Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Compartmentalizing Christian

One night I was having a discussion with one of my friends and he was telling me about a conversation he had with a friend of his the night before, he said how they were talking about the Tropic of Cancer and seasons and so on, but the minute he started talking about God and the Bible his friend said, "Why are you talking about God?". I told him I guess she would have preferred it if you waited for Sunday, the usual time allotted for discussing God by faux Christians. This reminded me of a familiar situation that occurred between me and a friend who claims to be a Christian. He attends church on Sundays but throughout the week he doesn't show any interest in talking about God or anything biblical, in fact he has a complete disdain for it outside of church or church oriented events. I live in a country where the majority are self professed Christians yet live ungodly lives, they say we're a "Christian Nation" when in fact we’re very very far from it, more like Sunday morning Christians and weekday do-your-own-thing Christians.

People here go to church just about every Sunday and if you don't go you’re not a "good Christian" or even a Christian at all, because a prerequisite in order to be considered a true Christian is your ritual attendance every Sunday morning in a Church service, ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, this is not to be mistaken with anyone thinking I am against attending church, it's good to fellowship with a group of other (true) believers, whether it is in a congregation on Sunday or a small group, for where two or three are gathered in God's name He's in the midst, Matthew 18:20. These type of gatherings are not bad, however if your intentions are far from God, if the only reason you're there is because "that's what Christians do on Sunday” you missed the entire point.

Throughout the week you rather not be bothered with any talk of God, but on Sunday your weeping and falling on your knees, singing and dancing, singing glory to God, jumping around. Persons like this God speaks very clearly concerning there actions, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.  Away with the noise of your songs!  I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”  Amos 5:21-24

These persons think they can compartmentalize their praise and worship to God, separate into distinct parts, categories, or compartments, but God wants nothing to do with that type of attitude, He doesn't want you to be disingenuous but sincere and humble. You can keep your hypocritical praise, your empty songs, you can drop the pretense God isn't a fool. These are the persons who say that they're Christians, and zealously protest against poverty, racism, rape, homosexuality, sex trafficking, other sins and social injustices, but draw the line when it comes to fornication, adultery and the love of money. As long as you're not protesting against something their struggling against they're fine, a parameter is set when it comes to things they enjoy doing or don't see wrong based on their own understanding.

These are the ones who sit front row in the congregation yet lay beside other women husbands that very same night, knowing we are called to hate and reject and expose evilness. These are the ones that protest against murder, yet support pro-choice. These are the ones that will not entertain any talk of God throughout the week, yet they will be the first one in church Sunday morning tambourine in hand, they are fools thinking they will be blessed, thinking they are indeed secure to get into heaven because of their tithes and artificial praise, and disingenuous prayers. "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward." Matthew 6:5.

We know God is loving, but who said God is tolerant of foolery, sin, wickedness, iniquities? Is he not just? Will he not pay each person according to their works? Pursue Truth! Pursue righteousness! Pursue wisdom and understanding! Live Holy for He is Holy! A lot of persons say, "But we're not perfect", which is true, however, the aim is perfection. God will sanctify those He calls. Jesus was perfect and we're to be like Him, though their may be times where we may fall we have God's grace and mercy to catch us like a net. "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:" Romans 5:20. What a mighty loving God we serve.  Being a Christian is a way of life, it’s not words and works alone but a walk, praise and worship is not something you compartmentalize, you place aside for an hour or two at the start of the week, it’s to be woven into your daily life,  set in such a way that it becomes as natural as breathing.  I have my own struggles and know I need God’s help, grace and mercy  in order to walk circumspectly daily. Don’t be a fool or wise in your own eyes, thinking you don't need God. What can be done with a person who claims they already know God and has a relationship with him yet their actions contradict this?

"Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." Proverbs 26:12


momto8blog said...

it is definitely hard to live our faith. Hard but not impossible...Keep the faith!!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Your right it's not impossible because we got God on our side :-) and I'm following you now.

Brenda Rees said...

Hi Sateigdra
Yes,God wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. We may be able to fool people but we can never fool God. He, being omnipresent, sees all that we do. I think sometimes that people might go to church for various reasons without actually being christian, there is no commitment there. The Lord knows who are His.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Amen Brenda you hit the nail on the head. God knows everything we do every hidden thing he knows. People need to realize that there is truly only one real church that's what Jesus has gone to prepare a place for and when he returns he's coming for His Church (the Bride), the Church are those who walk with God (abide in Him) daily not once a week, the Church are the ones who embraces Gods Grace and mercy who believes in God and worships Him, having a full understanding of what worship is. Many, not all, but many who attend a certain worship place ritually on Sunday or whenever are not apart of the one true Church, because their not there for the Lord, but under a pretense. The Lord said not all who say Lord Lord will end up in heaven.

