Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Heartless, Soulless Church


Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Lk.6: 27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
3Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

A 17 year old teenager lay dead from a bullet to his chest. Just moments ago he had been walking home from the convenience store and now he was gone. And almost before his body was cold the conversation began around the nation. Stand your ground, self defense, justifiable homicide, and law And order were mixed in with many of the discussions. The sides were drawn, and many took up their position on both sides. And, yes, somewhere in all the verbiage and excusing and accusing was the funeral pyre that signaled the death of the Christian church.

And after the smoke died down it became obvious that the church had lost the essence of Christ and was now a cultural phenomenon that could walk and talk and build and organize, but like the tin man of old it had no heart. But unlike that tin man the Redeemer had given her a heart but she had given it away in order to become a player in the fallen machinations of these world. The most compassionate thing most believers could say was that this “case” was a “tragedy”. How self serving and tepid. As we go about our own business we throw a few verbal morsels out in order to reveal a level of compassion and insulate ourselves from judgment? Yes, that is the best we can muster these days.

The eternal is relinquished in order to join in with the clamor of fallen men. Earthly laws and order and gun rights muscle out any authentic attempt to show the heart of Jesus. And when Jesus is involved there are no sides. He is the side. The death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida should present to us a vivid picture of the falleness of man as the monstrous, grotesque, and revolting picture it always is. But instead it once again provided for the church a platform to parade its own brand of heartless verbiage. A boy is dead and his lifeless corpse is the catalyst for all kinds of positions to be battled out on talk shows and news programs and in the homes and churches across this nation. And so it continues.

But lets continue to fool ourselves since we cannot fool God. The church which professes Jesus on some doctrinal level has lost its heart and soul and now can so seamlessly embrace constitutional rights and legal issues along with the fallen and blind world. Who is right? Who is legally culpable? Was Zimmerman a racist? Was Martin a bad seed? Those kinds of questions are what the church has become, and any mourning through the prism of the teachings of Jesus have long since been neatly packed away in the doctrinal cupboard only to be used to prove our “orthodoxy”.

But should not the church have been the most demonstrative in its grieving for the entire episode? Should not the world have seen our tears and our broken hearts over this dead young man regardless of any legal justifications?

Without a heart the church is merely a club or an organization which deals in religion. Go ahead and be a conservative or a liberal or a patriotic American but do not expect Jesus to come along. The truth is that most professing believers do not care if Jesus comes along or not. The stage is set and the conversation is heated and most can find their self worth somewhere in all of that. Words, words, and more words. But without a heart words are nothing more than manipulated air driven over the vocal chords and allowed to escape through the mouth. Yes, it is that antiseptic and meaningless.

I truly believe that without some sovereign move of the Spirit that rises profoundly above excitement and numbers the western church has gone way too far. It is not coming back. She has found refuge in this earthly wilderness and with a number of religious decorations she has made this wilderness her home and even her god. And the church will defend and promote this wilderness as if it was God’s own dwelling place. The heartless and soulless journey continues. The conferences still organize with great vigor. The building programs still raise money with great skill. The music programs still excite the emotions. The messages still point the way to earthly success. The Spirit is now recognized by conservative positions.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.


Anonymous said...

This reminds me if when the blind man at the gate called out to Jesus. The disciples opened up a discussion about whose sin caused the blindness - the blind man or his parents. Such behavior is a sign of immaturity.

Julie Wilton said...

This makes me weep. We have not the Spirit of Christ in us but the spirit of the world. What must we do?


Anonymous said...

This story was heartbreaking to hear back in Feb. 2012. It hadn't brought out the heartless comments yet. But the story soon became a battle, set out by the manipulative media, of good versus evil, or accused versus victim. It soon took legs of it's own and not only did pundits and viewers get into the discussion, with the most heartless things said about the victim, but.........then church leaders and self-professed christians turned a blind eye and said absolutely nothing in the pulpits or wrote edifying posts about the hidden racism, and admonishing christians to stand behind those who are hated, neither was there (where I saw) any christian sites asking for prayer for the fallen's family; mourning with those who mourn and reaching out to the church where a mother is grieving and has to listen to the media mischaracterize her dead child. And, even IF that child had disciplining issues, is it still justifiable that his life be taken in that way? How many of our children have disobeyed and followed the crowd at school? Does this justify a grown man following and scaring a young unarmed man at night? Only God knows what happened that night. But the dead son has no way to explain, or to have a second chance on earth. Although I pray this child had Jesus on his mind and called out for Him and is in His loving arms. But, the idol with the "gun" is justified, elevated as a hero, elevated as one who exercised his rights, and is elevated as the new citizen of the future.

If unbelievers look at the demeanor and attitude this trial brought out, and don't find Christ in any of this, they'll shun the gospel. This was a teachable moment to unbelievers from the true church, but it failed. The attitude of this nationalistic church in the U.S. will cause many to recoil and repulse from anything to do with Jesus. This is a perfect example from Ezekiel 34.

The bible teaches where the light is shined on a dark place, it exposes the dark. We are witnessing this. And false christians are praising killers, while slandering barely turned 17 year old boys in the grave. What is happening? The church obviously had no effect on the masses in America. Either people were not listening, or an evil invaded the minds (strong delusion) those lukewarm christians who now believe they live in a God-ordained nation that is divinely permitted to shoot and kill and ask questions later. The idol-worship of weapons has replaced Christ. He is second in this lukewarm church's mind. And the biggest sin? THe church sits idly while a portion of the population has brought out the hidden veil of racism to the forefront. Churches would rather keep their numbers than say something that would offend the racist views and lose those numbers.

Loving the Lord with all our hearts and soul and with all our minds and with all our strength isn't happening in the greatest nation on earth. How long does it take for people to see that?

I don't recognize this church system in our midst anymore, it has absolutely nothing to do with the real Christ.


Anonymous said...


Shannon said...

Acts 7:48: “However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands;..."
Many believe the Church of Jesus Christ, which He said He will build, Matthew 16:18, of which He is the Chief Cornerstone, all believers comprising the Body of Christ, are those filling the pews of a building.
This is not true. The building which man has built has professing believers, "tares", "The Heartless, Soulless Church", alongside believers with His Spirit, "wheat",the Church which Christ Jesus is building, those with a new heart and soul, which He has given us and is doing in us, 2 Corinthians 5:17, together.
The western church hasn't gone "way too far". There is no such entity as a "western" church. The True Church is spiritual, His Spirit indwelling those He has saved, John 1:12,13, is the Church that Jesus Christ is building, the one that is scattered world-wide, no borders containing it.
The True Church is looking forward to Christ's soon return for us. For the True Church this world is not our home, as we are just pilgrims passing through it.
Saddened for the Trayvon Martin's and the George Zimmerman's of the world. We are all of us, the same, suffering the same death consequence of sin as the rest of the world is, just change the names.
None of us knows what the future holds for any of us. But He does:

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Job 14:5
Seeing his days are determined,
the number of his months are with thee,
thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Rick Frueh said...

Just like there is the Corinthian church or the church at Ephesus, so the western church is a label. I do see that my posts provide a forum for your comment/Bible study, but you have once again missed the spirit of my post.