Church, stuck in a moment

Moses was up the mountain for forty days. Meanwhile back in the camp, Aaron was creating a golden calf, an idol to worship, because the congregation did not know what had happened to the man Moses. Paul inspired the church in Galatia and in a short time had to reprimand them to not wonder from the gospel of Jesus Christ that he had taught them.
We have been waiting two thousand years for the return of Jesus Christ and we have, it would appear, grown tired of waiting for the kingdom to come. We have become “smarter” in this generation and rather than creating a physical idol, we have created systems that we have overlayed onto the true gospel of Jesus Christ and worshipped them more than God. Because we have grown tired of waiting, we have begun to use the word of God for our own ends, as we call ourselves prophets and apostles. Then we expect our followers to bow down and give us our due respect. Consequently, Gods kingdom is being made in our own image and attached to it is some weak anaemic version of the God of the bible that we pull out of a hat or rub the lamp thereof, whenever we need our wants met or our ways promoted. The truth of God’s word has been taken lightly and ignored or even perverted in some cases and we have declared that we are gods with our own divinity residing within us. The accolades of men have driven us to create our own purposes in life, whilst we build up our own kingdoms and steal (as in what a thief does) the glory and praise due to the Lord of lords and King of kings.
We have become rebellious prima donnas unable to even receive the word of instruction and guidance. Like Israel, we have cast aside the God of Glory and His ways, laws, statutes and commands, we have gone our own way and testified that it is good. Then we justify our success by numbers and increase in finance, much like the pharisees of Jesus’ day. We have sown the seed of this rebellion and reaped the whirlwind of Gods wrath and wondered why we have ended up in the slough of dispond or the dungeons of the giant despair.
God did not spare Israel, His chosen people who were to proclaim His glory to the world. When they sinned, they were warned. They were called to humble themselves, to confession and repentance, to return to the Lord their God. Eventually their sins caused God to abandon them to their enemies and to exile they went. If we think that The Church is any different we would be sadly mistaken and would need to badly misinterpret the scripture that says God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The bible tells us that we are to contend for the faith and to proclaim the gospel and make disciples. Jesus’ says if we love Him we would obey His commandments. Else where He tells us that to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your mind is the First command and the second is like it, to love your neighbour as yourself. You could also jump to Micah 6:8 and see that it says,
“…what is good; and what does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God”.
God is a merciful and gracious God, extending His loving kindness unto a thousand generations and has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Unfortunately, our rebellious nature prevents us from receiving this grace and mercy, rather it attracts wrath and judgement. This stems from the fact that basic doctrines are being ignored by our churches (regardless of denomination). We have focused on preaching a weak anaemic version of the gospel, so people will not be upset. However, eternity in hell will be eternally upsetting for some.
Doctrines such as the gospel of Jesus Christ and the consequences of ignoring it are not taught, in direct disobedience to Matthew 28. Portraying God as only a loving merciful God is a lopsided message that fails to explore the consequences of His wrath and judgment, presently and at the second coming of Christ. Ask yourselves, when did you last heard a message about entering by the wicket gate and maintaining the narrow way everlasting and the consequences of not entering in to the Kingdom of God? When did you last hear a message about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross and the blood proclaimed and the consequences of ignoring it? How often do you hear a sermon on obedience and the resulting blessing for it and the consequential curse for disobedience?
God is a merciful and gracious God wanting all to come to repentance that leads to salvation. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation and is probably why we are to teach the gospel message above all else. When we enter into the kingdom, we come into right relationship with God (assuming we are allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us into Christlikeness). Out of this right relationship with God, our relationships with others will be abounding with grace, mercy and love. Until we truly submit to God and His ways and focus on our relationship with God, through Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, our churches, again regardless of denominations, will remain at the present impasse.
The impasse lies at the cross roads, where we should be looking and asking for the ancient path or where the good way is, so we can walk in them and find rest for our souls. We can continue to do what we are doing or we can humbly return to our God and confess our sins that He might return to us.
Surely God is concerned about what has and is being done in The Church and will He find faith on earth when He comes? For how can it be known that we have found favour His sight? Is it not by Gods presence going with us that we are distinguished from the other people who are upon the face of the earth?
Although I hold no theological degree, I do try to read the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, such that I might understand the word and let it shine a light on the behaviour and attitudes of men (including myself). I have, however, qualified as a life coach, but more than that God has placed the desire on my heart to see The Church become the beautiful bride of Christ, rather than an orphan dressed in filthy rags, living in abject spiritual, physical and financial poverty.
As a coach then, the objective is to lead people back into the presence of God. To remind ourselves of the goodness of God and to encourage us to persevere with prayer, remind us to worship in spirit and truth and being obedient to walking in the way everlasting and to the very word of God. Sometimes we forget our behaviour matters and so coaching directs us back to a more Christlike demeanour, attitudes and behaviours. We seemed to have done so much preaching and so many sermons that we have nothing left and have moved onto social action and politics (within and outside of church). Yet the bible tells us to proclaim the gospel, something not much heard of today in all of its depth, like justification, sanctification, obedience, mission, discipleship and the like. Coaching then guides us back to our fundamental doctrines and beliefs and encourages and supports those that are in this kind of ministry (or any ministry really) to continually review our walk with Christ and the fruit it is or isn’t bearing, (you can tell the tree by its fruit). If our churches are emptyish, then our fruit is obviously missing. Thus, another part of coaching is to discern, graciously and lovingly the causes that have resulted in a church diminishing. Then, to establish a way back to the heart of God (usually involving confession and repentance), that allows us to be transformed into a more Christlike person with Christlike attitudes and behaviours such that we are a distinguishable people from all other people. Coaching is a tool and not a be all end all to following the Lord our God in our own relationship with Him. Only God can transform the heart of man, if the heart of man wants to be transformed. My calling is to help those that do, nothing more, nothing less.

Published by Dickon Harding

Mad keen surfer, fly model aero planes and generally try to live life well and with compassion for others.

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