As I sat in the coffee shop reading a book and reading people (something that is becoming a regular thing for me), I couldn’t help but listen in to a conversation between two young men sitting near me.
What i proceeded to hear shocked me.
It took a lot of self control to not interject.
One of the guys is from a “church” nearby (which will remain nameless, but I know which one it is) and he is talking to his friend about why the “church” he attends is so cool, and why he should consider going.
This time of attempted convincing was pretty pitiful. I have never personally attended any meetings at this particular place, but have personally talked with some of those on staff there; and unfortunately now have a different understanding of what they are apparently all about.
He proceeded to say things like:
- My pastor is so cool. He dresses really stylish and says really cool things.
- The worship team plays secular songs, but it’s okay because the message of the songs ties in to the message that was preached.
- It’s got this awesome New Age feel going on.
- I’ve learned that it’s okay to listen to secular music… I listen to all kinds of secular music, but I also listen to worship music; and as long as I also listen to worship music, then it all balances out.
- Many things that Christians say you shouldn’t do aren’t really as damaging as they make them out to be.
This is not an exaggeration.
I really heard these statements, and proceeded to begin this blog as they were talking.
Should I have spoken up?
Aaahhh…. I don’t know.
But… Maybe not…
I don’t know.
I didn’t say anything.
Sometimes I feel like I only want to say something because I think I’m right and they’re wrong (and that’s no statement of that being the case—me right, them wrong).
I really struggle when I hear things like that.
I don’t agree with any of what he said as valid reasons why someone should become a part of a community of believers. If anything, that would be reason enough for me to stay away.
I’m not trying to be judgmental, I’m simply stating my concerns for the message being proclaimed by this “church.”
Where is the call to be separate?
Where is the emphasis on Christ as Savior and Lord?
If you have to convince someone that your church is cool, and that’s why they should attend, then I think you have been duped.
I want my reasons for someone joining us to be things like:
- You should come some time, we are seeing families restored like never before.
- We’ve been having people healed by the power of God!
- We’ve seen some amazing, radical transformations as people have been surrendering to Jesus!
- We are striving more and more for holiness, and been really encouraged by others in our community to be more like Jesus.
This isn’t some holier-than-thou, get-all-spiritual rebuke.
This is really my heart, and I think it’s what we are to strive for!
So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16 MSG)
It’s what the world needs!
Unbelievers don’t need another “cool” pastor, or New Age experience, or to be told they can continue to entertain themselves with whatever they want to and it’s okay…
The world needs to hear that they need a Savior, and His name is Jesus!
They need to see people that are different!
I was reminded just last night that Jesus’ call to be a disciple was to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood.
This was not cool! This was so revolting that everyone left! This was hardcore against the grain!
Have I listened to secular music (which, by the way, is the Christian term for non-Christian)? Yes.
But is there some sort of balancing act? No.
I learned years ago that most non-Christian music that I would listen to is depressing, completely NOT God-honoring, and leaves me feeling empty and dirty.
It’s like saying, “I watch porn. But I learned that’s okay as long as I also watch 7th Heaven.”
Eh… enough of this rant… it’s getting me all worked up and I need to try to get some sleep soon…
This is yet another reason why I feel so strongly about getting out of the institutional church…
What the heck are we teaching people?!
This is not God’s intention.
There’s lots of work to be done.
Oh, God. Help us to reflect you in an age of complacency and celebrity!
P.S. I’m also praying for a chance to talk to my friends on staff there.