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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer

 
 

    I read an interesting book this week entitled "Mere Churchianity" by Michael Spencer. While I would certainly not endorse everything said in the book, he does make some interesting observations.  For example: "Some outsiders might be drawn to God if it were not for Christians." At first, I thought that was a rather curious statement. I kept reading. He explained that many years ago when he was a "youth pastor" in a large denominational church, he took a group of "Christian teens," to a Dairy Queen after their scheduled church activities. The group was loud, rowdy, and generally messy. A couple of days later, the "youth pastor" received a letter from a young lady who was an employee of the Dairy Queen, and had waited on and served the group. Summarizing the letter, the waitress said that based on her observation of the group, she wanted nothing to do with Christianity!

            While the group was faithful to their "church organization," they evidently had no idea what the *real* Jesus is like; "by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20).

            Is our Christianity about Jesus? or is it about growing *our* church?  When unbelievers can't see Jesus in us, can Jesus Himself recognize us? (Acts 4:13).

            We talk about presenting Jesus to the world around us, yet we have almost no idea what Jesus is like! People don't study their Bibles, they don't attend Bible classes at the church, or mid-week services, or even evening services, yet they claim to know all about Jesus! We assume we can go out into the public and act like heathens and still be representatives of Jesus just because we are "good church people!" We assume that Jesus buys into our own idea of what is important in our life.

            All over America people are turning away from "mainstream" churches because their churches have turned away from emphasizing genuine commitment to Christ and turned to genuine commitment to their church. In other words, people are leaving the church because the church has left Jesus!  There is a difference in "claiming" to be a Christian, and actually being one. Church leaders are constantly meeting to change their "doctrines" about salvation, worship, and moral issues. All this when the Bible teaches us, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).  Is your Christianity shaped by Jesus? or is it shaped by your specific church doctrine?  Jesus did not say, "Go into all the world and preach your church." He said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel..." (Mark 16:16).

            In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, "Let your light so shine that people may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." NOTE: it is not you who is suppose to shine, it is your Light!  Jesus said, "I AM the Light of the world" (John 8:12).     

 

--Toby Miller

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