Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Shape of the it a Square or a Heart?

I had no clue what to blog about when I was mildly chided for not blogging in a while…thanks Leigh…keep me on my toes. My life is a continual stream of routine, so I’d rather not bore others with it, but I’ve really been worked up lately and thought I might share my most recent thought processes. (Sorry it's long...I'm making up for 2 months of not blogging.) :)
Back in August, I invited a friend to stay with me up in Winter Park, she loves to be in the presence of God, she loves being around other people who love God and encourage one another in the things of Christ, and she is also very willing to take those who haven’t got a clue and show them the things of God. Well, we began one of those talk past midnight chats about the Lord and what he is doing in the overall church and in our own church, and she asked me a question that really hit me hard. She said “you long for the same things of God that I do...why do you stay at our church?” I simply stated back…because the Lord hasn’t told me to go anywhere else.” That was such a plain and simple response, but the fact of the matter is…she shook me up with that question because, honestly, I like to serve in the capacity that I do…I like my “position” and I would never want to shake things up by moving. She went on to explain what she was searching for in a church and I explained that the church is us; we’re the ones that walk into the building to create one body called the church. I didn’t really know what I was saying until recently.
Last weekend another friend informed me of a news report on Carlton Pearson that hit many networks. So, I watched it and was absolutely appalled, not so much at the fact that he “had the revelation” that hell didn’t exist and everyone is saved (he even has a book titled "Get the Hell out of My Bible"). I wasn’t even appalled that he has begun another church (sponsored in part by the Episcopal Church – for additional interesting info on the EC, check out Charisma’s September 27th article There Is Weeping in the Cathedral). What bothered me was what I noticed of the initial church that accepted his disturbing doctrine. It was a church of “outcasts” as they called themselves (gay/lesbian, abused people); what I saw were people who served this man the way Christ served others…they washed his feet…and I couldn’t help but think that even those who claim to be “righteous” rarely, if at all, serve others in any manner resembling humility.
I am of the opinion that it is time we examine the attributes of the church as it pertains to its rightful place in our lives. I guess I’m thinking mainly of the church as it was described in Acts 2:42-47. It seems that the church has traded in community for individualism. Are we so caught up in our own lives that we can’t see the life that sits beside us in church? Are we so intent on getting our own needs met that we fail to see the needs of others? Is being a Christian a catch-phrase or an act? Are we adding to the number of our church by bringing in those from the streets or those from another church? Married people, how about inviting a single person over for lunch or out for coffee…single people, how about cleaning up the yard of an elderly person…elderly people, you have SO MUCH irreplaceable wisdom to offer, please share it.
When people were brought into the church in Paul’s day, it was important for him to discuss being the “body” of Christ because people then were honorable to their family...outside of their family...the game is on, and Paul needed to let them know that we are all a family and we function together. 1 Cor 12:12 says “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” We absolutely cannot function without each other. 1 Peter 2:5-9 says “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
One more thing…tonight my teacher said the most profound thing. He stated that he left his house around 4 and told his “bride” that he would be back around 10:30 and that he can’t wait to see her again. He’s been married 35 years! Of course all the girls took a deep breath as he continued to say…you know, when I’m home, I just want to be in the same room with her. How incredible is that! We are the bride of Christ…does he want to just be in the same room as us?

Rev 19:7-9 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God.”

I’m just shooting from the hip here, but surely I am not completely off. I am open to the thoughts and opinions of others.
Hopping off my soap box now.