Sometimes I get angry and need the Lord to settle my spirit.
I am so frustrated over the shattered lives of man after man who I help find the Lord in jail, who then go to some on-fire, podium-focused, pastor-centric church when they get out.
Inevitably, I will see those men back in jail again a year later, or I’ll hear that they have relapsed and fallen back into addiction or bondage.
Why are they back in jail or back in bondage? Because that church was little more than exciting sermons and glory-halleluiah feel-good meetings and a platform to showcase the gifted pastor and his gifted team – but no one ever seems to come beside broken people to become involved with them one-on-one or take the time for the difficult ministry of cleaning out the mess in their lives.
Oh, sure, most churches have programs and canned answers. But ministry?
Emotional experiences, programs and circus-like services seem to have become the substitute for mentoring, participating, confession, repentance and forgiveness – and the hard work of helping inconvenient people becoming whole and complete in Christ.
In essence, such churches are built around providing spiritual highs – and so is it any wonder that folks with addictive personalities are initially attracted to your meetings? And is it any wonder – as you feed rather than mend their broken personality in your self-serving drive for ever larger attendance – that they inevitably fall back into old habits?
Yet you claim that lots of people were delivered from addiction by jumping up and down and clapping, or crying a few tears of conviction, in some feel-good mass meeting? Get real.
You can boast of your church, but I will be there to pick up the pieces once again as those men discover that when the afterglow of your feel-good meeting fades, they are still left with themselves – while you’ve gone to focus on your next meeting or event.
And although you can boast of “mentoring” an occasional member of your church, it is driven more by your perception that they are worth “investing in” because they have potential to advance your ministry. But when they fall short of your expectations, you’re suddenly too busy to be there for them anymore.
Understand that some of us get tired of constantly cleaning up the lives that such churches can’t seem to redeem. Broken lives and real people are inconvenient and demand more than your hollow gospel, artificial relationships, and podium-oriented focus can give. But praise God, you have great meetings and can charm some dollars from your people!
When did Christianity become little more than a circus?
I really need your prayers. I get so frustrated over all this, yet I see such amazing fruit where the church in fact starts acting like the church and not a circus that puts on good performances. It’s just that Biblical church is so rare, yet the need is so great, and my heart breaks as I see how folks are so willing to settle for hollow and ineffective Christianity as long as they are made to feel good.
Thanks for letting me vent.