Now, I want to emphasis something that I need to. I have posted a few posts about the local church and sad stories about false and destructive teachings being taught within those local churches. I want to say that not all churches do such things, and not all churches use their members like that, and that not all who work or are apart of those churches knowingly do such things. But not knowing your doing it is no excuse. As I said, however, not all churches do this and people who attend those churches aren’t all alike.
Often, such churches are so ishy and squishy that everyone has all sorts of beliefs. They may have a clear mission statement, like changing the world for Christ, but when it comes to what that means, it often isn’t well understood. So what happens is the mission becomes the center, the thing honored, and in the process of working towards the mission they go in many directions because truly the mission has little root in what the Bible says or what this mission means. And so, soon you are more about the mission than about God, and you lose sight of what is important because no one has said anything else but the mission. These ill defined missions cause problems and people now want you to be apart of the mission. The mission, the mission, it’s all about the mission.
Soon, God’s call on your life is either to be apart of the mission or to give to the mission, and you become a second class kind of citizen. So when you get into “leadership,” you will be attacked by Satan because you are about the churches “mission.” When the truth is that you probably already believe many lies, have your own thoughts, barely know the bible, and so if anything bad happens to you or if you have quarrels with people or anything is “dissuading you” from the mission, it is Satan’s fault. When the truth of the matter is, you, once being a child of Satan, a child of disobedience, following the prince of the power of the air, you still have lies that float about in your mind and will come out when things happen around you or to you. So, in a very real sense, yes these thoughts are ungodly and are false, but in another sense it’s not Satan implanting new thoughts in your mind. No, instead it’s old patterns of thought and belief that rears up in your mind, and we are told to set our minds upon Christ and renew our minds in the truth of who Christ is and what He has done.
Now, saying all this doesn’t seem to honor local churches. If anything, I am making the problem worse. I am dishonoring churches by pointing out part of what’s wrong at those churches.
This is simply false. To honor a Christian as a Christian you have to point out what is wrong each others life. You don’t call them unbelievers or false believers, though sometimes they may be, but you call them up to the higher standard. So I may disrespect them as a church, but as Christians and as Humans, I am calling them to higher standards and pleading that they see what is wrong and change. Repent.
The danger in doing so is if I am blinded to my own sins. And often we are. We have huge logs in our eyes. But by God’s grace I have men and women around me who call out the sin in my life and aid me in taking out those logs.
I say this as someone who once was a member of these types of churches. I know what it’s like. And in a very real sense they want to please and honor God. The problem is the foundation isn’t rooted in God. It isn’t rooted in His word.
So I want to honor my heritage, as wrong as it may be, by thanking God for such places that gave me the ability to strengthen my love for God and His word. In spite of what may have been taught, I learned much about seeking God because others encouraged me to do it more and often were inspired by how much I truly lived out what was taught, albeit watered down, imperfectly, and with a wrong emphasis. However, there was encouragement there. And I thank God for that encouragement. It was ultimately made me leave the church.