These are just thoughts on what I have seen happening in our home churches, in our local churches, in the church around the corner.
Maybe you don't attend church, or maybe you did, however you left because someone hurt your feelings.
Maybe you left because others left.
Maybe you left and you don't remember why.
Maybe the church seemed too much like the Pharisees and the Sadducees more interested in the Politics or the business end of it all.
I must be honest with you...I have felt the same way and I have left because of the same reasons. Then here is what dawned on me...I also walked away from God some too. I did not mean to (at least I don't think I did) but there was a distance there and HE didn't move...it was me who did all the moving!
I started a list of things that I have seen that have been going on, still or past, and I thought if I felt that way, that maybe, just maybe, someone else has felt this way. These might not be in order for me, however maybe you could add to them or maybe put them in your order. Or maybe I am the only one who has felt this way?
1- We as the church have gotten so wrapped up in our wants, in the way we think it should be, that we have left the owner; Our Heavenly Father completely out of everything. Maybe we are still allowing Him in the door on Sunday mornings.....we would be hard pressed to see Him in the other operations during the week or Sunday afternoon, it is about us, it is no longer about Him. When was the last time we asked HIM what HE wanted and waited for an answer?
2- Jesus called us to be "Fishers of Men". I am a big "Andy Griffith" fan. I remember an episode where Andy and his son "Opie" (Ronny Howard) were fishing and Opie asked Andy "Paw what kind of bait are you using?" and Andy replied "well Opie it is a special bait". Opie then said, "Well Paw that looks like our ham sandwich" and Andy said,"well it is, don't you think those fish get tired of the same food?"
Several things we can learn from that: people are hungry for something real and true and what are we giving them? When we meet them, when we show them what kind of life we have now with Jesus, are they "smacking their lips" because it taste so good? And, we are repelling them away because we can't catch anything with "stinky bait" it repels.....are we not repelling?
3- Jesus called us to love one another....."Love Thy neighbour as you love yourself." Why aren't we doing that? Here is my point; we can not give what we do not have. In order to give love, we must love ourselves, "hurting people hurt people". We can not give what we do not have. We can try, but it will not be healthy. It might appear to work for a little bit, but will not last. I had to learn to love Me, before I could love you.
4- The church has become a "social network" all on it's own. Roll over "Facebook". We are no longer knocking on doors, visiting others first. Here is how it works in most churches: you come visit us and fill out a card and we might get around to visiting you. That I call the "Motel 6" Ministry, we will leave the light on for you. Folks don't care how much we know, they want to know how much we care. So who does care?
5- The church needs to go back to the dance with the ONE who brought us: Jesus Christ. We have taken our eyes, our hearts off of Him. We need to start back to the beginning in Prayer. Again we are always telling Jesus what we want, what we need, when was the last time we asked HIM to show us what He wants? When was the last time you and I and our church had a "Come to Jesus Meeting"?
6- We claim to have a passion for Jesus. We claim to have that heart. But we do not have the compassion of Jesus Christ for others. That Heart of Christ is an "All or Nothing" Heart. We must learn to have compassion, no better place to learn than to ask HIM to show us...and then Listen. All across America there are folks who are roaming the streets because they don't have a place to lay their heads. And I know what you might be saying: "they have done this to themselves" and some might have. But when was the last time we cared? When did we become the Judge and the Jury? What if one person helped one person, maybe just with a meal?
7- When did the church get the "it's not our problem attitude"?
8- Too much fighting and arguing going on in the Church! I did not need to go to church on Sunday morning for drama, I could get that at home and save the gas! Or Wednesday night at church had turned into "Wednesday Night at The Fights". Their wants and their prides getting in the way of what Jesus wants to do?
9- I got tired of doing all the work? Or I got tired of hearing all the complaining about others doing all the work? I had some ideas and the Pastor or leaders just blew me off?
10- The Holy Spirit has left the building?
You know what? I had to realize this too in my personal life, just because I went to church, did not mean I was Christian. In fact I was just an "......ian" because Christ was missing. Just because I would sit in my garage, did not make me a car! I need to feel the Holy Spirit moving, but I realized I wasn't bring Him with me either.
The church is not perfect, the church can lose it way and get too focused on things that will not matter in Heaven. We need to focus on building the Roll up Yonder and let Jesus Christ build the Roll where HE wants to.
These are my thoughts and opinions and this the Heart that Jesus has given me. I welcome you to share yours.....God Bless!