“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the State, but rather the conscience of the State. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” Martin Luther King Jr.
This prophetic statement by MLK has come true. And, not only so for the loss of the Church’s moral obligation to State, but more so, for the Church’s spiritual obligation to God and his Kingdom.
Every Church must become self-critical of it’s unique mission and calling to it’s own secular communities. The reason why so many Churches have become Country Clubs, is because of self-focus.
Focused on its income, or lack thereof, rather than its outcome.
Focused on its memberships rather than discipleship.
Focused on career clergy and limited to a “do it all staff,” rather delegating ministry to the congregants who can create an exponential impact.
Focused on electrified, charismatic and dynamic leaders to attract people to create spectators and those who value entertainment more than engagement.
So people flock to County Club Churches to appease their conscience and sense of obligation of assembling together — a sort of paying respects to God with a few worship songs, a monetary tip or token, a short, but inspirational message, all wrapped up with a few handshakes and hugs, and “Ill see you next week, bring-your-friends-and-family plan” benediction.
Meanwhile, the cities and communities remain in spiritual shambles, because the Church has abdicated its mission and calling to the State and to State programs, rather than Her calling to occupy until Jesus’ return and expand his Kingdom beyond the walls of sanctuaries and stained glass windows.
People of God, recapture your “prophetic zeal!” God wants a Church without walls and a gospel message proclaimed loudly in the streets and marketplaces, rather than whispered from pulpits to the faithful few.
Most Churches have a faithful minority of approximately 10% to 20% of their congregations, which also includes the clergy. These 20% percenters pay 80% to 90% of the ministy’s budget in order to support and minister to the majority, who have no heart to obey; even worse, most preaching is to placate the majority and to foster and encourage their passivity. Because of this model, many churches have “become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”
Dr. King’s assessment and warning of 1967 remains true to this day. And sadly, the transforming and redeeming power of the Gospel message has been muted by the traditions of men and the promotion of passivity. If you watch the news, you’ll realize that the church is progressively, and forcibly being silenced and threatened by a new minority of secularism and godlessness.
1 Samuel 15:22 (CEV)
22 “Tell me,” Samuel said. “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him.
James 1:22-24 (MSG)
22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
A convention on spiritual gifts is useless without an outlet to exercise them. Even in the failure and mistakes of exercising spiritual gifts comes growth, as it will ultimately edify and build up the whole church. But to ignore spiritual gifts, and worse, create ministries which do not need them is treason against the Kingdom of God; rejection of the Holy Spirit and it turns The Great Commission into The Great Compromise!
Furthermore, a people with a lack of vision will eventually perish, and a people uninvited and unequipped in ministry will become bored and will struggle with personal sin and defeatism. They will become slaves to their old ways for lack of invitation and engagement to the ways of God.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (ERV)
11 And that same Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people.12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.
Let’s all encourage one another with the purpose of our calling to greater faith in God, so that we together may reach maturity in Christ, and so present the world with the passion of Christ in us.
Then the whole earth will know of God’s amazing love through his Holy People.