As Christians we must focus on Jesus, not the “process of religion“.
Magnificent cathedrals and soaring sanctuaries are impressive and awe inspiring, but Jesus’ church is not a church of architecture… it’s not a church of procedures… it’s not a church of legal speak mumbo-jumbo… it’s not a church of the candy store, feel good flavor of the month.
Jesus was a carpenter: this was not by chance. A carpenter builds something beautiful and useful from wood; by shaping, by feeling, and slowly working the wood carefully with his hands until it fits together perfectly to form something strong and lasting. It’s a very loving, personal relationship between the carpenter and the wood.
The church is not a “building” but rather the strength formed between us by Jesus. We are the trees: planted, nourished and grown from a tiny seed, finally harvested, and worked by a master carpenter into something beautiful and strong. Jesus did not dress up in ornate robes and give himself fancy titles like the Pharisees. Jesus didn’t glorify himself, he didn’t walk around with a special staff, necklace, or hat. Jesus was a carpenter; he worked with hearts and minds like he worked with wood.
When our churches, ministers, and leaders replace Jesus, even unknowingly, with their own ideas, teachings, and truths, something else is built, something of this world, not of God. So many of the social stances of major religious organizations cannot possibly represent what Jesus taught. Can you really see Jesus saying it’s OK to be gay, or transsexual, or heterosexually promiscuous, or cover up immoral activity by politicians or church leaders, or support or promote other religions, or make up “rules” on how or what is required to be a “Christian”? This goes back so many generations, like a document that’s been copied, and then that copy copied, and then that copy copied, and then that copy copied, over and over and over until you can no longer make out the original content. We have Protestant denominations setting policies that are completely anti-Christian… policies that guide their leaders, ministers, and teachers… policies that the majority of members probably do not know about or fully understand… yet it guides the educational material that is used in Sunday School classes, adult classes and other activities. Policies that guide the messages delivered from the Pulpit. Policies that are not based on Jesus’ teachings but rather on agendas of people who have hijacked Jesus: “Satan is at his finest when you’re doing his work while you think you’re working for Jesus“.
Most Christians will agree public schools have been taken over by progressives and socialists, but they don’t see it in our churches. Christian families and morals were once the foundation and strength of this country – that is no longer the case, and it gets worse everyday. There is not much of a better place to indoctrinate someone than at church. Our defenses are down when we attend church, when we take our families to church. One could not design a better location to weaken a society: we should select our ministers with just as much care, if not more so, than the pediatrician for our children. It’s the “house of God”… except when it isn’t. With our commonsense defenses offline, it’s like putting a PIC Line directly into the brain. You hand your toddlers off to someone who must be good (and in most cases they are) because they’re teaching Sunday school… but what’s woven into the material they’re teaching? You hand your teenager off to someone teaching a middle school or high school class: what’s woven into that material? You sit there listening to a minister and what’s woven into their message? Sometimes it’s not even woven – it’s bold and in-your-face.
Don’t just listen to what your church leaders, both lay and professional, say in church; watch them on social media – that may be where they show their true agenda and beliefs. Like a chameleon you may see a total change from their church self to their social media self.
What if your church is OK but your denomination has turned hard left? What if both? As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Should Christians Welcome Muslims and Support Mosques?, my family and I recently left our church, a church where I was a third generation member: you have to take action.
People wring their hands and ask what’s going to happen next: “what will this country be like for my children or grandchildren”? I say to you it’s already happened. This country is like a cancer patient that still looks OK on the outside, but their insides are eaten up with a ravenous, malignant growth intent on sucking the life out of them and killing them. It’s seething just below the surface. Perhaps is can be eradicated, perhaps not: but we need chemo strength leadership to remove it.
The Christian church is the last defense. Christians let the school systems and entertainment industry poison their youth a few generations ago: it was a drip then, it’s full on assault now. Christians did not draw a line in the sand and say no when socialists and progressives started removing everything Christian from public places and from schools, when socialists and progressives took over Protestant denominations. It’s our fault. Christians can no longer take the “live and let live” attitude when it comes to our churches being taken over with non-Christian teachings. Jesus loved the sinner but hated the sin. Enough is enough; many churches today love the sinner and celebrate the sin. Just like Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, we need to throw Satan out of our churches. Some churches and denominations are too far gone: If you can’t change them, then change churches.
Let Jesus, the carpenter of men, build a structure of strength between us to stop the evil that’s ravaging the world and seething beneath the surface of this country and has infected so many churches across this nation.
See this previous article for more on the same topic: Are Christians Following the Pharisees or Jesus?
I’m linking to the type of message that should be delivered in churches on Sunday mornings across this nation, not the candy store Christianity that’s all feel good fluff and no substance: Larry Lamberth, Harvest Baptist Church Burlington, NC: “Culture Shock Part 1” 4/17/16.
And another one: Larry Lamberth, Harvest Baptist Church Burlington, NC: “What we really need” 6/12/16
This old bluegrass song is more in line with what I believe Jesus had in mind…
They Called It a Church
By: Tom T. Hall (BMI)
Dixie Hall (BMI)
Billy Smith (ASCAP)
It Was An Old Barn On The Outskirts Of Town
With Bushes And Weeds And An Acre Of Ground
They Couldn’t Do Better They Could Have Done Worse
Than Fix It Up Into A Church
They Made Them Some Benches And Called Them Their Pews
They Gathered Up Any Old Stuff They Could Use
The Altar Was Made From An Old Wooden Crate
The Whole Thing Was Built On Their Faith
They Called It A Church
Some Called It A Barn
The Winter Was Cold
The Summer Was Warm
Comfort Came Second
Jesus Came First
That’S Why They Called It A Church
The Old Weathered Planks Were Curled Up At The Ends
The Rusty Tin Roof Let The Weather Come In
The Preachin’ And Prayin’ And Hymns That Were Sung
Rang Out Where Tobacco Once Hung
They Didn’t Dress Up They Just Came As They Were
Their Working Hands Clean And Their Loving Hearts Pure
It’s Been Said That God Does Mysterious Work
That’s Why They Called It A Church
Until next time,