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Religion

Underwhelmed and Disappointed

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted May 1, 2014

RELIGION – A few years back one of my favorite places to eat was Wild Wings in Augusta. It was particularly at lunch that I loved to go. They had an all you can eat wing buffet which included soup and tater tots. I would go there every chance I could. I especially loved going with my wife, who never looks better than when she has wing sauce all around her face! But one sad day this all came to an end. I went to lunch with a buddy from church and as we walked in something looked different.

There were no large pans of wings and the smell was not the same. So as we sat down I asked the waitress where the buffet was and she they had something better than the wing buffet! My whole body flooded with joy as to what this could be! Then she said “now we have a soup and salad bar and you get any FIVE WINGS of your choice!” Five wings, I mean that was the warm up! My friend gave me a hug and I dried my tears on his lapel, as I sat down to a cheeseburger at Wild Wings.  Needless to say I was very disappointed! I have not gone back, primarily because at a per wing price, it would cost me $43.57 to eat the same amount I formerly did for $9.00. I hate economics sometimes!
 
I tell you this not to elicit wing donations, although if you want to bring donations by the office I will not refuse and you will be blessed of God for your kindness, but I write all of that to say that I was really let down. My expectations were high and then they were crushed forever. Imagine for a minute that you had been stranded on a desert Island and all you had to read was the Bible for years and years. You had read all about Jesus and the things He did. You read how He told His followers that He would do great things. Then you read about the church and how exciting it was in the book of Acts. You read about the passion of Paul and missionary efforts and so you say to yourself that if you ever get off this island, the first place you are going is to church!

Well you are rescued and by the grace of God you are dropped off in Edgefield! And so you begin to visit churches and what do you see? Where is all the passion of Paul? Why is everyone here the same color? Why did that only last an hour? Why was it so scheduled? You wonder if that Holy Spirit you read about is even there. Would you visit again? 

I think one of the greatest tools that Satan uses today to kill the church is boredom. Think about it, have you ever paid money to go see a movie at the theater and it was a real bore? Most of us have. Lesson learned and you don’t go back to see it. But would you pay to see the same boring movie indefinitely, once per week?  For many people who look to come to church this is their experience.

 Look I am not throwing out reverence or order. If I did my church may throw me out! But the Bible is an amazingly exciting book, and God still does amazing things, and Jesus conquered death and the Holy Spirit inhabits the life of His people! So how is it that we as the church can mess this up? 

Is the reality that we now care more for our preferences in worship style than we do for what is pleasing to God? And what is pleasing to God? Lifting Him up in worship, honest and humble prayers of repentance, changed lives as He draws people to a saving relationship to Himself, this is pleasing to God.  In Revelation 3:20 John records Jesus as saying “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Maybe you have kicked Jesus out in order to keep your church the way it always has been. But Jesus wants back in and He doesn’t want to be out to sleep!

So why is your church boring? Maybe your church is not boring then good for you! But many churches are and it should not be this way! If we are going to preach Jesus has risen, then we need to church like it! 

Pastor Phillip






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