Friday, September 07, 2007

transforming america, step 4---find a church

We continue with this series on the 13 steps I believe need to be taken to transform America and return us to the blueprint of our Fathers. Steps 1-3 were to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, to pray unceasingly, and to regularly read the Bible. Step 4 is to find a church to attend.

Before I go into details on this particular topic, I need to get a few things out of the way. You may be surprised to read some of this from a person who calls himself a Christian, but here it goes anyway. I hear some people say that they don't want to go to church because they know too many hypocrites within the four walls of the church. They know too many people who call themselves Christians on Sundays who behave shamefully Monday through Saturday. They know too many preachers/pastors/clergy/members of the cloth whose personal conduct is shameful. They say, "Why would I want to associate with people like that?" My answer to that is----I understand!

My dad is the strongest, most faithful Christian that I know on this earth. He is a good and decent man who lives his life as the perfect illustration of Christ-likeness. He served as an elder in his church for years and is looked up to by scores of people because he faithfully follows the Biblical commands to love God with his entire being and to love others as much as himself. He is the greatest man that I know.

My dad worked in the banking/savings and loan business for his entire adult life before retirement. He told me one time that he always cringed whenever a minister would walk into his office seeking a loan, because he and his bank had been cheated more times by ministers than by people of any other profession on earth. My father, as strong a Christian as there is, told me that, in his experience, ministers/preachers/clergy were some of the most dishonest people he knew because, for some odd reason, they didn't believe that the rules of society applied to them.

This same opinion was shared with me by a man who is a good friend to both my dad and to me, who is also a strong Christian, and who works in the insurance industry. This man told me once that he actually gets a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach whenever a preacher walks into his office wanting to purchase some sort of insurance because he knows that he is about to "get cheated in the name of God."

How's that as an advertisement for Christianity?

Having said those things, it's time to answer a few questions:

1. Why is it important to find a church? Because we live in a broken and dangerous world, and we need backup. "A man alone is easy prey," said The Preacher (played by Clint Eastwood) in the movie Pale Rider. He's right. If we ride through this world alone, with no kind of Christian support, it becomes very easy for Satan to "pick us off." God gave us The Church, in part, so that we can "hold hands as we cross the street."

That's not the whole reason, of course. We are commanded to love others as much as we love ourselves, and the most effective way to do this is as a group. A group of Christians, each of whom individually possess differing amounts of time, talents and treasures to offer up for God's work, can more effectively carry out this mission than can one Christian acting alone.

Also, we must not forget that one of the primary purposes of gathering together in church is to worship and praise God. By meeting together as a group we encourage and inspire each other to worship God more completely.

2. Why should I attend church if there are other people there who aren't "good Christians?" After everything I said up above about the clergy, I say that it is still important to find a church. More importantly, the Bible says it is important. Read Luke 4:16--Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue as he usually did. And he stood up to read.

Jesus was the perfect, sinless Son of God. Do you think that our Savior was ever disappointed in the actions of His fellow church-goers? Still, He went to church every Sabbath day. Kind of makes our excuses look pretty weak, doesn't it? If Jesus attended church every week, why wouldn't we follow His example?

The simple truth is that church attendance is all about focusing on God. It's also about being a living witness to others, both inside and outside the church. May God help all of us to become more like His Son, Jesus Christ!

3. Is it OK to attend any church? No! Absolutely not! When you are looking for a church, look for a church that teaches the Bible to all of its members through vibrant adult and youth Bible education programs.

The Bible is God's personal Word to us. God's Word is true and wonderful. Obedience to God's Word is the only way to achieve real happiness that means anything (see Psalm 119). All of this is true, yet there are literally thousands of churches all across America that don't teach the Bible.

I read an article once by a man named Tom Ehrich, a False Teacher of the Episcopal Church, in which he said, "Jesus took a subtle and nuanced view of the Law, embracing it in some ways and abandoning it in others, based on emerging needs." Uh, no He didn't! Jesus didn't make one single, solitary change to God's Law. Over the centuries, beginning in Moses' time, man had distorted God's Law. God gave us His Law in order to lead us to a life of practical holiness and loving service to our fellow man. By the time Jesus came to earth, man had twisted God's Law until it was unrecognizable. Jesus came to reaffirm the original perfection of God's Law. Why would we want to attend a church that denies this basic truth by teaching man-made distortions of God's Law? Answer--we wouldn't. A church that doesn't hold to the beautiful truth of God's Word is worse than worthless. It is dangerous and it is a tool of Satan used to separate us from God. Don't be deceived.

I mentioned adult and youth Bible education programs. It is vitally important that Christian family worship and pray together. A church that offers authentic, meaningful Bible education to all of its members, regardless of age, is the strong foundation needed in today's world by all families.

I have talked a lot on my blog about cultural Marxism. The main strategy of the far left to destroy the America of our Fathers is to separate we the people from our traditional values and principles. Meaningful Bible study based in the church for kids and adults will equip us to resist and overcome this leftist assault.

4. Is it necessary to become a "member" of a particular church? No. Professional preachers won't tell you that, but it's true. There isn't anything in the Bible that says we must officially "join" a specific church. There's nothing wrong with joining a church, it just isn't required.

Find a church that teaches the Bible, and that has good Bible education programs for everyone in your family. Attend regularly, and participate actively in the missions of the church. Love God with your entire being by worshipping and praising Him at all times, including every Sunday at church with other believers. Love others as much as you love yourself by serving your fellow believers inside the church and by being God's light to the world outside the church. In so doing, we fulfill Jesus' command to "....let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven."

This is how we transform America. Why Christians Should Attend Church The Importance of Attending Church Finding a Church--- This is an outstanding "how-to" guide on finding a church to attend. I highly recommend reading it.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Counter