Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where Would Jesus Worship?

Sup erbody. I recently read one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is called The Jesus Sensitive Church by Ron Auch and Dean Niforatos. It posses the question stated by the title of the blog. Where Would Jesus Worship? If Christ were in bodily form would He worship at your church or at my church? Most Christians probably would say "yes". Let's think about it though. It seems that many of the standards that the Father has set have become an offense to the church. The church tries to convince people to come by appealing to their vanity and pride rather than with the truth.

Have our churches substituted ploys (coffee shops, game rooms, free gas cards, give aways, feel good messages, etc.) for the presence of God? Here is a quote from this book:

"...we make His desires the primary thrust of the church. I don't believe there
is anyone more sensitive to the needs of those seeking than Jesus. When did we
ever get it in our heads that we had to protect the seeker from Jesus? When did
the presence of God become inadequate to do the work of God?...They (seekers)
need an encounter with Him, and that is not going to happen without a strong
sense of His presence in our services."
Is the method just as sacred as the message? Or have we come to the point to say "the end justifies the means"? They put it this way in the book. Why stop at a coffee shop if you want to draw people to your church. Why not have some female greeters dress in Hooters outfits to draw a mass of men to your church? If the end justifies the means why not? As long as we are not depending on the Holy Spirit to do the drawing than what would be the problem? People will come but would the presence of God come? Ploys have a way of doing more damage than good. Think about it. A ploy will attract a person but it can't change them. A church gets the person to come because of that ploy. But once, IF THEY EVER, start telling the seeker about the need for repentance they feel betrayed and turn away. Why? Because it wasn't God doing the drawing.

I have always felt that the seeker-sensitive philosophy is truly sinner-sensitive. Where we try to make sinners comfortable at church. Should sinners be comfortable at church? No! God doesn't tolerate sin. He convicts people of it. So when a sinner enters a church he should feel convicted, some tug at his heart for repentance, if the presence of God is there. We think the word convicted is such a bad word but it is what will truly draw a man to true repentance. True conviction is not a horrible experience but a sweet one because of the hope we have in Christ.

Maybe the churches now are like a chicken with its head cut off. The chicken's body can still run around even after it's head has been cut off. At first glance you can see a church body that seems lively, very active, involved in lots of things. But the head of that body is missing. After a while you would come to see that even though the body is moving...it's not attached to it's Head. Jesus is not in control. The source of all that activity wasn't God but man. Jesus is the head of the church and in order for the body of Christ to stay alive it must be dependant on the Spirit not a ploy.


Eric Smith said...

hey - a big amen to that bro. I read "A Jesus Sensitive Church" a while back and it radically touched my life and challenged me to pray more.

I'd love to see every pastor read that book!

Beloved MaMa said...

Love your blog and thoughts. The church is not the building- but rather, the people...Jesus would come to our homes- I do believe- and stay to worship with us, right where we are...for where we are- there the church is!