So many opinions out there today, but what this world needs is Jesus in Your Flesh. When the Father was moved by love and compassion for this world’s condition, He sent His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh. The Father knew we didn’t need a new set of rules or a better way of doing things. We needed God incarnate! We need Him again today. Only He is not coming to redo what He has already done. He has already made a way for us to represent Him fully; Christ in us the Hope of Glory!
Religion has blurred the lines. The Church is adrift in a sea of opinions. Christ-like humble leadership and authority has been replaced by seminary educated hirelings for profit who sell their resumes and are better at pontificating than at feeling the pain of this world. We have diluted the effectiveness of the Church with our business plans and marketplace values. Yet this world hungers today like a blind beggar for that which it no longer respects or desires.
Tell me friend, where can this world “taste and see that He is good?” Is He a bi-weekly experience like Yoga classes? Does His presence only come down in a building while he is being worshiped and adored like Buddha or the Hindu gods? What makes us different from this world as the followers of Christ? Can the Church continue to offer a Diet, Lite, and Decaffeinated Gospel that temporarily soothes but doesn’t save? How long can earth survive on a gospel that only promises feel-good, blessings and prosperity instead of rejection and suffering? I believe we as members of the Church of the 21st century have arrived at the place where we need to hear, “You can’t handle the truth!” Please let me share some of my peeves.
Daily I am bombarded by requests for money from Africa and India. The Africans usually want money to purchase Bibles. They don’t like it when I remind them that the One Church of Jesus Christ had no Bibles for the first 1500 years of its existence. I tell them the people need to see living examples of Christ, not a new religion with a book full of do’s and don’ts. The Indians usually ask for money for their orphanages. They send you pictures of hungry children. Who can say no to that? Yes, but how do you know if one of those Religious Hirelings didn’t pay the neighborhood parents to borrow their children for a picture? To date I have traveled to 59 countries and the truth is it happens more than I care to share. I am not saying that there are not some legitimate needs out there. Getting money from America cannot ever be the answer to the ills and the injustices of this world. Contrary to what you hear, the Lord has no chosen nation like America or Israel. God has no favorites and all His Church is treated equal. The just shall live by faith! If it’s truth it must work everywhere.
The world does not need your perfect doctrine. In Spanish…”Este mundo no necesita tu “sana doctrina.” I posted this yesterday in Facebook, “Did Jesus ever say if they get the right doctrine they will quit behaving wrongly?? I’m just saying….” Of course it got very few likes. It is way too serious for this frivolous world. I could have received over 100 likes for something more important like a picture of my lunch. Yet, this is what motivates much of Christianity today. We are all on that illusive quest for the purest and best doctrine. That is what makes “our church”, “my preacher,” or “my sermon” better than yours. Better teachers than you and I have already lived and died. What a joke! If it hasn’t transformed your neighborhood or city, they are not interested in your gospel.I am so tired of the excuse, “We are just a remnant brother.”
We don’t need to hide in a cave until the Lord returns with our pure and holy doctrine. We don’t need to try and scare people telling they’re going to be left behind the next flight from Rapture Airlines. The King is seated on His Throne. His Kingdom is not in jeopardy from Hillary or Trump or anyone else. His Church is not leaving earth defeated like the loser in a dogfight with its tail between its legs.
No, I don’t believe Christ left us here to fight like an MMA match, us against the world. Our Lord already won! The movie War Room is nice but what do you do when your greatest war is between you two ears? Many times when I was in the corporate world I would run to pray in the bathroom, but that was not reality. I needed to learn to pray while the boss was yelling at me unfairly.The Lord didn’t take us out of this world.
So what this world needs is love, Right?
Is this Jesus in Your Flesh?
Recently a church in the city began to say all the right things in its new marketing program. This church is offering small groups, love, and relationships to its members like it’s the new flavor of toothpaste. Should we continue to learn marketing principles from the Church Growth salesmen and offer an imitation to fill empty pews and dwindling bank accounts? Well, here is a better question. Can we delegate love? Can a church declare “we care” more than others without hiring more staff than it can afford? I don’t think so. This world can smell a gimmick a mile away. We are bombarded by them daily. Have you ever heard, “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse?” Would you wash and wax a car with a blown engine? What part of the foundation is rotten don’t we understand? We are shining the brass on the Titanic, and I say as the world says today, “Good luck with that!”
Plan A has always been the church incarnating Christ in such a way that the world takes notice. No marketing or advertising needed. The greatest real growth of the church in the world is happening in places where the church is persecuted and joining it can offer you no worldly benefits.
The love of money is at the root of everything that is wrong with the church today. You name the issue, and if you look underneath, it will be there like a cancer. Take away the check and the fake prosperity, and the Church will naturally return to authentic Christianity. Authentic Christianity is Jesus in Your Flesh. I didn’t say it will be popular, but I did say it would be life-changing, effective, and transformational bringing about a forever-changed experience.