Saturday, April 14, 2007

Church Under Attack, but you won't believe where from!

These days the church is under attack more than ever. But you may not believe where the latest rounds of attacks are coming from. Our self! We are attacking each other at an alarming rate these days. So many people are so eager to redefine church that they are bashing every church other than their own. I am sick of the worship wars and the fighting within the church. I am certainly not one to condone shallow or fake Christianity. But for all of those who have fought so long and hard to be allowed to worship in your own way and style, or to live out your faith in your own way; why are you turning around and attacking those who did not follow you into your way? Why can't the traditional way work for them anymore just because it doesn't work for you? If that is their style and you are all for allowing people the freedom to worship in their style then leave them alone and let them do what works for them.
Also in our eagerness to redefine church we are trying to change the name of everything. Some even do not want to use the word Christian anymore. I am not opposed to Christ-follower, or Christian Spirituality, or any other name one uses to describe themselves as a disciple of Christ as long as they are authentic; and this includes the word Christian. I am only irritated by the way that those who have changed their name condemn those who do not. There is nothing wrong with the name Christian. It means Christ-like or little Christ. How can that be bad? That is what we all want anyway; to be like Christ, the true Christ. So call yourself whatever works to help you be Christ-like, but make sure you are being Christ-like with it. The down side of changing the names and words to attract the non-Christian or pre-Christian is that if they are scared off by the word Christian then as soon as they connect Christian with the new term then they are gone anyway. Then we get caught in a vicious cycle of name changing and lose our real focus. The permanent solution is not to change the name but change the reputation. Change how the outside world views the Church by changing the way we interact with and treat them. Treat them like friends and family rather than outsiders, after all God created them too. Apologize for the Church's ignoring and rejecting them for all these years and build a new relationship with them, one where they can see the biblical Christ in you no matter what you call yourself. Change the rep, not just the name.
It it time for the Church to come back together and fight this enemy together. And the enemy by-the-way is not secular people it is the spirit behind the secularism they are blinded by, Satan, no one else. (Eph 6:12) We can only win this war if we work together, crossing our own lines to do it. In the military when we setup a defensive position we formed what was called, 'interlocking fields of fire' because if each position had their own separate fields of fire, there would be too many holes for the enemy to come in through. That is what has happened to the Church in the last couple of hundred years and the last round of interior attacks are not helping close the holes, only make them larger. 1 Corinthians 12 is a cry for the church to work together what ever your calling. Let's do it.
Please, let's stop the friendly fire issue and concentrate our efforts on the real enemy of God. I am a fairly non-traditional pastor. If I had to be labeled it would be somewhere between modern and post-modern with a splash of contemporary and traditional. I am a generational mutt I suppose. But the real question is not what am I, but what is the culture I minister in. There is where I need to focus my efforts and style.
It is no accident that the following chapter in 1 Corinthians(13) is about love and about no matter our gifts, talents, styles, or calling that it is all for naught if we do not do it in Christ-like love. I love all Christians and non-Christians. I am sorry if I have every said or done anything to attack you in anyway. I only want to attack Satan and I feel that the inner-bickering in the Church is his latest weapon against God. Please let's love each other and as long as we are loving, worshipping, and serving the one true God, let it go.
Warriors for Christ!