by Gray Graham
I could talk about this topic for the next 100 years and would probably still have plenty to say for a 1000 years more. I am not saying this as a joke I would use when speaking to an audience at say a church, I actually mean it from the bottom of my heart with all my being.
For the past couple of months I have seen more than a few ministers, preachers, or whatever the cool thing is to call yourself these days when you minister unto people, complaining about people not attending church anymore. It seems these holy men and women are severely bothered by the drop off in the number of people that have stopped attending church services on Sunday. For some reason it seems to bother them greatly and they feel that it is something that their church members need to fix.
Let’s be clear when they say church, they mean that building with the name First Baptist, United Methodist, God’s Children, or maybe even St Mary’s on the big sign in front of the building. The place where folks gather on Sunday and have “church” or as I like to call it inspirational Sunday entertainment.
Now I am not going to say every single church building in America is having some type of show on Sunday morning, but I am going to point out there are an awful lot of singers, musicians, photographers, sound engineers, lighting, and cinematographers that pay their rent and mortgage working at church buildings on Sunday morning. I mean a lot of church productions put many a professional secular artist to shame. They have loud music, bass, lights, and dancing. They have people that move the crowd and make everyone feel like they are having a good ole time.
So humor me for a moment. What is different about the people that go to church and the people that don’t go to church, who aren’t Christian, and don’t believe in God? Like do you know if someone is a Christian just by looking at them? Do you know if they go to church every Sunday? Should a Christian be just like everyone else in their society? Should anything stand out about them from others?
American Christian churches have a lot of problems that apparently they refuse to acknowledge exist. It’s pretty obvious to everyone not an American Christian church leader that they have a lot of sins they need to address before inviting people to service on Sunday.
In the past couple of years (more like months) we have seen many horrific scandals in churches. Everything from the routine (sadly) preacher committing adultery with multiple people in the congregation to child abuse and sexual assault. I don’t think anyone is surprised anymore by the atrocities church leaders commit consistently. The truly horrifying part is they (the people that operate the church buildings) never do anything to address these evils. Instead they cover them up and try to protect the perpetrators and attack the victims.
Less horrific but just as serious is the amount of money that these churches collect in the name of God that never seems to reach people in need. Far too few churches do anything to support their communities. Most don’t even do anything for their church members. Good luck speaking with the church pastor if you aren’t one of the elite members of the church. Everyone else is just a person sitting in the crowd, an opportunity to sell a book, CD, or DVD after services end in the lobby.
People of faith who love God and love Jesus have a serious problem with the way the vast majority of American churches conduct themselves today. To many they are just a bunch of hypocrites scamming people in the name of God. That doesn’t make a follower of Jesus Christ too happy so therefore they want to get as far away from these vipers as they can. People don’t want to attend church because they know God is not in the building. These church buildings are not the Church and followers of Christ know this.
I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken to people that have brought a problem that they have had with a minister, priest, or leader of a church. So many churches are filled with a lot of arrogant, self-serving people that believe they are the only authority in the world when it comes to God. They absolutely refuse to listen to anyone but their ego when it comes to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The worst part is they frequently preach messages of sin with messages that directly conflict with the teachings of Jesus.
The other thing in America today is that certain people are using the word of God to spread hate to attack and subjugate other people. They believe they are the holy chosen ones and everyone else must be destroyed. If you are a person that loves all people and you know God loves us all, then you do not wish to be associated with people spreading hate. Just because someone throws the name Jesus or God into their hate message doesn’t make it righteous from God.
I am going to stop right here because no one wants me to keep talking about bad churches. There are plenty of good churches out there too. They are led by people that love God and follow the teachings of Jesus to the best of their abilities. They do so much and never ask for anything in return. We see them and we pray for them. More importantly God sees them and their works in His name. Many Christians prefer to spend their time doing work to help people instead of trying to sell their wares in the name of God.
Don’t let anyone tell you how to serve God. It may not make sense to me but if it speaks to your soul then you should follow it. In the end that is all that we can do in this world. There are many roads to Heaven your path may be different than mine. They only thing that is important is that you follow your path to get there.
There are plenty of Bible verses I could share but just read your Bible and pray on it and God will always lead you to the Truth. I love you all and God bless and keep you. I will keep you all in my prayers.
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