Friday, September 5, 2008

Fishers of Men or Fishers of Blessing

In the past few years at my former church a very disturbing question loomed constantly in my mind. Why was the church pastor never preaching or teaching about reaching the lost? Why were there no discipleship programs? Why was everyone who did not have the evidence of God's "blessing" in their lives looked upon as having no faith, or not doing the Word? Why was it the wealthy and prominent that were the focus?

One day during church we were singing some old songs about what Jesus had done for us and what victory we had. The pastor had made it common knowledge that he never liked the new worship songs such as Hillsongs and others like that. Suddenly I realized something. He only liked songs that talked about what he had, what his inheritance was and what he could have because of the cross. That was it! He wasn't interested in songs of adoration to the Father, adoration of Jesus, songs of surrender, or songs about crucifying the flesh. He wanted to sing about what he could have and what he could get and what he could do because of his authority.

I began to realize that all our teaching was about what we could get or have. Never about the majority of things that Jesus actually taught during his ministry. Nor about the majority of things Paul wrote to the church about. Any teaching was turned to warn ME and what I could attain or overcome. Never was it about others. Don't get me wrong, others were mentioned, but the teaching basically centered around "me".

I remember that Jesus said that He would make us "fishers of men". I realized that it had been over a decade since there was anything taught regularly in the church that could qualify as being a teaching on how to be fishers of men. It was taught that when we have money and nice things then it would draw others to Jesus. The Bible does NOT teach that. It is the way we treat others and the love we show that draws people to Jesus. It is how we act when we have been treated wrongly by others that draws people to Jesus. It is the things we do for others with the love of God evident in it that draws people to Jesus. Not our money or what we have.

It became evident to me that the church was totally focused on fishing for blessings and not men.
I believe that the deceitfulness of riches has replaced the burden for the lost in many of our churches. I have decided to be a part of a church that is full of fishers of men and not fishers of blessings. I know that as I seek first the kingdom of that God will bless me without me spending my time and effort seeking those blessings.


Anonymous said...

It was always all about "me" at my former church too. What about when Jesus said to be the greatest, you must be the servant of all? When people are always thinking about themselves they become selfish.

Anonymous said...

I really had wondered why the former pastor didn't like Hillsongs. The conclusion you drew is very interesting and insightful.

Anonymous said...

I think you hit it right on about the songs. These churches steal your relationship with God. I think the pastor stategically picks out songs that keeps you where he wants you. If the pastor allows people to sing songs that make them fall in love with God, it will take the attention off of him. I know that sounds so sad, but think about it -he wants to be the center of attention and He wants the adoration. Sad, sad, sad!

Anonymous said...

I always thought the reason the former pastor didn't like Hillsongs was because he was jealous of them. He often criticized anything that was bigger and better than him. Insecure people put down others to make themselves look better.

I'd say, judge the fruit of the two ministries and see who is making the bigger impact in the world today....hmmmm... That didn't take long did it?