Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Progression

IN my years before Christ I thought that just about all the problems in the world were caused by greed.

After becoming a follower of Christ, what I saw as the cause of the ills of the world began to change. In spite of the a-political approach of every church I had attended, as my mind was renewed I began to think that all the problems of the world were caused by the government.

As matured however I began to realize that the government was in power because we, the people, elected it. This was discouraging because it greatly expanded the problems from a small select group of leaders to everybody.

I finally began to realize that all the problems of the world were caused by the sin nature of all the people, of which I was one; and in fact that I had been, and continued to be, a contributor to "all the problems of the world"; but worse yet, I had likely contributed, in my few years, much more than my fair share!

At some point I no longer saw greed as the problem, and I had ceased to see electable and disposable politicians-at the whim of the people-as the problem. One notable change in my heart was that I realized that problems were a given. That the hOpe of utopia here on earth was a vein hope and a fool's errand. I began to realize that Jesus was in fact the only hope, and that his body of believers was a preserving agent in a world that would self destruct in short order in its absence.

In my current level of revelation, I see the world through the lens that, as far as the problems of the world can be mitigated, that mitigating influence must be effected by the followers of Jesus; that the level of suffering that a society endures is inversly proportional to the level of health enjoyed by the body of Christ. As I watch a nation filled to overflowing with churches, bankrupt itself in its attempts of satisfing material hunger while ignoring, and even propagating spiritual starvation, I realize that as goes the Church-which I am a part, so goes the nation.

So what do many of the churches that the child sees through the window of her car as she rides with her mom to divorce court, or to pre-K; or the young girl riding to the abortion clinic, or the little boy wondering what his daddy is like, offer? Well here's one example, an admitted extreme example in deed, but as our rotting society attests, not in heart.



If you get to feeling nauseous, advance to just before the 4 minute mark to watch the revealing end.

24 comments:

Susan said...

YUCK!!!! God help us. God help US to help. We are His hand, feed, eyes, ears, mouth, etc. WE are the body of Christ.
Susan

Jon said...

It's always humbling for me when I am reminded that I'm a part of the problem, too. I'm not reminded enough.

Laura said...

Wow! I have so many problems with this video, I don't know where to begin.
At first I really thought it was a clip from American Idol and the lyrics were rearranged to something more Christian, so I forwarded to that 4 minute mark and WOW it really is some sort of perverted version of a church. The joke of a pastor/leader says we are here to worship God, yeah right! They are worshiping materialism. He says, "We may chase the wrong things....", um yes like that snappy piece of entertainment put on mainly to get higher attendance in church.

Many churches are no more than concerts anymore. In the mega-church I went to once, the show they did there was like super bowl half-time. Whats funny too is I know a girl who goes there and she tells me how they are always driving home the point that they don't have enough money. Gee, if you would forgo the gold glitter guitar and the fog machine, you might actually have some money for Godly purposes. I can't go to a church who squanders their money in such a silly way.

Being a new Christian, I was hoping the church would offer me something different than the world has to offer, but increasingly I am finding there is not much difference.

Nancy said...

I don't get it?!?! Why would they preface worship with such as that?!?! Is that called cowboy church? At the very least the worship leader should have jumped to:

Colossians 3:1-3 NIV

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


Offering hope to others is difficult if we can't raise our mind set above "friends in low places..."

Nancy said...

On second thought...this video was probably taken out of context...and is not an actual "church service"...

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

I recall being at a wedding about 20 years ago, and the Baptist pastor sternly told the couple (early in the ceremony), "Remember that you have enough sin in your hearts to tear your marriage apart." At the time, I found such a dire line at a wedding to be off-putting. Looking back, I realize he had it exactly right. We have sin in our hearts and we are doomed to a life of sin and destruction. The only refuge is Christ.

The bride at that wedding in question had an affair within three years of her wedding date, and then left her husband. No one at that wedding, and I mean no one, would have believed such a thing was possible. Except maybe that pastor.

Dan said...

Laura

Well put Laura.

The question occurred to me at some point in "my progression" that, with all the churches in America, how can our society be in the sad shape it's in? I fear that many new Christians feel the same as you and are looking for something in church that is contrary to the rot offered by the world, and are not finding it.

