The Groups In The Church

The Entertained Spectators – They want to get something out of church. They often show up and leave right after church. They don’t generally attend prayer meeting or any other part of the church. They are the ones that go from church to church looking for the best music where they can be “fed.”

Many of our attempts to reach the “unchurched” only end up attracting the “spectators.” They don’t want to invest their time into the church. They don’t generally cause problems in the church because they are not there.

They simply sit,listen, and leave.

The Clock-Punchers – These show up to church to “do their duty.” Many will pay their tithe either because of fear of social estrangement or fear of retribution. They dn’t want to go to hell so they show up.

Just like the worker who punches the clock to get paid, they punch the clock to get to heaven. like the entertained, they aren’t in the church really, but they do have one request, A Short Service. They have to get back to their daily lives.

The clock Punchers and the Entertained can have battles over worship at times, but in reality neither are a part of the community.

The “Working Saved” – These are the people who are always at church. The church is “theirs.” Their mother paid for the land that the church sits on. They are fifth generation members of the church and are sick of the landslide down that the church is taking. They stand in the way of all kinds of innovations. New is wrong! There aren’t many of them, but they pay most of the tithe and hold most of the offices.

The Youngsters – They are battling the working saved as they attmempt to move the church in a new “hip” way. Often “hip” is simply moving the church forward. They grab ahold of all the lateest innovations. They read all the books by the church growth crowd. They attempt to move the church forward. They attempt to silence the working saved and

The Disciples are about ministry. They don’t care who gets to sit up front or who gets the accolades. They are growing in their relationship to God. They see the battle between the youngsters and the working saved as irrelevant to the real work of being Christ in the world. They question the whole idea of church being entertainment. In fact they wonder when christian growth will matter as much as attendance in the church records.

In a little while, God will have a remnant of disciples that will take the church from being simply a place to entertain spectators or inform the working saved, but to be a place of healing and growth so that the word will be true and a witness will come forth. In a little while…

Which Jesus do You Worship?

Who controls your living? Is Jesus in the driver’s seat of your life, or are you? Do we want to live the life of Jesus or do we want Jesus to help us live our own self-directed life? Some in American Christianity teach a kind of that talks about what God is gonna give you to the detriment of what God is gonna do in you. This strain of Christianity forever speaks of the benefits of being with Christ and none of the responsibilities. This type of Christianity wants the healing, saving Jesus and wishes to leave behind the cleansing Jesus.

A Perverted Christianity

This perverted Christianity teaches that God will give you money beyond your wildest dreams. This perverted Christianity teaches that God will always heal all of your diseases. This perverted Christianity teaches about a Jesus that makes sure that nothing bad will ever happen to you. This perverted Christianity has a Jesus that guarantees that you will live a life free from worry or pain. No storms will come on your horizon.

The Truth, You Will Have Storms

When we hear the true Christianity of Jesus that tells us we will have persecution in the world, we wonder if it could be true.(2 Timothy 3:12) We can’t believe our eyes when we see John The Baptists head cut off. How could that be when God is all powerful? We see Paul never having his thorn removed and wonder why? We finally see Jeremiah being thrown in jail only because he preached the message that God gave him to preach. Hearing that message we understand why so many flock to hear the “good news” that pain will never come. But we know that is not the case, we know it from experience and from reading the word.

What has God Promised

Simply put, this perverted Christianity holds great influence in much of American Christianity, but God will always have a remnant who will stand for the truth though the heavens fall. Simply put, the faulty Christianity is not true, you may not get all that you think you will get, but God has promised something, God will stand with us in the trials of this life. God will be with us in the pains of this life. God will live with us in the storm. God has not promised that every Christian will get “hooked up” down here, but God has promised that God will be with us in our pains, with us in our heartache, with us!

When pain comes, the faulty Christ of perverted Christianity promises everything but leaves you hanging, but the true Christ is with you in the pain helping you to bear it. When you lose your job, the faulty Christ of perverted Christianity simply tells you that you will get another job tomorrow, but the true Christ says, my grace is sufficient for you and you can make it whenever you get another job.

There may be a time of trouble in our lives, but there will always be a Christ there, to strengthen and empower. That is the message that will take us through the inevitable storm that will encompass us all. Praise God for the true Christ…

Are We Working Together? – On The Black-White Adventist Conference Divide

I was listening to Elder Dana Edmond, president of South Central Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. To those who do not know this is a “regional” conference (well most conferences are regional today, but I keep the antiquated terminology). He was preaching at the Kentucky Tennessee Conference. A “non-regional” conference for lack of a better term (I don’t use the black-white designation).

Are We Starting To Work Together?

Elder Edmond and the president of Kentucky-Tennessee Elder Steve Haley, both spoke of their friendship and their plans to work together on initiatives including evangelizing Memphis Tennessee.

I thought that was interesting. Especially in light of Georgia Cumberland conference and South Atlantic both working together to evangelize Atlanta during the last GC Session.

Shine A Light

All of these initiatives make me wonder a few things. First, maybe we should put more effort into working together instead of complaining about the separation. The separation doesn’t stop us from doing things together. (Contrary to the view of some, this is not as hardcore a separation as the “segregation” of the Jim Crow Era)

Outreach is the place where we need to see this. We are doing it now. Educational institutions, evangelism, and community service programs. Here we are working together. Perhaps we need to do better at emphasizing and publicizing our work together. Maybe we aughta shine the light instead of cursing the darkness.

Applauding Steps Forward

I am sure there are other initiatives of which I am unaware. I am not saying that we are doing things perfectly. We certainly should do better. We must find a way to get past this separation that continues for various reasons. But the answer is to get in the foxholes and work together.

I applaud folks like Edmond, Haley, and those others who recognize the facts, providence has placed us all together, we need each other just like the arm needs the leg. Maybe the way to unite the conferences is to work together instead of trying to come up with a directive from the top.