24And the messengers of John having departed, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: What did you go out into the desert to gaze on? A reed shaken and swayed by the wind?
25Then what did you go out to see? A man dressed up in soft garments? Behold, those who wear fine apparel and live in luxury are in the courts or palaces of kings.
26What then did you go out to see? A prophet (a foreteller)? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.
John the Baptist - I was thinking on him today. What was it that drew people to John?? He was stinky. He didn't wear the latest style of clothing of the time. His diet was downright weird. He wasn't pretty, beautiful as we would call it. What was it?? I believe it was....The message.
I went to a church that would not allow the gifts of the spirit at certain times as it may offend or we may lose people because of it. We don't want to address sin, as it really isn't sin, we are just "struggling". We spend more time in our churches talking about the latest style of dress, movie, show than we do about God and His ways OR the amazing time we had with God...or spending time praying together, encouraging each other in the Lord. Do we spend time with God anymore?? Do we have time?? We have hours for TV and shows but little time with God.
I am talking to myself here. It has been bugging me and bugging me. We start churches and spend little time as a body praying for God's direction and all our time buying, checking out, or borrowing books on how to "grow" a church. We advertise, "get our name out", show up at all the local functions so we can smile and say..come to our church? Why? Why would someone want to go to your church?? Are people being set free? Healed? Delivered? Discipled?? Or do we spend all our time comparing how bad we have it?? Gossiping about others and disenchanted with the last church we left?? What is church anyway?? Who is the church?? Is it praise and worship done a certain way and in a certain time?? One hour and no more?? Using our Pastors as hirelings who must do what we want or fire them?? Why is it that 95% of the body of Christ does absolutely NOTHING and 5% are out doing all the work?? Church leaders patting each other on the back, giving high fives for what??
I don't want to be cynical. I know that there are wonderful ministries everywhere that are doing a great job. I am just tired of seeing Christians looking exactly like everyone else. Complainers, gripers, sad mouthed, poor mouthed people who spend most of the time thinking of themselves and little time thinking of others. What did Christ deliver you from?? Did He die for you so you could have a job at a church?? Did He die just so you can hold on just long enough so you can get to heaven??
I believe that like John the Baptist we have a powerful message to proclaim and that message is powerful with our without a sound system, coffee, comfy pews, and beautiful sanctuaries. I feel our focus is messed up. We are so focused on how everything looks on the outside that we completely miss out on the fact that the Gospel, the Good News, JESUS is a message we must focus on... Our churches are losing attendance and shutting down..and it is not God's fault....