This is a long one. I wrote it almost 3 years ago – and wow, what a different person I am today. I read it yesterday and it basically shook me to the core. It’s amazing how easily you can become… the walking dead.
Let’s Kill the Church
Kill the church? At one point, there was a desire to rid our society of these structures. Most churches survived off of need – We need the church… it helps to foster positivity in our communities, it provides a safe haven for families in need and it helps steer our children in the right direction – right? Well, sort of. I am convinced that church buildings are able to do just what they were constructed to do. They facilitate help, comfort, care and a place to freely worship the creator of mankind. Unfortunately, the “church” of today–the people that occupy the building–have forgotten who they are. The church is more than a structure. The church should be compromised of God’s chosen people. We the people! We have screwed this up a little bit. We’ve forgotten our first love. We don’t remind ourselves of our purpose. So we blend.
What makes blending such a bad thing? We tend to think that… If I look like, smell like and act like others, it’s likely that I’ve got a great opportunity. I can build relationships with others and one day share the message of Jesus… Right? Very unlikely. I believe that Christians, or the “church” is called to live life in extreme ways. The church of today must realize that we are more than what lies between four walls. We are more than a “Missionary Baptist” title on a building. We should aspire to be more than choir members, elders and first ladies. We are lifelines. Well, we should be. Our greatest struggle – is compromise.
Compromise is defined as “a middle way between two extremes.” A gospel extremist would quote
Revelation 3:16 “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!“
…and then warn you to get your life together. Although there’s probably some validity behind this concept, I think we’ve missed the basics. We compromise, because we don’t realize that we should be set apart. We don’t recognize that the real difference makers in this world have always been extremists. We’ve been bamboozled to believe that we will never dominate, so it’s best to just do what we do in private. We’ve gotten into our regular life routines of attending church on Sunday, maybe a bible study on Wednesday, but we don’t change. We don’t apply what we hear, we just go – because it’s a nice thing to do before brunch. Most of all, we’ve started to believe that the church is a building. The church is nothing more than a place where we go and sing a few songs, clap a few hands and hear some person read words off of pages. The world doesn’t have to kill the church. We may already be the walking dead. This is a preposterous reality!
Romans 12:2 boldly tells us not to be “conformed” to the world that we live in. I would venture to believe that the writer of this text knew just how easy it was to blend, in his day. Not much has changed. Romans 12 continues by encouraging us to allow God to “transform” us into new people.
Transformation – a qualitative change. The act of changing in form, shape or appearance.
In short, I think we’ve got it twisted. We’ve become people that are totally into acting. We act like we like certain things, we act like we’re like other people, and on Sunday’s we act like we’re Christ-like. We aren’t transformed, we act like we are. Unfortunately, since there is no qualitative change, we conform (or blend).
Jesus Christ did not blend. He did not conform. He did not fit into the box that people thought that He should. His radical lifestyle was solely based on the understanding that He came to the earth with things to do, and He didn’t have time to look like everyone else. I would encourage you to examine your life. Look at your daily routines. Look at your inner and outer circles. Look at the impact that you make on the lives around you. Just by assessing these things, you know whether or not your impact is positive or negative. Are you part of the walking dead? Have you killed the church?
Daily, I’m challenged by John 14:12, where Jesus declares that by believing in Him we shall do great works – just as He did. He further declares that we should do GREATER works than He did. How could we possibly do these things… while looking like and acting like everyone else? We can’t.
At one point, the church was a threat. It was a force to be reckoned with. The “church” believed that it had power. The “church” believed that it would be a true source of empowerment within a community. The people that went to “church” understood that they were the “church” …so they had the abundant life that the Bible promises. They were “living churches” everywhere that they went. Now, the “church” is silent. The “church” doesn’t push the envelope. The “church” looks and sounds just like everything and everyone else. There is no power. There are no great works. We don’t have to kill the church. They already did, when they convinced us to blend.