Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Wilderness

The wilderness is composed of individualized segments of all kinds with barriers impenetrable in many ways. We are a very individual separated society in many ways. Look around you and you will soon discover we live for ourselves and don't even try to understand each other mainly because we are very selfish and want to be left alone.
Commitment to relationships is a thing of the past. When we are part of a group we tend to be exclusive in that relationship. Look at our church groupings. We want people to become members so we can force our brand of thinking on those who are part of us. God help us if you should have a slightly different understanding of doctrine, practice, lifestyle or belief. So we put up walls that we may be "pure". What are we thinking! Is not the gospel for the whole world?
This isolation is also true of political parties. I don't know if I need to say a whole lot about this except to tell you to have a look at how we do government or political campaigns. We don't try to get along and understand the others point of view. Instead we tear down each other rather then trying to understand common ground so we could govern.
Need I tell you of family fractures? Broken marriages and estrangements are all arouund us so that today we need all kinds of counseling and therapy agencies to try to mend these fractures.
I could go on with examples from all areas of our society. If you think about it you can think of situations in your own life where this exclusivity is present. Where walls of misunderstanding and isolation exist.
This is the wilderness we live in. In future blogs I will begin to flesh out where I believe we need to go to tear down these walls and begin to build bridges to hurting people

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Church

The church of today is a far cry from that which Christ described in the gospels. His admonition to the disciples as described during the judgement of the righteous and unrighteous was that "many will say Lord! Lord! but the judgement will be depart from me, I never knew you! What an indictment! Others will enter that perfect rest wondering how they made it. Those are they who "saw someone in prison and visited them, cared enough to care for the sick, saw someone in need and fed and clothed them.
The church today is composed of those whoregularly attend a Sunday morning "worship service" for an hour and a half and regularly put the offering envelope in the collection plate or bucket because they feel that is their service as they obviously need to tend to their own personal needs the other 166.5 hours of the week. Occasionally they will volunteer to weed the gardens around their magnificent structure for "worship" and have even sang in the choir or worship teams. Many times 0ur "programs"are really shows for the accolades of men rather then the adoration of the Almighty and Most High God. Do we really need bigger and fancier edifices to meet in, where very little service goes on to meet the needs of hurting and destitude families.
I dare say if the real poor and outcasts of society began to show up in our assemblies most of us would probably seek shelter in another congregation as we would not want to mingle with the vagrant and down-trodden of society. How do I know this to be true? All one needs to do is look around you at the parachurch organizations, who continually cry for help and finances, receive very little help in meeting the needs of the ills of society. A large percentage of Christendom today when asked to participate in some way respond that that is not their gifting or they have no talent for those kinds of programs. Some even go as far as to say that's not their calling. Check again and I believe you will find it is the calling of every person who follows Christ to give his life in service to others and not to regard our concerns for what to wear or what to eat as our heavenly father knows our needs and will supply. Far too many people will sit Sunday after Sunday in their wonderful buildings and not even volunteer for service in any of the programs within the church. So many say they can't even teach the children's classes when asked. Incredible!! Wake up! Church! What is wrong with this picture when adults feel they are incapable to teach spiritual truths to our children. The Church is destitude itself and dying rapidly because we know little of the wonderful magnificent salvation story. I'm claiming the premise Christ gave us that there will be many who will follow the broad way and few who understand how to follow the narrow way He asked us to commit to.