T-Childs said...

An absolutely refreshing and absolutely honest post! What you said about your country (is it the Bahamas?) could be exactly what England could be accused of. Lots of people going to church because it's expected of them or because it's a social thing, and very little to do with Christianity or being a Christian!

I think that if we stop loving other people, even if we know the Bible backwards and attend church every day and do all kinds of 'religious' things, our professed faith will amount to very little; if we forget to love, what is the use of religion and ritual and hymn singing after all? Great post and look forward to the next!

Kelline said...

Hi Sateigdra,

I'm so proud of you for writing this!! This is a subject that I have been seeking truth about for almost a year. I have searched the word, prayed, researched, and waited for God to answer every question. I was faithful in attending 3x a week but hated it so much that I knew something wasn't right. I decided to seek the Lord for the truth instead of listening to some man (who is asking for money every Sunday)tell me that I'm commanded somehow to be there. In the end, He told me that it's not about attending church, and if it was, then what about those who can't go? If it was about church attendance then that would cancel out God's own words, "Not by might nor by power but by my spirit, thus saith the Lord." So, once He gave me that scripture and it got down into my Spirit, He then led me to the truth of Christ which was the words that Christ Himself told almost every sinner He saved or healed, "GO THY WAY, thy faith hath made thee whole." He said, "go thy way" almost every time. What does that mean? It means what it says, "go about your business; go your way; continue down your path; etc." None of which imply "now get into a good Bible believing church" as I've heard a million times. The first morning I didn't go to church, I waited for the proverbial bolt of lightening to strike me dead, or at the very least, a strong conviction that told me I had fallen out of God's grace. None of which happened. Guess what else didn't happen? I didn't leave the Lord or my faith. I didn't go back out into the world and become a lost person living in sin again. I remained the same as before except that my Sundays aren't spent sitting in a pew anymore. I wouldn't tell anyone else not to go. Absolutely not! But I would tell them the Bible says "forsake not the assembling.." which isn't to be confused with "go to church." It means don't forsake the idea and swear to yourself that you'll never set a foot in another church. Keep the heart and mind open so God can continually lead. Also, any two or three people can be gathered together in His name on the porch with a glass of sweet tea, or over dinner at a restaurant. "Where two or three are gathered together in His name, Christ is among them," [paraphrased] doesn't imply that only a church setting can make that happen. Therefore, my prayerful searching and seeking of God's will has led me to understand that church is good but it's not mandatory and you won't burn in hell for not attending as long as your heart is right with God and you continue down a Godly path. Amen.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

I wanna thank all of you for reading. Only by the grace of God and by His Holy Spirit I know anything at all. T-Child yes I'm from the Bahamas. I'm glad for your reply because I had no idea other countries had the same issue I thought it was just the people here. More and more we begin to see why the path to life is so narrow, and the path to destruction is so broad, there are so many pretenders out there. This is why we need to pray for our loved ones and neighbors and friends who we see participating in putting on this weekly pretense, pray that they come to the knowledge of the Truth, hear with their ears, see with there eyes, turn and be healed.

I try to tell my grandmother that attending church doesn't save her soul, doesn't determine whether you'll go to heaven or not. That was a wonderful thing you pointed out Kelline because, although this may sound strange it didn't even cross my mind about the persons who aren't able to attend church, I guess their hellbound since they can't meet the weekly church attendance quota.

I love gathering with other people who seem to be true believers, but I am not caught up with becoming like the persons who turn their pastors into their God. I have heard persons quoting their pastors more than they quote scripture and that's sad. We are to put our trust in God and not in man, as it is written. I agree with everything you said Kelline, I'm not a member of any church and I don't lose sleep at night because of it, I am apart of a small bible study group and also a young adult group, both groups contain members from the same church that continuously tell me I should join their church. I have visited churches on various occasions but I don't feel anything in my spirit which say's I have to become a member of a church, or like yous said, a strong conviction telling me I have fallen out of God's grace because I missed several Sunday's.

In a nutshell, the Word stands above all things. There is only one way to Life and that is through Jesus Christ our Lord, the heavenly father can call out for us wherever we are, these foolish man made rules pretty much try to throw the purpose of Jesus being crucified straight out the window. I guess they missed the meaning behind the veil being ripped. The sooner persons realize and fully comprehend this truth, the better.

T-Childs said...

You've opened up a really good and contentious topic here Sateigdra; how I wish Christians could be this open all the time! Heaven knows we need a little honesty! A number of comments you received were also excellent too; all of them in fact.

