Friday, May 11, 2012

What Has Happened to Churches?

"In some circles, God has been abridged, reduced, modified,
edited, changed and amended until He is no longer the God whom
Isaiah saw, high and lifted up."

I read this the other day and knew that my thoughts on churches were not far off from this statement.
I have been in church for as many years as I can remember, starting as a small child who was taken to church every time the door was open. Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday night Prayer meetings were the norm, not an occasional thing. 

Most churches today do not even have Sunday night services, and many have forsaken Wednesday night Prayer meetings in lieu of "Cell Groups" that meet in homes, restaurants, or wherever those leading decide to meet. Many of these "Cell Groups" have turned into social groups and social times, rather than times for the study of God's Word and/or earnest prayer. There may be a short Scripture shared and maybe even a prayer for some special purpose, but the rest is social time. Admittedly, fellowship is important to the health of the body, but not to the exclusion of learning the basic tenets of the faith and discipleship.
Unfortunately, it seems that so many churches have themselves turned to "social clubs," and the quote above certainly applies. The songs elevate man and not God, lift up the good of man rather than the love, mercy, and justice of God. The "blood" is not mentioned in most churches these days, since many would feel "squeamish," or even offended, by such. So many ministers appeal to the carnal nature of man and his pride, focusing on the innate "goodness" of man and how they can "con" God into prospering them by giving to this or that cause. Their generosity then gives them the power to ask for the Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus to impress and show that "their god" is one who enriches you for your good works. 

If people of Isaiah's day, or less than 100 years ago, could hear today's so-called preachers, they would not even recognize that they were in a church. Personally, when I have attended some churches, I have had to wonder if I wasn't in a social night club instead. In some, there is not a lot of difference.  

What is your experience?


GM Roper said...

One has to be careful in choosing one's church. I was raised a Methodist and though I disagree with a lot of what the "organized" Methodist church says, my personal Methodist church preaches the gospel, salvation and a personal relationship with God. That is what I always look for in a church and in the leadership of the local church. Should that chance, I can always change churches.

Good Post!

Z said...

I loved my Lutheran church (my husband was from Germany, so that's where I went)....and now that I can't be there anymore for so many reasons, mostly the pastor, I'm feeling VERY blessed at the new church I'm settling in to.
Wonderful teaching, Godly and REALLY Bible-knowing people, really WALKING THE TALK.....very intelligent people, and many young people...really nice.
We have Vesper Services on Tuesday nights but I haven't attended yet..apparently, they discuss Scripture and pray. I hope to try it soon.

The "prosperity" "Name it and claim it" 'theology' is such a lie...and churches need to wake up to that....better to tell the truth of the gospel and remind us of the righteousness of God than promise the earthly world's goodies if you pray hard enough and keep smilin' !!. man.