Is Today’s Church Stuck In The Ditch With Disobedient Leaders

 

Many think that there is nothing wrong with Today’s Sunday Services, but how can we ignore the the Biblical call to participation? It shows up most clearly in 1 Cor 14:26-40, but the theme is clear:

 

NIV Heb.10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

NIV 1 Peter 4;10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

NIV Act 13;1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. [numerous teachers]

 

Romans 12;4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully

 

When I saw the chasm between the simple God centered formula [un-programmed times for seeking and sharing and letting God take over], and these performances that men have supported through the ages, I could no longer continue to participate. God warns us that our religious projects, our misguided desires to be justified by the Law or by our own effort, these actually keep us separated from Christ.

 

MSG Gal 5;4 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace.

 

This verse reminds us that our assignment is simply to follow God. Whenever we let (presumed Godly) tasks overshadow or replace simply seeking & submitting to God, we fall from grace and we separate ourselves from God.

 

NLT 2 Tim 3;16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

 

So why do today’s today’s churches ignore these teachings? The simple answer is tradition. Unfortunately we have a strong tendency to honor our traditions. But when those traditions dishonor God we need to change! The word warns us not to move the old boundary markers. Since we don’t know the early church, we can’t see that we have moved these boundaries.

 

NIV Prov 22;28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.

 

This verse is calling us back to our original assignment. We can not just look a few generations back. When we look carefully at what the Bible says we find the vast majority of today’s pastor’s roles are not biblical. One person taking over the teaching duties is totally off base. The call is for 2 to 3 teachers, no one person taking over. Today’s practices are clearly a tradition of disobedience.

 

NLT Mark 7:7-9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God. 8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” 9 Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.

 

This verses cries out to everyone attending today’s churches.

 

NLT John 4;23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth .”

 

This verse simply asks for true worship, for worship that is consistent with God’s word. So how does the word describe worship? Let’s take a look.

 

 

 

Biblical Worship;

NLT 1 Cor 14;26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.

 

The subsequent verses (27-36) give more specifics about worship and believer gatherings, everyone contributing something, but then there is a very strong warning. The reader is warned that he will not be heard [people will not listen to him] if he doesn’t foster participation in his church. This verse explains why todays sermons are so unproductive, because God’s word declares that they will be!

 

NLT 1 Cor 14:37-38. 37 If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself. 38 But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized.

 

CEV 1 Cor 14;37-38 37. If you think of yourself as a prophet or a spiritual person, you will know that I am writing only what the Lord has commanded. 38 So don’t pay attention to anyone who ignores what I am writing.

 

It sounds like God’s prerequisite for teaching is adherence to these believer gathering/worship guidelines.

 

Here’s an excerpt that discusses this;

http://www.ntrf.org/articles/article_detail.php?PRKey=11

 

Although we may wish to take that easy way out, the apostle Paul does not give us the comfortable option of ignoring his words, if we want to have a clear conscience. Instead, he goes on to tell us that what he is writing is “the Lord’s command.”

 

Did the Word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored” (14:36).

 

Paul anticipated that there would be those who would want to conduct church meetings in ways other than this. His questions are designed to point out to them how presumptuous they would be to ignore his instructions and invent their own customs–as though the Word of God had originated with them, or they had a corner on it!”

 

Will the body of Christ turn from this sin, or will we keep running from the light, & hiding in darkness? After many generations of falsehood, let’s reclaim the truth.

 

NLT John 3;19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

 

If we are really serious about following God, we need to honor his word, we need to be listening for the correction of the Holy Spirit. We need to reject these fallen worship shows and simply honestly seek God!

 

Dear God,

Please free all of your followers from this deception. Help them to understand that the truth will set them free, and help them to seek the truth, to seek you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Glenn

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