My Burdens As A Pastor Concerning the Western Church
The selfishness that prevails in the churches today. We ask of God for our desires to be filled. Our loved ones to be healthy. Our pets to be safe. Our fun, our education, our wedding, our complexion, Our Hair, our car, our safety to work school snow and rain. Our needing a mate for our identity, our children, our lifestyle of ease, comfort, prosperity, our health.
Whens the last time you prayed to know Jesus Christ More? To love him more? To serve him and be willing to face persecution because of him?
When was the last time you prayed for God`s wisdom to direct your life? To be conformed to Jesus Christ? For the Spirit to put to death the sins in your life?
When was the last time you asked for grace to know the love of Christ which surpasses our limited capacities to know?
The deadness of the American church. We go to be entertained, amused, Preachers are telling their congregations “God wants the best for your life now”, we file in on Sunday we file out. We go to a community groups to hang out or act superior to others. We have made Christianity into a non- sacrificial, painless, Lazy, saltless, lightless, non-exerting phenomena that is unheard of in all Christian history. A faithless cowardly group that seeks to blend in when among their peers, colleagues, employers, for the fear of persecution. God forbid you call this self-deception out you are called everything from a legalist to a puritan.
The lack of deep meditation and personal reading on the word. We become too busy to pray and meditate on God`s word. We cling to “read the bible in a year” so we can comfort our consciences by saying I read the whole bible. When asked why we don’t have or make time? The typical response is; Life is so busy with a smile on our faces. Yes, we have time to go to happy Hour Vacations Gym Paint nights Yoga hanging out with girls Hanging out with the men. Yet to appease our conscience we go to church.
We cling and devote ourselves to a land that is not ours. We take political sides. We spend hours watching our favorite narratives that fuel our hatred toward the other opinion. In the meantime, these narratives are geared to make you follow them. They keep your eyes fixed on their agenda. This land is your land this land is my land. We will spend our money, time, and our resources. We will read listen and follow the narrative we like for a land that is not our home. We have forgotten to meditate and seek the things above. We have forgotten the Covenant God made with our fathers. This is not our home. We are a people seeking our homeland. Our temporary location is to bear witness to our savior not blend in with our culture but to preserve the culture by the Life Death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We have deadened our conscience to sin. The world has woven us into its web where sin is a part of life Christians today do not mourn over their sins They do not seek to mortify sin, they do not see the 2nd part of the cross as the death to the power of sin. Yet they make claims the church is a hospital. Actually, the church is hospice and the sanctuaries are the morgues.
The Bling/glitter of this world has blinded us from the beauty of Jesus Christ. Our idols of worship today are our physical bodies, Homes, prestige, honor, we will spend thousands of dollars to maintain our bodies and our happiness under the notion of the culture “I am entitled” or “I deserve this”.
We have lost the true meaning of grace. We are entitled to it. We are entitled to have everything we want because we believe in God. A Life of ease. I life of acceptance. I life that enables me to have fun and trips and family time and if something interrupts this be it Illness sudden death Drugs addictions we cast our fists to the heavens and scream at God. Yet we go to church top appease our conscience
Pastors look at church as a job, not a vocation. Some have sold their souls out for their income and ease they have made for themselves in the church. They come out of their seminaries and preach their alma maters stance instead of Christ Sin Justification redemption sanctification Mortification glory. They teach them to follow them. They teach them to idolize them they teach them to depend on them. We need pastors who will pave the way as a model of faith in Jesus Christ a pastor who will make it all about Jesus a pastor who is also a disciple who leads by example.
Congregations don`t want to be told to serve Christ. Today if you mention the Pastor`s /elders role in the church, biblically to equip the saints for the work of ministry and call them to become fowlers of Christ. To expect persecution because our Master and Lord was persecuted. The church becomes a portrayal of the exodus. When the Pastors talks about self-denial, self-sacrifice, preaching the Command of Christ to make disciples! The congregation starts not to trust their leaders. People will start to gossip “the Pastor is all about his agenda, not ours”. “We did not hire him to tell us we need to change”.
Prayers are lifted up for our comforts, needs, selfish ambitions. We see God as our divine bellboy who is supposed to answer us whenever we need something. In the meantime never sacrificing ourselves to Him except the Sundays we have nothing better to do! We suffer from loneliness and get angry with God because he has not given us a mate. Yet we never pray and ask Him to fill us with the Love of Christ that passes our limited knowledge. We never ask God to fill us with the one in whom all the fullness of deity resides. Why? Because so many don’t ever consider how filling, satisfying, Jesus Christ is!
Old Churches have become social clubs for family members who built it, maintain it, according to their own desires and likes. They pay lip service to God by saying Jesus is Lord of the church, Yet, They do not want to submit even their bylaws to glorify Christ. They invent ways to reach out. They develop scholarship funds for their own. They never clean up the rolls of membership. One could not even attend yet come to a meeting and have say for the direction of the church. Praise God that these churches are self-destruction, given over to the culture under the idea of being relevant. Which really means making church look and blend in the cultural way of the nation in which they find themselves. I am amazed on how they pray for their own agenda then ask God to bless their agenda.
Churches have become classified by a socioeconomic standard. If someone walks in who is broken or different from the life timers who attend the church since the 1950` s They are looked down out.
Ridiculed or used as a benchmark for the self-righteous who say “I would never look like that. Why would they do that to their bodies? I never drank or smoked or had kids apart from marriage. I was never divorced. One thing about God`s Grace when one received it that one freely gives it.
They tell people who sat where they are sitting. Or they say that seat is for someone else. When fellowship happens they talk to gather information then spread their gossip to others. Yet they go to church and think they are ok.
When Churches are not structured biblically. Non-biblical people make and set the structure to cater to the ones that put it together. These churches have executive committees made up of family members and their friends who agree with them. They call the shots on church polity. They have designated fund giving instead of one general fund. It serves as a safeguard against any leader who would seek to restructure the church biblically. They give their tithe but instead of giving to support ministry they give it to maintain building or other funds they have set up. These churches have no doctrinal standard No guidelines for who gets admittance into membership. It’s left up to a vote if you are liked you’re in If you are not you’re not asked. It depends if the executive committee likes you. Tip Off! If you agree with them you will be voted on and visited and liked. If you disagree they say hi and then frown as they walk away. Sadly what escapes their minds is one fact; Its Christ`s Church and those who seek to run his church, their way, will face him to be accountable to him. Many of these churches were planted to reach the people for Christ but through the generations have become family strongholds.
Rev. Dr. Mark L Turcio
Theology, Apologetics and Evangelism
Public Relations, Recruit, and Development.