Friday, November 26, 2010

Christian Mythology: Church – Myth: Church is for everybody, saved and unsaved

I realize this book will provoke some readers. It will also provoke thought in others. Thinking is required here because the things you read about are subtle. Sin is usually just that way. If it were blatant, surely Christians would jump right on it and do something about it. But you will see over these next thirty days that much of what you thought was normal at church is not God's desire, intention, or design. You can decide for yourselves whether you believe sin is involved. However, I will say this: where you find subtlety and confusion, there you will also find temptation. Sin is never far behind.

Most American churches practice an open door policy. Sinners are welcome. How do you feel about that? If you, a righteous Christian, go to church to worship God, how is that experience affected by the presence of evil? Pay very close attention to the words now.

You know what the world often says about going to church. "I won't go there. I wouldn't want to be a Christian. After all, they're just a bunch of hypocrites."

Have you ever been to church where everybody is all dressed up? The women in their Sunday finest of skirt, blouse, and hat? The men in suit, shirt, and tie? Even the children look their best. This is not uncommon. Until a street person walks in. Dirty, unwashed, soiled clothing, reeking of the world. How do you react? Are they welcome in your church? Jesus welcomed them to Himself.

God told us that His kingdom is a mix of wheat and tares, sheep and goats, saved and unsaved. That is surely a picture of the world today. But it is not a picture of the Church Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a difference between the church organization that we all know and the Church Body of our Lord Jesus Christ known by but a few.

Church organizations put on big shows and hope the world will show up to hear a message. The Body of Jesus goes into the world with just the Gospel and begs God's Spirit will quicken the dead to new life in Jesus.

Church organizations welcome everybody to worship. The Church Body worships God in spirit and truth, dressed in the beauty of holiness. Sin and sinners are not welcome. Neither a Christian in sin nor a sinner dead in sin can worship God. There is no holiness in sin. Sin departs a Christian through God's gift of repentance which draws on the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross.

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