not worshipping worshipping. Its not a performance; its a humble, authentic relationship with God that the world needs, separated from this lost world that is dying in sin and unbelief.
“Professionals” in the world are concerned about their marketing exposure and public image, but don't buy what they sell. Do we? Pastor Loritts tells us that we are not our ministry, we are not our Sunday Service, we are not our last Sermon … you and I are not our last at-bat; we are children of the Creator of the Universe. If the fancy flash of décor, smoke and lights go and the loud popular contemporary music disappears, will the people not show up? Does "No" show = No "Show"? Is a professional performance being projected as "the main thing" that they are focusing on and coming for, instead of Christ? If so, then the church is not truly evangelizing and ministering properly to their spiritual needs as the Lord desires and people are there for the wrong reason. People, at their core, want and need reality, not emotional distractions. Jesus said that the child of God in in the world, but not of the world (meaning the God-rejection world-system of lawless sin). To be salt and light in the world means being set apart by God for God's purposes, holy different by authentically walking in a "right" relationship with God everywhere and at all times. Jesus Christ is Lord. We show our worship, but our worship is not a show.
In Christ, Brian
In Christ, Brian