Friday, January 21, 2011

Teach Not Entertain

I was talking with one of my brothers in Christ, and we sort of was reminiscing on our previous church, how it was and how it is now.  Since we have left, the leaders of that church have never found a steady pastor.  In other words, they had a different pastor each Sunday.  Apparently, they have finally found a pastor who they decided to keep, and it was shared with this brother on how good he is.  He can do this and that, and he had the church this way and that way.  Then my brother in Christ said, “Amen, what was the message about?”  Crickets were the only sound that could be heard.
            This reminded me of a statistical data I read regarding churches, mainly mega ones.  There were stats regarding to location, ethnicity, programs they provide, outreach efforts, you know things that every church has.  What drew my attention were two criteria that drew people to the church according to this data.  One was the Pastor.  That is not so bad, however this is what it said.  The pastor’s musical talent is the energy source around which the parishioners revolve.  He can become the visible symbol and potent  brand name for the church." The other was about worship.  It states “About half the surveyed attendees say something related to the worship style drew them to the church.  Many perceive the worship as "high quality, inviting, and user-friendly” My goodness, the church has now become a theatre to visit and be entertained.
            Many of you can relate to what I am saying.  You see it on T.V, you hear it on the radio, you probably seen it in your community or have visited a church that falls into this category.  Pastors running around jumping all over the place like they have lost their minds.  The only thing left is to hold up both hands and display the “I love you” symbol with their fingers and dive into the parishioners.  Oh yeah, they will catch them.  Then when all the hoopla is over, what was learned?  The bible says “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.  For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom 10:12-15)  That is the problem.  We have preachers that preach everything except the word of God.  We go into the house of worship and it is like a corporation.  Then when the man of God speaks, he must be careful.  He must be careful not to offend this one or that one.  His messages should be happy ones.  Give me a break!  Does not the bible say “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ?” (2 Ti 3:16)  Amen!!!  People need to be pointed at.  People need to be corrected.  People need to be instructed.  It is not about having a smile all the time.  It is not about feeling good all the time.  You sometime need a verbal beaten.  How else will we know what mess we are in?  As long as the pastor can entertain, people are happy.  Wow!
            The bible says “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”  (Matt 9:35-37)  Yes, there are many lost souls out there, and very few preachers to assist in bringing them the truth.  Now these few have to compete with the entertainers.  I went witnessing a while back with my friend who is a pastor.  We went into the ghettos of Sanford, FL.  We were in shock and saddened by what we encountered.  There were almost a church on each corner, and when you look at the community, it does not reflect it.  We approached a bunch of young men that looked at us as though they were going to pop off.  They were smoking weed at the time also.  We boldly went to them, and I said “I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Hallelujah, the name turned these tough young men, into frightened children.  They never had seen that before.  They did not know how to react.  The church has never visited the community they are located in.  Every word we shared with them made their heads hung lower and lower.  We went out there so much to where people were running away from us.  I joked with the pastor one time, and said “you want to see them dudes scatter, watch this” Hey fellas!  God bless you, can I intrude on your time and share the gospel with you?”  And scatter they did.  Lord have mercy.  What is being taught in these churches?  I bet you if I tapped dance and put on a skit, they will be more attentive.  We need not only pray for the lost souls, but also pray for the men and women who were sent.  Pray that they do not stray away from what Jesus charged.  He said make disciples of all nations.  Anyone who is called to the ministry has now taken on that charge, and a disciple is a student.  They are to teach the people , not entertain.  Amen!

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