Have We Turned Our Congregations Into Idols?
Moments of Introspection and Prayer
Hello Beautiful! I pray you’re having a peaceful and enduring week! To change things up, this week’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays challenge is being dedicated to moments of introspection and prayer to a deep passion and observation, or concern, of mine while pondering and praying over these words in concert with allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts by bringing clarity and conviction! It just speaks to my passions and burdens I feel worthy to bring awareness to. I felt it essential to allow us all the time to enter into moments of introspection as we ponder what our beliefs and feelings truly are. Have our congregations become our idols instead of the Lord?
Today my heart was burdened because of this great division that exists not only in our communities in which we live, but especially between our congregations and places of worship! I felt strongly led to share this awareness with my friends before I attach it to my blog as something that is worth pondering over so we can stop this division that is plaguing our neighborhoods and communities! With the escalation in crime and violence due to the constant outbreaks of riots in voicing our opinions through protests, I feel it would be worthwhile to understand why we’re reacting the way we are. Tolerance is a significant factor, but we all have to own up to our responsibility where we’re at today. We all know this is where my passion derives from and these words are coming straight from my heart for all to hear who will!
What do you define as “the church”? Through my education, I have learned that the Bible defines “the church” in the New Testament as coming from the Greek word ekklesia which basically means a Christian assembly, a “called out gathering” of people. There is no mention as to “the church” pertaining to the four walls in which we go to each week in attendance or to the power derived from the congregation’s name. There should be no competition, no ongoing ugly battles, much less this empowerment from the superiority that exists because we go to XYZ. No person is superior to anyone, and woe to us for looking down our extremely long noses at others who are different than us or a different color and/or different shapes and sizes. We were all created and designed as “mankind” (no mention of race EVER) to live and commune TOGETHER!
“The church” consists of a communal gathering of believers, people that come together to grow and learn about the life and death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ (this could happen in a restaurant, a park, or even Starbucks; you know, when two or more are gathered together, Matthew 18:20). This gathering is supposed to empower us with the ability to go out into our communities in which we live and emulate His love through our daily conduct, character and testimony, not being judgmental and isolated within our “clique groups.” It is our responsibility to share this Great Love by living in tandem with the knowledge that we’re imperfect beings saved by grace only; that our lives should be lived honestly for all to see through humility and transparency along with the sharing of how we walked through our own tragedies testifying to the great strength received from our Lord and Savior so others might understand how to walk through their own struggles without the world’s vices of drugs, alcohol, violence, anger, depression, pornography, gang affiliation, etc., all of which affects us all negatively.
What precipitated this intensity was today as I was talking with management at WalMart about what they were going to be donating for an event I’m working on, a lovely woman offered me money to contribute to the cause (this is when eavesdropping is appropriate). I shared with her that I would rather her come and make relationships with these people instead of the money. She shared that she would like to help out, but she was hesitant because she attended a different “church.” Even though she had never heard of my ministry or my congregation, who is partnering with me because we share the same love and vision, she felt she could only offer money and not her physical presence. Conflict of interest? No!!! It is not a sin, nor is there any conflict of interest to want to reach out to others through love in the community with organizations or events outside your congregation’s walls. This is a byproduct of knowing the Lord; not being able to contain the love in your own heart so you pour out onto others!
Christian believers are people who make up and are each uniquely designed and gifted to contribute to the Body of Christ, which is “the church.” This means we are commanded to serve one master and that’s the Lord God Almighty, so why are we making our congregations our idols? That is a sin of total commission that is leading us down a path of destruction, and we wonder why there is so much hatred towards Christianity! We all make up a part of our communities by either living in, working in, worshiping in, along with our kids and grandkids playing in and attending the schools contained within; so we need to make an effort to reach out and get to know who lives and works in our communities through love, communion and respect! How are you going to know who exists in your neighborhoods if you hide behind your four walls, whether it’s your congregation or your own home?
Guys, this is why we need to know what our Bibles say and live it out!!! The Bible talks about how “the church” is one body with many parts in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; with verse 27 stating, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” We need to get involved in the lives of others; that’s what the Bible tells us (Matthew 28:19-20) and quit judging. There are many parts to this one body. It takes a multitude of people. And if you love Jesus, it means you reach outside of the comforts of your own four walls and love on others, PERIOD!! We go inside those four walls to learn, to get fed, not to be entertained or claim superiority rights or even to stay sheltered. We need to be equipped to get through another week exuding love, peace, patience, gentleness, and kindness. We are never prohibited from loving on others; it’s expected! That’s our responsibility. It’s time to bring unity back into our communities!
Not your typical Tammy Tangent Tuesdays; this is more of a Tammy Tantrum! Have a wonderful week, Beautiful, and I pray you hear the desperate plea of my voice! It’s something we all need to be in prayer about this week! ♥♥