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Please allow me a little musing in respect to the modern-day church. I'm simply describing and reflecting on my feelings, in the form of a modern-day parable, that of an earthly story having a heavenly meaning. Just pondering or reflecting my concerns in a fiction genre.
I once, through my preacher Daddy, knew another preacher friend, who is now enjoying the pleasures of Heaven, say, “When the Rapture comes, the modern-day church will not skip a beat.”
What has happened to today’s modern church? Oh, not all churches, but a fragment of the structured church? What is the cause of the modern church's stagnation?
Could it be the increased government control by means of allowing tax deductions? Could it be the evolution of our progressive society's lifestyle? Or maybe our spiritual struggle with the evil one? (Ephesians 6:12) All these, and maybe more so, could have an effect on the modern-day church mentality. However, I vote for the latter cause.
While on this blog's introductory subject, what has happened to the so-called community church? That church where not only the entire community worshipped, but where they all lived; the mayor, the police chief, the school principal, and the like.
I am so proud and thankful for our church. Though not in the community church category, our church still holds to the Old Time Religion principles. The full gospel is taught, preached and lived. (I Cor. 15:3-4) The church participants, when led by the Spirit, will raise a hand of praise, give the preacher an encouraging shout of Amen, and even give a handshake or hug of joy to one another. Sometimes, we may even see a spontaneous testamony erupt, as the Spirit leads.
I remember, many a time when my old preacher Daddy would get discouraged in the ministry, he would go to his old piano and play and sing at the top of his tenor lungs. His favorite song was the old hymn, “The Love of God”. When this happened, we young ones and Mom would always know to go hide somewhere and let Dad work it all out, by way of his old piano.
And now that both Dad and Mom have been promoted to Glory, according to the Salvation Army dictates, those tearful episodes of yesteryear are gone.
So, what about your church, my friend? As the old parson said, “If you can find a better fox hole, go jump in it”. The same with the church. If you need to change churches to hear the truth of the gospel taught, quickly go jump in it.
Now for our blog, “The Church Thas Wasn't” which sadly states its fiction content. I trust; however, you will get the gist of its meaning. Please enjoy as you jump into the reading.
(Please read the blue highlighted Scriptures as you move through this blog)
How swiftly this thirty years or so of the ministry have passed! I hate to say it, but I’m plum tuckered out. I just don’t seem to have the same faith zeal I once had. Everything involved with the ministry has become one big annoyance and a hassle for me.
Is God trying to tell me something? Is it time to give it all up? I’ll just need to pray about it, I guess. For now, I’ll just sleep on it. That was when my vision, the vision of all visions, came to life.
I suddenly found myself in the vestibule of a rather large church. There was a large sign overhanging the entrance which read, “Welcome to the Church of What’s Happening Now.” From the inside came the most unusual sounds for a church. If what’s happening now is simply the Old Time Religion worship, this church can’t be half bad, I thought as I entered the sanctuary.
Taking a seat near the back, it was as if I was there, but I wasn’t. As if I participated, but I didn’t. As if they wanted me to join in, but I wouldn’t. The entire scenario was unusual, to say the least, for a congregation of church believers. It seemed to me, as if I was a fly on the wall.
Inside was rather strange. Seating was arranged in a circle, with a large stage directly in the center. Wall-mounted television cameras were everywhere. The entire décor gave the appearance of a rock and roll band concert.
The church hadn’t started yet and people were milling around. Some were standing in group conversation. Others were sitting silent. Some stood around unaccompanied, having the appearance of being lost. No one bothered to greet me. It was as if I wasn’t even there. My impression, I’ve seen ice houses with a warmer atmosphere than this chilly church. But that was OK for me, I was a little uncomfortable as it was.
A series of blinking lights signaled attention, as the people scurried to find their seats. “What comes next? Could this be a rock and roll band, running up on stage, stirring up the audience? Surely not in a church, I thought.
I then caught the drift of the service. I was right, it did start with a rock and roll band of sorts, giving out a subtle hint of religious music to the accompaniment of colored, blinking lights, as I sat bewildered.
After the music came the preaching, but not before they took up the offering, which seemed to upstage the entire atmosphere of the service. Young ladies, all in matching scanty uniforms, danced around keeping time with the loud music, as they moved through the congregation.
Then the main event, as the large screens announced the pastor’s sermon. The pastor’s long, flowing black robe announced his appearance, taking out any respectful mood or resemblance of religion. The pastor gave out a wide grin for the television cameras as he walked to the pulpit.
The pastor’s message was certainly unique, to say the least. His dissertation was all about an experience he recently had with his family's pet cat. There was no use of or display of the Bible, obviously.
Sad to say, at that point, this tired, old, fundamentalist preacher had had enough of this service. This so-called church. (Psalm 42:4) I was just about ready to give up on the bogus religious goings-on. However, as if by some divine action, I was rescued.
Suddenly there was relief from pressure. Gone was the church and its attempt at religious display. I woke up lying across my bed, sweat pouring like a fountain from my forehead, my old King James Holy Bible by my side. What did I do then? Well, you be the judge. I’ll leave it all up to you.
One thing for certain, my retirement from preaching was put on hold that day. Amen!
I trust you enjoyed this parable blog. What about the church? What about the future of the church? There will always be at least a remnant of His true church. Our Lord has said so. (Matthew 16:13-18)
(The following is taken in part, from, blog.tms.edu/upon-this-rock)
“Peter was just a small stone built atop the bedrock of something much bigger than himself: namely, the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Put simply, Peter was not the rock; Christ is the Rock. And as Peter and the other apostles testified to the truth about Christ (which Peter did in verse 16), the church was built upon its only sure foundation.
The rest of the New Testament bears this out.
In (I Corinthians 3:11), Paul wrote that “no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
In (Ephesians 2:20), Paul further explained that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone on which the church is founded by the apostles.
Even Peter himself, in (I Peter 2:1–10) compared all believers to small stones that are part of the superstructure of the church. By contrast, Peter noted in (I Peter 2: 6-7), the Lord Jesus is the cornerstone on which the church is built. He said the same thing to the Jewish religious leaders in (Acts 4:11). Speaking of Jesus, Peter proclaimed, “He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.”
Now you have it. I trust you are well grounded in a true New Testament doctrinal church which mimics our first church. (Acts 2:41-47)
Continued to repent and be baptized. (Acts 2:41)
Continued devoting to the Apostles teaching, breaking of bread and prayer. (Acts 2:42)
Continued seeing many wonders and signs taking place (Acts 2:43)
Continued being together and had all things in common. (Acts 2:44)
Continued selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with others, as anyone might have need. (Acts 2:45)
Continued day by day worshiping with one mind. (Acts 2:46)
Continued taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart. (Acts 2:46)
Continued praising God and having favor with all the people. (Acts 2:47)
A far cry from most churches today, wouldn't you say?
Have we, as a body of believers, veered off course here? If so, what will it take to get back to the simple Old Time Religion doctrine and hold to the teaching as did the early church? (I John 1:8-9)
So the next time you meet in church, shake a hand or two. Talk to somebody. Give someone a big hug. Pray for somebody. Raise a hand of praise. Testify and sing out so your neighbor may be blessed. And above all, give the preacher a little encouragement. Amen!
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