I've never been to a church as a Christian and yet I feel as close to God as any church-going Christian might. I don't come from a Christian background of any kind and do not come from a Christian family either. God's call on my life has seen me go down a different path to my family and friends.

In England, as I said, Christianity can be a social thing, something you do because it's expected of you or because you live in a rather nice area, you know the suburbs where most people have jobs, money, cars and the like. Often, people outside of these areas who just happen to be Christians can feel left out, like because we come from poor backgrounds we just can't be 'proper' Christians! At worst this kind of thinking can be hypocritical. I think God wants us to be concerned with every human we meet, not just the well-to-do and the socially acceptable.

Anyway, I will finally add that if a person is happy at church and feels that they are serving God, then fine. For us non-church going Christians it's the same really; if God wants us in a particular place He will let us know, it is merely our place to live out our calling as best we can wherever we find ourselves and whatever circumstances God has placed us in.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

I agree. I hope the true Christians would talk more about things a lot of Pastors don't talk about and that most persons who call themselves Christians dance around. There shouldn't be any gray areas , God says how people perish because of the lack of knowledge, they don't lack knowledge because they don't have access to it, or because they haven't heard it, they suppress it, to their own destruction. Honesty is good, God knows everything anyway, we might as well bring it in the open and address it with Godly love. We are called to expose evil.

I like my country, but I have no allegiance to any country my allegiance is to God, especially when I see where my country is headed. Most would say I'm not patriotic, but it's not a matter of that, it's a matter of right and wrong, life and death.

I like how you said if a person is happy at church and feels they are serving God fine, but for those Christians who aren't church going it's the same. Your right it is merely our place to live out our calling as best we can wherever we are. And most Importantly remember to Love.

Kelline said...

Oh nothing...just came by to feed the fish after feeding mine. Why is it so hard to believe they aren't real? hahahaha

Brenda said...

I have been to many churches, and attend one now. I feel I go wherever God sends me. I experience much tradition and mans' doctrine, much watering down of the scriptures, I also meet some nice people. I have seen a real danger in people making their 'pastor' their god, or their church building the 'house of God'. What I would point out is - Paul was an apostle yet never signed any of his letters 'apostle Paul', always 'Paul',yet many people in churches like to have a title before their name . I have suffered much 'stick', sometimes from doing or saying what I believe the Lord is telling me to do or say in various churches, but my fear of God is greater than my fear of man. Wherever I feel He sends me or whatever I feel He is telling me to do, whether it be inside a 'church' building or wherever, I will endeavour to do because I believe it is essential that we all act on what He says, even when He has told me 'shake the dust off your feet', in order to have me leave a place. That is why I believe absolutely we have to listen to what He says to us as individuals, seeking Him through His word. God's church is not an 'organization' run by man with man's rules. It is a congregation of believers in Christ Jesus who can share scripture, testimonies and experiences with one another,anywhere, all being equal and learning from God and loving one another. I have found that the on line blogs are actually functioning more as the 'church' is meant to function than many 'denominational' churches are.

Just Be Real said...

Delightful post! I love the last picture especially. I am at a place now, and have the time, where God is implanted in my mind 24/7. Stepping from the natural to the supernatural in believing His Word is truth. Nothing more nothing less! The Promises of God in the Bible are for us. Many people do not accept the benefits. Especially from Psalms 103: 1-5. Thank you for sharing.Amen!

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Amen Brenda. I love how you pointed out how Paul wasn't caught up with titles like today's church going folks. Most want to have, Apostle, Reverend, Minister, Bishop, Prophet and other titles in front of their names, I hope they realize the words say's that those who long to be teachers are held more accountable. They do that because they lack the humility that Paul possessed. Humility is a very important attribute when it comes to spreading the word. I really like Paul, he pulls no punches, say's it like it is, and he was obedient, because like you, he feared God not man.

"God's church is not an 'organization' run by man with man's rules. It is a congregation of believers in Christ Jesus who can share scripture, testimonies and experiences with one another,anywhere, all being equal and learning from God and loving one another." That perfectly sums up the church. It indeed can be anywhere, as long as we do those things with believers, we're functioning as the church should. The church indeed is the "a congregation of believers" operative word there is believers, many that attend church on sunday are not believers and are not apart of the True Church. Thank so much for your feedback Brenda I really appreciate it. Continue to follow along with whatever God tells you to do, and continue to go the places where God tells you to go. Being obedient pleases Him. I pray He continues to bless you.

P.S Your right, online blogs and even a few other sites are actually functioning more as the 'church' is meant to function.

Richard Hobart said...

Perhaps there are those who "know of Him but don't really know Him" personally