This was initially penned by me in my journal. I have brushed it up, smoothed it out, and added some fresh insights.
I should make note that this is more or less a rant, considering the more serious crises the world-wide church faces today. Although the things I wrote here are true, I now view some of them as quaint.
A rant is something I rarely allow myself, as I consider such generally a waste of my time and energy. However, they can be a bit of entertainment. I hope you will read taking it seriously, but also view as entertaining. As I do now. For as the venerable apostle once said, “Don’t let the sun set on your anger.” Ephesians 4:26,27
- Is Christianity becoming just a cliché? Is it merely money well spent for a big return of same?
Why is it presented as one all too often? Why is it sold and oversold? Literally, monetarily. The early Christians began their evangelistic early years calling themselves The Way. That was from Jesus teaching that He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) If the term “Christianity” has become gold which has been melted down and turned to water, only to seep into the desert sands of cost and profit. Gold jangling in the coffers of big businesses that call themselves”Christian business,” (Somehow that seems a contradiction of terms).
Maybe it’s time for those of us who are committed only to help the downtrodden, helpless, brokenhearted, to serve with the Savior; maybe we should find a new coined (no pun intended) name to define truly Who we serve, who we are, and why. I understand that “Christian” literally translated means “little Christs.” Rather telling. Diminishing and becoming too “little?” How about something like, “The Way of Christ?” Never mind. Changing a name never brings change. Only a changed heart can do that. Only Christ can do it.
When Christ walked the earth was He a salesman promoting a new religious product?
Is that how He “won” new disciples?
Did He engage in debates or conversations to win people over to His way of thinking or religious philosophy? No. That was never His purpose when He conversed with people or gave an answer to the Pharisees and Sadducees who questioned Him.
Why would God ever need to sell Himself? Why would He ever need an army of followers to do it for Him? All earthly riches are His by rights of ownership. He only allows us to play with it for a time, while we call it ours. But only while we have it. Easily lost, too.
The American culture of salesmanship is no direct link to Christ Jesus, but products based on Him are some of the most marketable, money-making propositions in the economy. Eyes on Mega-Bible-trinket-book stores. So many books. So many books selling prosperity theology/”Christian self-help-how-to-cure-whatever-bothers-you “books.” Taking authority away from the Christ of the Bible, and stuffing their pockets with — yessiree — more money profited from the hurting who only want to know how to be better Christians. Eyes also on so, so many mega-churches who’s perusals scrutinize the profit margins, while ignoring the disciple margins.
Why are so many church gatherings so reminiscent of sales conventions? Why do pastors who leave the ministry so often go into sales marketing as a vocation? And why do they leave the ministry? Most I encountered told me it was because they weren’t making enough money to “get by” in their ministry. “Get by?” Get by what?
Going into the Ministry is a poor way to become rich if it’s money one is seeking. Even today a great many who have received “the call” are as poor as church mice. If you’re not called, if you can avoid it, by all means do so. It’s not for the faint of heart, and is very often a thankless position to be in. If one is not dedicated to the cause of Christ pick an easier vocation with less stress and pressure; such as test pilot, brain surgeon, or first exploratory astronaut to mars.
Why are so many self-avowed questionable “christian” musicians using the Christian Music industry to become known “artists” to break into the pop music market , and then “crossing over” to a “wider audience” looking for bigger riches? One thing I noticed about such types — they most often fail at receiving that pot o’ gold and end up — yep, you guessed it — sales help in a guitar shop, or something very like it.
Truth cannot be bought and sold. It can, however be marketed at a hefty profit as so evidenced in our culture; but at a price of watering down its appearance and reputation and Truth.
When the rich young man asked Jesus how he could be assured of heaven, Jesus didn’t tell him to give all his riches to HIM, and follow Him. He instructed the man to give all his possessions to the poor then come follow Him. Luke 18:18-23
Thank God, I don’t have to pay Jesus rent for His abiding in my heart, as I could never afford the price! And to think, so many try to extort money from the very One whom they can’t even afford to buy their salvation. As if that were possible.
This isn’t a new rant among dedicated Christians, but it’s mine for the day. As I said, I don’t like to waste the time. But sometimes — I guess I just sort of spring a leak.
Editors Note: Since writing this we are aware the problems of the church have become wider, deeper and more desperate for survival, with life threatening spiritual issues within. Making any rant of for-profit-religion sound like a child’s momentary tantrum. And so it goes… until the Lord returns in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, like a thief in the night. Taking back that which belongs to Him anyway. Hearing no excuses. Mankind’s self-rule will be at an end. Blessed be the Day.
- In His grip, G.W.
- (I am lovesick for Jesus, I feel His furious love! 2Cor. 7:1-3)
- “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Matthew 6:24 NLT