Friday, January 9, 2015
Any connection between Jesus and too many American churches is coincidental.
It's like the artist in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters said to his paramour while watching televangelism, "If Jesus were to come back and see what's being done in His name, He'd never stop throwing up."
Revelation 3:14-22 comes to mind.
Jerry Kirk, renowned pastor of Cincinnati's College Hill Presbyterian Church before becoming President of the National Coalition Against Pornography, said something to CCM churches back on May 2, 2001 that also comes to mind: "My biggest struggle is not with people who don't believe in God. My biggest problem is with people who say they believe in God but don't act like they believe in God."
The cumulative effect of such comments and such sad realities in churches...and me...caused the inspired/indigested (you pick) prayer that follows.
I know I don’t know everything.
Really, I don’t know much about anything.
I’m just scratching the surface of my relationship with You; and know Paul is right about me scratching until my last breath: “Now we see in a mirror dimly; knowing truth only partially. After life, He will reveal all to us.”
While I can live with that; confessing I must because there is, really, no other option, I’m still wondering while wandering through the meantime.
I was wondering…
If You really care about the poor, homeless, hospitalized, imprisoned, why don’t people who say they’re really loyal to You as God really do more to care for them?
If You really want rich people to give away what they don’t really need to help people who really need it, why don’t rich people who say they’re really loyal to You as God really give away what they don’t really need to people who really need it?
If You really expect sisters and brothers through Jesus to take care of each other, why don’t rich churches who say they really love you take care of poor churches that can’t pay their bills and shut their doors while those rich churches who say they really love You keep piling up temporal treasures instead of really loving sisters and brothers through Jesus?
If You really tell us to look at the birds and the flowers for beautifully graced dependence upon You, why are we always inventing scents and manufacturing adornments that rot and disappear like all of our other idolatries over time?
If You really did not like nay scorned the meaningless motions of the clergy and organized religions of Your time in Jesus, why are most of this time’s clergy and organized religions so tied to meaningless rubrics, rituals+ceremonies=rites, furniture, architecture, and…?
If You really expected people who say they really believe in You to worship, work, and witness together as overcomers of class, color, and culture as a better apology for Your saving Lordship in Jesus, why do so many pewsitters, pulpiteers, and brands of Christianity pretend they are so much better than the others while inventing litmus tests for salvation that are more exclusive than You ever revealed?
If You really invited all to holy communion with You, why do so many churches who say they are really following You fence their tables and exclude more than welcome?
If You really bring people together in peace, unity, and purity through You, why are there so many churches filled with people who say they are really in, through, and for You that are so dysfunctional and divided?
If loving You is really loving like You, why are people who say they really love you so consistently cantankerous, contentious, irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable?
If You really provide paradise after life in a heavenly place where there is no more mourning, crying, pain, or other existential tribulations, why do people who say they really believe You do that by grace through faith in Jesus act like such spiritual hypochondriacs when discovering they are about to leave here for there?
If You really come through in the end – “Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die!” – why do people who say they really believe in You fear death so much if death is only a nano-second preface to eternity with You?
If You really enfleshed Yourself in Jesus as the perfect pattern for life and eternity and really inspired the Bible as the perfect prescriptions for life and eternity, why do so many claiming they are really part of Christendom so often think, speak, and act so egocentrically: “I know that’s what Jesus and the Bible say, but I think…”?
I was wondering…
Could it be that who You really are and what You’ve really revealed about being really related to You isn’t really embraced by too many people who say they are really Yours in all things at all times in all places with all people?
Could it be that saying we’re really Yours isn’t always…real?
I was wondering...not about You...but me...and people like me who often betray rather than really...
You are real.
You are really in love with us.
You really proved that beyond any doubt for anyone who is really honest.
Yes, Lord, You really did…really do…in Jesus; and when we really get that/Him, we really do everything in His name.
Are you still looking for a different way to do church?
Are you tired of the SOSO RELIGION?
Are you put off by posers in pews, politics, and pulpits?
Are you searching for something/Someone
real, honest, timely, and true to…?
Try our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main!
Sundays at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m.
And so much…
Blessings and Love!