Friday, August 12, 2011

It's nothing love can't fix

As I read the comments people wrote for my last post, it got me thinking even more about the changes taking place in many churches, especially here on the West Coast. There were valid points brought up about our changing times and getting too stuck on trivial things like the cosmetics of the church...I agree and I thank you for your comments. If the gospel is being preached and truth is being taught, the other things are of much less importance. In my opinion, as long as the walls of truth still stand, it doesn't matter what color they are painted. And as long as we are not tearing them down to replace them with something more like the world - to fit in,  I don't think we should have a problem with it.

I believe the distinction between the church and the world should be visible by the character of the body of Christ. A deep distinct line should be drawn in the sands of time, that defines us as followers of Jesus Christ in this age. If in fact we had the characteristics of the early church, there would be little infuses on the material aspects of worshiping together, and more on being united together to worship. And we would have little concern about what the world thought about how or where we did it.

Jesus said, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:18-19)

The world does not dislike the church because of its buildings, or the decorations within them. It hates the church because it belongs to Jesus. And just as you and I were called out of the world by Him, so too He will call many more out, and place them into the body of Christ. We are His witnesses to the world that by His grace we are saved through faith in Him - He did not intend for us to fit in.

I believe we are not as effective in the world as we should be because they do not see us as being much different. We struggle with many of the same problems they do.  We get divorced, have problems with our children rebelling, and live weighed down by our circumstances. They do not see the victory in Jesus that should be recognizable in our every day lives because we trust in Him. They do not see the unity and love that caused the first church to turn the world upside down for Christ. Nor do they see the sacrificial giving to meet the needs of others. Jesus said, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." (John 15:12) Wow, what would that kind of love look like? His love was one that gave all...even His very life.

He said:

          "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one."

I think it is the infuses on "form" that has caused many divisions in the church. Christ prayed to the Father for us to be one...united with Him and each other; unity in the body...the whole body- young, old, and in between. How can we do that with a different Sunday service for each generation? I think this separation hurts God's heart. I don't believe it is the fault of any one group, or lack of the right cosmetics or form that causes this separation in the church. When our eyes are kept on Jesus, we seldom care enough about the trivial things to make them an issue. And when we love one another, we are not easily offended by such things.  I'm sad to say that I think it is the lack of love and unity within the body of believers that prevents the power of  God from transforming congregations into powerful witnessing forces in this world. (ouch...that hit me too!)

The enemy in any war does what he can to divide the oppositions army. In doing so, he knows that it will be weaker and easier to defeat. The church is in a spiritual battle with a very ruthless enemy and he is hard at work.

I think what concerns me the most about this whole subject in some American churches is that the focus is on the cosmetics; the form, instead of the Savior; instead of obeying His commands. The world is deep in sin, and it will get deeper as we approach the time of Christ's return, but God has given us the tools we need to witness in this age...and the greatest of these is love. His word says love will cover a multitude of sins.

It is still Jesus alone who calls sinners out of the world and places them in His body of believers, no one else and nothing else. We are to be witnesses for Him of the saving grace we have experienced in our own lives, and the demonstration of our unity and love for one another in the church will point people to God, because God is love.

Jesus said, "You shall be my witnesses." (Acts 1:8) Let's witness to His love, His joy, His peace, His unity, His saving a world in desperate need of it.

In His love,

We serve a God who can do ALL things. Nothing is too difficult for Him...nothing. He is in the business of Miracles - in individual lives, churches, relationships, and all kinds of situations.

On this weekend as we celebrate a Miracle Makeover for a sick child, please know that God wants to bring His miracle makeover into the lives of all who will put their trust in Him. Whatever you may be facing, our God is willing and able to meet you there and bring you through it.

Please visit Spiritual Sundays to see the Miracle Makeover for a little boy named Charlie by Design Gives Back. Your comment on their site will be worth $1 and help with the next makeover.


  1. It is telling that in the garden of Gethsemene Jesus prayed that we, his followers might be one, as He and His Father are one. We should be known by the love we have for each other.

  2. another awesome post Charlotte.....

  3. I agree with you, Charlotte. We have three Sunday morning services at our church. The first one is completely traditional, second one is blended and third one is totally contemporary. We attend the second one. Our preacher pointed out this morning how some in each service criticizes the music in the other ones. People need to spend less time being critical of the type of music and more time being a church un-divided.
    Thank you for sharing with us each week.

  4. While I come from a very strict background in dress, worship and belief, and in honor of my parents have stayed true to much of my heritage, it is not those things that draw people to church and ultimately to Christ. It is love, the love that accepts and embraces others and their worship. It makes God joyful to see us worship together. Won't Heaven be fun?


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