Since I'm out of ministry, I'm in search of a church home for me and my
family. Unlike the average church shopper, I know the tricks churches
use to get and keep people. I know evangelism and assimilation
strategies. I know what the Newsprings, Elevations, Willow Creeks,
Lifechurch.tvs, Saddlebacks and so forth have done and said in the past
so I know if a church is really being creative or if they are
"borrowing" an idea. I will not be influenced by the bells and whistles.
In fact, I'm not impressed by these things. I know all of these things
are meant to manipulate, control and distract people from what is
actually going on. They muddy up the water to give signs of life but
without the power to do anything to sustain for long times of life.
These methods do a better job of producing legalistic pharisees that use
God for their own wants and dreams then true disciples.
But these seem to be the only churches I can find. So do I "settle" and
go? At least they confess the right things. They at least seem
passionate and committed. They talk about Jesus so what is the big deal?
Aren't all churches the same?
Would it be too much to ask to see a church talk about what God has done
for us than what we have to do for God?
Would it be too much to ask to see a church serve communion every week
in the place of stupid skits and movie clips that always fail to do the
job they are supposed to do?
Would it be too much to learn more about the Bible than a Pastor's life?
Would it be too much to see the Bible read in context?
Would it be too much to proclaim Jesus as the hero rather than any Bible
Would it be too much mourn our sin through song some of time and not
just make every week a pep rally?
Would it be too much transcendent truth and not wishy washy feelings?
Would it be too much to talk about the Gospel as the source of my
sanctification and not my will?
Would it be too much to stop trying to make the most repulsive message
in the world sound cool by stripping away all of the hard truth?
Would it be too much to mix in a hymn or at least songs that have more
depth of lyrics than I love Jesus?
Would it be too much to use one good Bible translation rather than 4
Would it be too much to focus on where God promised to work
(proclamation of his Word and Sacraments) rather than trying to "see
where God is at work and joining him there"?
Would it be too much a faith to help us live our ordinary everyday lives
rather than trying to help us live extraordinary dreams?
Would it be too much? What do I do? What will I live with? Lord, give