01/05/2016 From the Minster's Sat Nav
(do you really think I am that sad?)
The church used to be very good at offending people, commandments, morality, teaching and respectability used to be high on wall planner for any fellowship. But not anymore. Live and let live is the mantra in many places which is interesting as we don’t find that sentiment in scripture. What happened. Listen to this true story.
A large church was committed to reaching out to people for Christ. One of the tools they used was a food kitchen. They’d bring the poor in off the streets, have a prayer for the food, talk about sin and the need to change lifestyles. And it worked miracles. Folks changed their lives and even began coming to church and digging their way out of poverty. Then from the 60’s a subtle change began to take place. In the food kitchens, prayers were not offered over meals because they were afraid that they’d offend the poor. AND they no longer tried to convince the homeless to turn to God and to repent of their past sins. That might drive away the very people they were trying to feed.
But over time they found that the same people were coming through the lines year after year, and there was no change taking place in their lives. The church gradually slipped from a membership from 1000 people down to 120 and a once mighty congregation sat with a nearly empty building.
They didn’t want to offend people; they want to help. The mention of sin faded away
They stopped challenging views on issues of the day. They ditched any risk of offending anyone. People stopped changing, the problems became entrenched. The place failed numerically and spiritually.
The church had confused conversion with a welfare program. They made dependents not disciples. Welfare and support are commendable activities for the Church but that priority is secondary to the command Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus said that our primary mission as Christians is to
- Baptize them into the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
That’s it. That’s the prime directive. Believe it not when the disciples and the Church did this some people were offended. Peter stood before Sanhedrin one time. These were the rulers of the nation, and they were furious. They said: "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name… Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood." Acts 5:28
We need to see truth in our world, there are too many incidents were lies are told and they carry the day. We need to challenge those who live for themselves and abuse communities or people. But the most important thing is to ensure the Church prime directive takes place. Do that and all will be well but you will offend and you have hot water moments a plenty. So nothing new there.