Friday, December 28, 2007

Running around like a chicken with its head cut off…

I am always skeptical of an organization…the establishment of plans and procedures makes me nervous. I have learned that organization is necessary, but still have my moments of dramatic curiosity and doubt. In speaking of the church I would like to clarify what it is…it is an organism. A modern definition of this word brings about several key ideas. It is living, it reproduces, it recreates, it changes, adapts, it moves, it is made up of several different parts that make the whole. It is the church. There is an organization within the organism though. When a church becomes large in numbers there must be some kind of structure established or else the body would fall apart. Muscles, blood, and other organs are vital, but without bones a body would not be able to stand and just be a big pile of mush; it is when the organization supersedes the organism that the church becomes something it is not supposed to be. I was talking with a friend about several things he is doubting or questioning right now about the church he is affiliated with. They do sermonettes, like 5 minutes sermons to give their 15-20 pastors in training opportunities to preach on holidays. The pastor will call someone out if they do not tithe or miss a week. They preach harsh messages about how certain sin will cause a person to go to hell and make it seem like they hate anyone involved in this type of sin. It seems like they have gotten caught up in the organization and forgotten about the organism. What is the point of these sermonettes, to give want to be preachers a chance or to speak truth to a congregation about Jesus Christ? Is tithing to pay the church bills or to sustain a movement impacting a city? Are the messages meant to build up or tear down the audience (even discipline without love is useless)? Why has this beautiful bride of Christ hurt so many people? Well it hasn’t. We have done the harm, the organizational, human side of it all, we have hurt people. It’s like we have given this beautiful bride a bad makeover sometimes. We are running around doing all these things and sometimes they don’t relate to the mission Jesus gave us at all. They are just religious practices we have made up and followed and never questioned before. It’s like the body is running around doing stuff without the head. So here we are running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Here is a story that really hurts me, it really makes me uncomfortable and causes tears well up within me. There is a 16 year old boy who comes up to a pastor and says, “Pastor, I know I am going to hell because of my sin.” The boy is fighting homosexuality, he says he likes boys. He has been coming to this church for 15 years of his little life and for 15 years he has been taught that being homosexual is an abomination and the ultimate sin and because of this he is going to hell. Didn’t Jesus save a terrorist and use that man to be the most influential person in the history for the sake of Christ? That is Saul converted to Paul. Jesus can save anyone from anything. We get so lost in our rules that we become an organization that teaches rules and not to do’s instead of redemption. We miss the head of it all. We are running around without Jesus. The gospel does not condemn, it liberates from sin. This boy needs the organism, the Church of Jesus Christ, not the organization. Join me in prayer for churches around the nation, that they may, that we may, always remember to not run in vain, but always look to the head, which is Jesus Christ.

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