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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Problem with the Church


So I was sitting in church a few Sunday's ago and we had a visitor walk down to the pulpit. The visitor wanted to join our church. People clapped, the Preacher talked, and everyone seemed happy. But at the end of the service, we walked by, shook his hand, and went merrily on our way as if nothing had happened.

The Wednesday before I went with the youth group to see the Power Team. They smashed things, preached the Gospel, and shared love from their hearts. At the end of the service about a hundred people made decisions for Christ. What did we, the church, do? Clapped.

Somewhere in those two weeks we had a Sunday morning service dedicated to testimonies. I was very moved, to tears at a few points. But, at the end of the day, what did we do? We clapped.

While these three circumstances aren't proof in of themselves, they add to this nagging feeling I've had for quite some time.

The Church is dying.

While I don't want to live my life bemoaning what the Church could be, I do believe it is my calling to point these things out to people. We are not living like we believe in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let's take my third example for uh...example. lol

People stood up, and proclaimed what Christ had done in their lives. Where they had been, and where they were now. We that are saved clapped.

But what if we really believed in the power Christ has and gives us? How would we have acted?

Man, I believe we would have been dancing through the aisles, shouting "Amens" with conviction, breaking into song for seemingly no reason, and storming the very gates of Hell. When those 100 people met Christ, we should have flocked them with love and excitement.

We should be excited.

What do we Christians say we believe?

That we were on a one-way path to Hell, that our lives were meaningless and unsatisfying, that we were lost. And now we are on a path to eternal Heaven, our lives have purpose and are fulfilling, that we have been found and saved from our self-inflicted suffering.

So why don't we act like it?

Do we understand what this creed means? We were dead, now we're alive. Why don't we care?

If we believed this we would run around like crazy people proclaiming what Jesus has done in our lives. We would tell everyone. Every friend we have, every family member, we wouldn't ever leave their company without telling them.

Do we want them to die? Why aren't we broken for them?

And with our friends who know Christ, we would constantly be praising our King for what he has done.

We would have true, real, showing, joy.

We wouldn't make the mistakes we have made. We would live sold out lives for Jesus our Lord. We would think. And above all, we would act.

I think it's about time for a revolution. We're overdo for one.

Revolutions start when a group of people develop a similar passion. Join me on this revolution of joy.

You see, I believe the problem is that we don't believe what we say we do. Because the majority of the Church does not do these things. We've been living a faith based on happiness and have forgotten what it means to worship a God through suffering. We've forgotten that God doesn't live to make us happy. We don't remember that this life isn't about us.

And so we base our faith on our feelings.

And so we do not understand joy.

Christians should be the following. From the song All Because of This by MercyMe

Why do we do the things we do?
How can we sing when there seems no reason to?
How do we smile when there's not much to smile about?
When the world is down who are we to stand and shout?
They wonder why we do the things we do

It's all because of this
It's all because of this
We've tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness

They wonder why we do the things we do

I wonder why we don't.

But we can though.

Come back to the relationship with God. Quit living with religion, quit going to church.

Live like you believe it. And BE the Church.

Welcome to the revolution.

To the end,
Nathan

28 comments:

Ryan said...

well said son. :)

Seth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beorn said...

Your post reminds me of the book our church is reading, Crazy Love. I highly suggest it.

Great post!

T.G. said...

Amen.

Star-Dreamer said...

yes: Yes, Exactly! I know exactly what you mean...

♥Bleah♥Briann♥ said...

Exactly...that is such an amazing post. And you're right, the church is dying. Its really sad. I see it all the time. I am the product of a dying church myself. And because of that I make it a point to be that person that we as Christains need to be. My thing is, I may be the only person anyone ever sees jesus through.

Very well said.
With Love and Blessings,
Bleah Briann

Galadriel said...

We need to get passionate about Jesus!

Gillian said...

Yes, I definitely agree with you! We need to live and act like we really believe what we're saying!

Squeaks said...

I agree with Nathan. The Church (at least the majority of it) is in the process of sleeping. But God is calling the fire to be heated...he's putting our feet to the flames. I think there might be another great revival soon...perhaps even greater than the revival that rocked the world in the past. WAKE UP CHURCH!

Squeaks.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Dad, thank you :)

@Beorn, I've hearda lot about that book. It's on my list for sure lol

@Bleah Briann, Amen :)

@Galadriel, exactly! We've no excuse. He stinking saved us for Heaven's sake, literally!

@Squeaks, Definitly praying for it :) It's coming :D

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what you're saying Nathan. I sometimes feel this deadness within myself as well. I know ppl need to know about Jesus, I know I need to talk to them about that, but when it comes down to it, I'm just plain scared. Scared of how ppl will react, scared of how they'll view me. If anyone reads this please pray that my heart would be awakened to the needs around me and that I would not be content to be anywhere, around anybody without sharing the gospel. Please pray for courage and that I would care about what God thinks and what matters to God and not about what ppl think and what matters to ppl.

Sincerely,
Julia Garcia

Marie said...