While I'm convinced that the church in this video is not a typical church, many, to some extent, have bought into a similar mindset of thinking that if people are lured in by glitter, those people's lives will be changed; by their mere presence one would assume. I believe this to be a lie.

On the other hand I am convinced that the Body of Christ is very much alive and well, and that we can find joy and flourish in the fellowship of His true Body. I also believe that there are churches where His Body congregates, and while those churches are not perfect, the fellowship of true believers can be found within those congregations.

I also believe that the church inc. as it is often constituted today, that is the church as a business with a CEO (called pastor) who's main concern is keeping the business afloat, and the corporation, often obscures the true Body where some people actually operate in their pastor/teacher gifting, and others in other giftings, that in the end make up His Body.

I don't have much good to say about the church inc., but I love the Church His Body very much; and I also very much need it so that I may be taught, challenged, admonished, and also rebuked.

I think that there are many who have given up their search completely. But I encourage all to not become discouraged in their efforts to find their place in the Body and become the small part that God created them to be so that we all may be built up into the fullness of Christ.

christian soldier said...

Dan-I thought I added your site to my favorites roll-geeeeez -now you're on it!!
Someday -I'll tell my conversion story...it did lead to the establishment of LA Lutherans for Life...
carol-CS

Dan said...

I'd be interested in hearing that Carol

Susannah said...

This piece (the writing, not the video) is fantastic, Dan. You've articulated such wise things, here, & phrased them in such an accessible way. Wow! This is excellence!

Laura~ "Being a new Christian, I was hoping the church would offer me something different than the world has to offer, but increasingly I am finding there is not much difference."

The Church IS in peril, for sure. But be encouraged, dear one. There ARE churches deeply rooted in the Word, where worship is about Who God IS instead of what God can do for us. (Please know that nowhere is perfect. We're sinful people, after all.)

I'll pray right now that the Lord will lead you to a Body that will be a source of nourishment, & a place of service for the use of your giftedness toward His purpose. Trust God, sweet one.

Also, you're in the right place for finding online support for your faith. I've found there are many deeply committed Christians who are bloggers too! A great way to make friends! ;)

Susannah said...

Christian Soldier (aka, Carol?)~
I'd be interested in hearing too!

Dan said...

Susannah

I am like a poor man holding out a cup when it comes to appreciating compliments and encouragement like that.

Thank you

Bryan said...

Many have taken the line of separation from the world and have moved it farther into the world to accommodate their love for the world and the things therein.

Susannah said...

You're welcome, Dan.

I like your style - your skills are being sharpened, indeed.

(How 'bout put a 'follow' widget on your sidebar, so I/others can read you in our Google readers?)

Dan said...

Susanna,

Look for that.

Momstheword said...

We had a recent visitor at our church who was disgusted to see all that "gray hair". She said this is a dying church because of "all the old people". And the music "was awful, all those old hymns" ( we have a very balanced song service of hymns and praise songs). She didn't realize that the "old people" are the ones who financially support the church, are involved in the ministries, and are basically the ones who uplift the church and pastor in prayer. Our church is growing. Just a few years ago we had only two children, now we have several full Sunday School classes. Dying church? I think not. Dan, I really enjoy your blogs. You're a very thought person.

christian soldier said...

what is a 'follow widget'?

Dan said...

Christian Soldier

I'm not sure. There are lots of widgets to choose from on the "layout" page and I'm assuming "followers" is one of them.

Dan said...

Oh and thank you so much Moms for the encouraging words.

Susannah said...

Momstheword~ "Disgusted"? Really? Wow. Maybe your visitor will develop some maturity & realize that those who've come before us are the reason the church exists...yikes.

CS~ Dan's right. You can go to your 'layout' page & click "add a gadget." There are several choices of things you can add to your template to 'dress up' your blog, or make it suit your needs. I think "Followers" is the first on the list. You can place it anywhere on your sidebar, & the people who choose to 'follow' you will appear there. You're welcome to come by my blog to see what it looks like. (Mine's called 'Friends with Big Ideas.')

:)

Laura said...

Susannah,
Thanks for the encouraging words!
I was checking out your blog and you have some great posts. I am also in NC ;-)

Dan said...

There, I added the gadget. That was easy, I don't know why I thought it would be do difficult

Susannah said...

Yippee!!!

Thanks!

Susannah said...

Laura~ You're welcome! Isn't it great to see the Carolina sunshine again after all that rain??

;)