Friday, August 22, 2008

Church talk

I really don't have any encouraging words today. Over the last few days, I am kind of in the valley side of my spiritual energy. It isn't that any of my beliefs were challenged or anything like that but I am just saddened by the fact that the enormous number of people rejecting the plain truth of Gospel. It isn't the doctrinal differences I am talking about, but the heart and spirit of the core message of Gospel.

All I hear the most is nothing but the "church talk".

In the midst all the "church talk", it's interesting to see that how we skip over the "head". Apart from "head", there is no "body". People brainstorm: How can we save the church? How can we re-form it? How can we change it? How can we grow it? How can we serve it? How can we re-charge it? How can we revive it?

But, the body functions NOT within and of itself but it functions solely with a proper, dynamic attachment to the Head. The church today is like a chicken with head cut off. It makes a lot of motions and noises, but in reality it's dying. Is it enough to treat the symptoms by getting more people to serve, dedicate and commit? I think, when individual members get into the right connection to the head, through the wonder of TRUTH, the church would naturally become more vibrant, pulsing and free.

It's like a change to a society, which is possible only through changing individuals (one person at a time), so as with church, which is nothing but people. We talk about the 'body of Christ', but really, what value body has if it's not glued to it's head to receive LIFE? After all, Isn't church to be an expression of Life? Not the headless-chicken kind of life, but the real, authentic, hearty life.

We keep talking about serving, service and charity but honestly, I think, we can give only what we receive. Life of a branch is about receiving, everything else is quite natural.

Anyways, I am just wondering, in the midst of all the plans, programs, visions, ideas, techniques, funds, debates, busyness, denominations, theologies, doctrines, principles, are we missing the obvious? The simplicity and purity of Christ's wonderful, unchanging Gospel?

I am talking about the basics...

8 comments:

Amy said...

Bino,
Great blog. I specifically like what you said here:
"The church today is like a chicken with head cut off. It makes a lot of motions and noises, but in reality it's dying."
"It's like a change to a society, which is possible only through changing individuals (one person at a time), so as with church, which is nothing but people."
"After all, Isn't church to be an expression of Life?"
Yes. And Amen. We DO need to get back to the Basics. Jesus Christ. Love. Relationship. People.

P.S. I'm glad you had a nice B-Day! What kind of cake did you have?

Blessings,
~Amy :)
http://amyiswalkinginthespirit.blogspot.com

Matthew Daelon said...

Bino,

I have been feeling much of the same way lately. I've noticed how people can try and try to get the Church to be what it's suppose to be. For instance, in my Church, the goals are simply, faith, hope and love. So we should pursue these things, right? Wrong. These things spring from the hope of the Gospel. We need to come together, not to remind each other to be good little boys and girls. But we need to remind each other of the love of God. The grace of God. We need to come together to encourage each other in the faith.

People admit that joy doesn't come from seeking joy. It comes from seeking God. So how can we expect faith, hope and love to come about from seeking faith, hope and love? Does it not come from seeking God's heart in the Gospel?

Joel B. said...

Church talk... Wow, that really gets to me too. Indeed, many of the doctrinal differences, while they can be important, don't get to me nearly as much as watching a body of people who are talking and operating in ways that look and sound so "spiritual" but are really nothing more than acts of the flesh. I know that sounds pretty harsh and I want to say that I know I've been and still can be guilty of the same thing.

But the problem is that true, genuine life isn't being taught, as you say. Actions are taught. Do, do, do. You have to do in order to become. Get saved, and know you're on your way to heaven, but make sure you're a good little Christian boy or girl. (I know Matthew already said that, but that's also what had come to my mind earlier when I first read this but wasn't able to comment). :)

You go into churches, you turn on Christian radio, you turn on Christian TV, you talk to Christian friends, and all you get is church talk. I get "down" about a lot of this too.

I often have to "fast" from those things so I don't get overly critical or down about it all. A lot of the people in our blogging community have been really hurt by a lot of things that have gone on in their churches. Some of the things are really bad, such as dark, spiritual abuse. In my case, I can't really say that my hurts have been along those lines, but since you've brought this up today I think I can honestly say that a lot of my own hurt that I am in the process of healing from is in regards to church talk!

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. NOT SO! The subtle legalism in church talk has really pulled a number on me, and it seems like it's ALWAYS the basics of the truth of grace that provide the healing.

Bino M. said...

All,

Thank you for sharing.

It all started with a heated debate I had with my Dad last week. He is a traditional orthodox Christian who thinks church attendance, rituals, good works etc would determine their eternity. He also thinks that I am being cheated by becoming a protestant Christian. It's interesting that they see everything through the lens of denomination, the church they attend and religion.
What fascinates me even more is, while holding a high esteem for his denomination, he also thinks Christians, Hindus and Muslims worship the same God, only the name is different!

To add to the heat, he recently came to know about some highly manipulating, controlling, money seeking protestant pastors, so he is highly critical towards all the pastors in general and the entire God-business stuff. While I agree to some of his arguments, my question to Him was what does he think about Jesus?

Bible says:

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. - Acts 4:12

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus - 1 Timothy 2:5

Then he started arguing about the salvation of people BEFORE Jesus and I said they were also saved by Jesus only, by faith.

I heard him saying phrases like "My church", "My church fathers" and all that kind of crap.

Anyways, it wasn't a pleasant experience. When people speak in total ignorance, I get angry. I don't know why. May be it is because I desperately want them to see the truth.

Joel B. said...

Bino,

I see where you're coming from a little better now. It's amazing how people don't really think for themselves, but simply go along with what their pastor or church or denomination tells them, rather than simply looking at what the Bible really says.

I haven't talked too much about this, but my parents are both pastors in a very liberal denomination. In some ways - in many ways - I'm thankful for many of the things I was taught while growing up, but also in many ways I've had to reject a lot of it simply because it strays from the truth.

I have a great relationship with my parents, and our conversations haven't ever been heated, but I suppose that's because I've held back. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know. :) But it certainly can be tough knowing that so much of the stuff we disagree on comes down to what the Bible says vs. what the denomination teaches. What I've said is kind of a poor representation of what I'm trying to say.

Anyway, my parents' denomination aside, I've seen waaay too much church talk in my life, and it still bugs me quite a bit. I'm wanting to get over it, but I don't know if I ever will or if I really need to. My main thing is trying to remember that it's not "flesh and blood" that we wrestle against, but principalities and unseen spiritual forces, etc. I think that helps me a lot, as it helps me to let go, and to pray and to trust that God Himself doesn't flinch in any of this.

Bino M. said...

Joel,
I think you are fortunate enough to have parents who at least believe that salvation is found in no one else other than Jesus. That's a huge thing to me. I can pretty much tolerate any other 'church talk' other than the one where people say only their church members are truly saved. They think it is THE church which 'forefathers' built. I would ask them who are their forefathers? Are they in the Bible?

To be honest, I am going through a real tough time with my relatives. Some of them don't even invite us for the marriages in their family. All because of we left the 'church'. These people even forget the basic, fundamental thing Jesus taught us: 'to love others', and they think they are the proponents of their tradition, faith and church. It's ridiculous.

Ike said...

Bino...
I will pray for your family.

Bino M. said...

Thanks Ike! I need that!