"I ain't settlin' for just getting by
I've had enough so-so
For the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low
So raise the bar high
'Cause enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settlin'
For anything less than everything." (Sugarland)

Katherine Sophia said...

Amen. Why *don't* we? Great reminder!
And this kind of post is why I awarded you: http://firstseekhim.blogspot.com/2010/05/awarded.html
:)

Storyteller said...

Amen. You are not alone in feeling like the Church should be more.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Julia, I will certainly pray for you. "What would people think when they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak" right? Trust me, showing it is way worth it in the end ;) But courage is a hard thing to learn. Took a lot of pain for me to gain that perspective.

@Maria, love it :) Thanks for sharing!

@Katherine, It's a question we need to constantly ask ourselves. Eventually, we won't need to ask anymore. We'll start living it :)
Thanks for the award! I need to do a post for these soon <_< lol

@ST, so I've gathered. I'm excited that you're all in agreement ;) Time to act lol

Jake said...

Amen, brother! I'm glad I go to a church where it's not a huge problem (although we could do better).

Let's see the BEST!

Gwendolyn said...

Amen, brother! Amen!

Something that has been making me so sick lately is seeing people talk about being Christians, talk about being saved, talk about Jesus, and then go on with life as if, "Um...yeah. We're saved. In the clear. So let's get on with life." Good grief! Faith is gone. Confidence in the power of the Most High is gone. Courage to shout from the rooftops is gone.

"Oh Bless me Lord, bless me Lord, you know it's all I ever hear,
No one aches, no one hurts, no one even sheds one tear,
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for your needs,
And you just lay back and keep soaking it in, oh, can't you see it's such sin?"

People in the church complain about so much - they haven't got this, they haven't got that... Don't they see that they have the world in their hands? Sometimes I wonder if they would stand in Heaven's court and still blandly fuss about the small irritants of life, never thinking to care that they are loved with passion and they are to love with passion.

Christ Jesus gave us the most wonderful gift that we have ever received. We have been saved, enabled, empowered, freed, given wings to fly to heights unseen. And what do most of us do? Sit in mud puddles and complain. Slouch in the Light and snore. Jam hands into pockets and walk past someone who needs Jesus so bad they're gonna die without Him.

"Cause He brings people to your door,
And you turn them away, as you smile and say,
God bless you, be at peace, and all Heaven just weeps,
Cause Jesus came to your door, you've left Him out on the streets."

This is getting long. But I agree. Time to act.

The revolution has only begun. ^^

Forever His,
Gwendolyn

Galadriel said...

Very cool post, Gwendolyn.

Madeline said...

Y'all are so right. The church we have now ain't all it's cracked up to be - but we are the new generation, and we will seek God, and we will know what we have to do to fix the problem.

Though, I do have an idea as to what will set the church on fire: the Holy Spirit. When people start realizing there's more to it, the church will wake up in a big way. People need to have understanding about the truth - they don't right now, but we can fix that.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Jake, that's sweet man! It's always good to hear of churches that believe what they say and live it out. Course, I meant "church" with a big C. lol

@Gwen, I hear you. We don't believe what we say, and it comes at a horrible cost. It is mainly because people look at this as religion, and don't understand what they believe. They say they believe it because they know they should or whatever, but it means nothing to them. And then to those who it does mean something, well....why aren't you acting like it?

Yeah....it's sad. So sad.

Right, I don't think we realize most of the time what's going on. These people are DYING. Death. Dying. They're going to die of cancer and we have the cure. Are we going to be too squemish to tell them "Oh yeah you need this shot." They're not gonna be like, "No, I don't like shots. I"ll die thank you." And if they are, they just don't realize they're dying yet. But WE know they are. So why don't we run with the cure?

@Madeline, "Oh God let us be, a generation that seeks, that seeks your face, Oh God of Jacob..."
Of course, the holy spirit is what always set us on fire :) Time we let him work lol

Madeline said...

Erm, I don't think you know what I meant, no offense of course. But that's fine. Your post is great. =D

Nathan R. Petrie said...

I know what you meant. Tongues, prophecy, healing, etc right? ;) But I was also making the point that the passion comes from the spirit as well ;)

Madeline said...

Ya, well, kind of... But I agree - we just don't have that passion without the Spirit. We need to be the generation that shows the church what they're missing!

I like that song. =D

Anonymous said...

A-MEN!!!!!!!!!!!

Wonderful post, Nathan! It's gotten a lot of people thinking!!

daughteroflight

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Got ME thinking :)

Sveta said...

Amen!

eraser310 said...

The Church I go to is absolutely crazy. The Head Pastor preaches lies from the pulpit, the youth pastor tries to pervert the bible, and for the most part, the congregation does nothing about it. I've spoken to the youth pastor and found that he does not believe homosexuality is wrong and he thinks that the unsaved will not necessarily go to hell. The only reason we go there is because my mom wants to go to the same church as her parents. I'm pretty close to giving up on Sunday church services in general. I am however going to Nathan's youth group, which is totally awesome lol.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Eraser310, Praying for you man! Just keep defending the truth and loving on people! And of course my youth group is awesome! I'm in it :P

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."