Posted December 6th, 2011 at 10:13 AM by Lois
Have you substituted church for Jesus? Are you so caught up in church activities that you have forgotten what being a Christian is about?
Many times these things happen to those who have become involved in unhealthy churches. They may start off well, but slowly lose their focus. Where are you today? Has your life become all about church and programs and pleasing the pastor/leadership?
I remember how it was different for me in the beginning of my time in the UPC. I remember feeling good and soaking things in and having a joy. I had started my walk with God before I ever set foot in their church. I had started to read the Bible at home and repented....saw my need to be water baptized, and that is how I started my time in that organization.
But after awhile things changed. My main focus, which should have been on Jesus, changed. It became about church, the multiple activities there, the fellowship there, in doing things and being involved in the church and so forth. It didn't happen overnight and I wasn't catching that a shift was taking place. There were all the regular services (3 a week), prayer meetings, the Ladies Auxiliary meetings, other committee meetings, making crafts or baking goods to sell for fund raisers, time spent on other fund raisers, door knocking, eating out after services, cleaning the church, doing things to help the pastor....the list is long.
I don't believe there are too many who go this route knowing what is happening and charge ahead anyway. It is a slow process and often while we are yet involved, we don't realize what happened to our focus.
I know I came to see doing things for the church as doing things for the Lord. But that wasn't always how it actually was. Life now revolved around church, not Church (note the capital c- there is a difference). Not necessarily God, but the building and all that went on inside and with special services elsewhere. You get so busy doing and going, that it is what your life revolved around.
This thought made me think about all the writings (as well as sermons) I have seen and heard through the years, where people speak of Pentecost. It is Pentecost this and Pentecost that. Pentecost birthed them. And I know this happens in other denominations. It becomes about the group one is joined to. Jesus is still mentioned, but the focus turns to other things, like your Apostolic Identity, for instance. Our identity is to lie in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone- not in Pentecostalism, Methodism, Lutheranism or anything else.