When the focus shifts away from Jesus, the level to which you will become divisive has no end. This starts by refusing to associate with those outside of Jesus. Then it moves to those outside of your fellowship (or denomination). Then it moves to people within your denomination who think similarly but differ on one “important” issue. Then it moves to those in your denomination who think less like you. And so on, and so on.
Eventually you create what you see today. Over 9,000 different denominations (your divisiveness makes it difficult to even define a denomination). Do you see the slippery slope?
American church, if you rallied around Jesus and not your traditions, your impact would be exponentially greater.
People in clubs value keeping everyone happy.
Clubs hate losing members, so they cater to every need. If Joe is unhappy about this change, the club caters to him. If Jill is unhappy about that change, the club caters to her.
Most churches today equate unity with happiness. Unity does not mean you keep everyone happy. Unity means you keep everyone focused on Jesus.
Some people feed on the attention they receive from getting their way. The church should be unapologetically focused on making disciples and shining light into the darkness. Clubs don’t like change. Clubs do things the way they have always been done. Making disciples and refusing to change are usually at odds with one another.
So which value drives you, American church? Making disciples or preserving traditions?
Again, I am not leaving church … I am leaving the club. There are churches living out the mission of Jesus Christ all across America. Praise God for these churches. But I am tired of spending time and energy contributing to a culture that fattens itself with more resources.
I am tired of spending my time convincing others I am right and they are wrong. This only feeds my natural tendency to be judgmental. If I am right, everybody else is wrong. But if Jesus is right, love, grace and truth become the standards by which I look at the world. I like those standards. It feeds a much less natural tendency to accept and love.
I want to focus on those who haven’t experienced the gospel. I want to spend time figuring out how to minister to my neighbor whose marriage is on the rocks, my friend battling cancer or my classmate struggling with pornography. I want to surround myself with a group of men and women that are missional.
There is hope for you, American church. There is hope because God reigns over all things and situations. There is hope because Jesus is the head of the church. But I can’t sit comfortably in a club any longer.
I want to join a movement. I hope you understand.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!