The highest and greatest organization on Earth is Jesus’ Church. That is true because it is designed and built by Him, and shall go on into eternity. Microsoft can’t make that claim, nor can any other great organization you might think of.
Though the Church is the greatest entity on Earth, it has been guilty of many sins. The sins that have most captured my attention are the ones closest to me. I have learned much about the hurts brought on by the Church, even from within the Calvary Chapel movement, of which I am (still) gratefully a part.
I am saddened for those victimized by the Church. I am equally saddened by the decision of many Believers to never return to “organized religion”. It is to those dear saints that I wish to write.
To those still not wanting any part of “organized religion”, I ask that you would bear with me. I know that me being a pastor probably brings a gag reflex to your body, but please, consider what I have to say.
I have tried to show in these previous articles that I at least have a clue of what some of you have been through. I don’t claim to know first hand, and I will not say, “I know how you feel”, because I don’t. I do understand what God’s word says to all who bear the name “Christian”. I come to you based on His words, not mine. I also come because I see what happens when we go our own way, based on our emotions. Been there and done that myself.
None of us can live by our emotions, whether that emotion is pain, happiness, lust, hate, or kindness. Pain will paralyze us and cause us to sequester ourselves away. Happiness can cause us to throw caution to the wind. Lust that rules us also destroys us. Hate is poison to our souls. Kindness can make us vulnerable to dangerous situations, if not balanced with wisdom.
Those with teenagers understand what an emotionally driven life looks like. Hormones are the tools of Satan. Come on Mom and Dad, you know what I am talking about. Teenagers are scary creatures, driven by emotions and positive that they are correct about everything.
We warn our kids about not living by their emotions, but we fall victim to the same snares. Whatever negative consequences we warn our kids about will also come to us. We cannot be emotionally ruled people. We cannot. It’s dangerous. It doesn’t make sense. We would caution everyone we know not to live by their emotions. You know it’s true.
If society were ruled by emotions, we wouldn’t have enough law enforcement to control the chaos. We couldn’t trust anyone to keep his or her word. People would change their minds about everything, simply because they felt like it. Common sense restrains us from stupidity. Laws restrain us from crimes. The Holy Spirit seeks to restrain Christians from foolish decisions.
Emotions can be great, or they can be deadly. We need a higher standard for our decision making.
If church leaders or a pastor has hurt you, you should be mad. You should be very mad. I’m sure that you are mad. I am mad with you, and for you. That is righteous anger.
Chances are that the church leader that hurt you made a bunch of emotional decisions and claimed to be led by God. It doesn’t go well when that happens, does it?
But can you, I, or we, live by the emotions of hurt, anger, a sense of injustice, bitterness, or fear of getting hurt again? No, we can’t. I want to sometimes, but I can’t.
I need to keep coming back to church too, and not just because it’s my paycheck. It is because Christians belong with all God’s people. That’s His idea. You may be meeting with other Believers in a casual setting, and feel that is enough. That you don’t need to come to “Church”.
Chances are good that your group is a hand picked group that thinks and feels just like you do. That is not Body Life; that is simply hands meeting with hands, feet with feet, etc. That might be fellowship, but it’s not Body Life.
You need to be with the Body, the big picture, the whole church. You need to be with people you don’t like, and that bother you. They need you, and you need them. The Body must have ALL the parts present.
Every country song that sings about “looking for love in all the wrong places” illustrates what I am saying. We are fairly intelligent and reasonable creatures UNTIL our emotions take over. We do stuff based on emotions, crash and burn, and then do it again. Someone has rightly said that insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.
I’ll write again soon. I am a pastor, and your brother. Come back and join the family of God. The entire family of God. We need what you have to offer, and you….believe it or not….need us too.
I’ll write again soon…
NOTE- I am presently teaching a series on the Church. Check the sermon notes and look under “Topical”.