Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Flesh Church

This week on a "live stream" service I heard a preacher constantly referring to "flesh churches"
I began to think about all the churches that I have been a part of in my life, all the ones that I have visited, and all the ones that friends and family have been a part of. I remember the things that I loved about being a christian and how I knew that God had called me and that I had a ministry. A ministry of love and reaching souls for Jesus. Helping the hurting and needy. Upon leaving my former church I remember realizing all the years that I had wasted serving a man who demanded it instead of serving Jesus.

When I came to my former church I remember how it bothered me that I saw few of these ministries. I convinced myself that it was alright and that they were just into the deeper things of God. As the years went by, the church became so centered around money and the pride of the leadership that it was hard to stomach. I saw how people were treated and humiliated.

All of this was to make the pastor feel better or let the congregation know how he was in the right and others were in the wrong...... flesh

There were parties and events to make the pastor feel loved and appreciated.....flesh

There was rampant sin in the leadership (but only some, not all).....flesh

Honor to the pastor was expected and required.....flesh

People were judged by how they looked.....flesh

The rich were praised.....flesh

Private not commercial flights.....flesh

Only the best clothes.....flesh

Shots and fad diets to get skinny.....flesh

When there were special meetings:

Feed all the ministers by special invitation...flesh

Buy big name ministers expensive gifts.....flesh

Decorate so everything would be pleasing to the eye.....flesh

Money, money, money come to us so we can have it all.....flesh

Give jewelry to adorn the flesh.....flesh

Talk about how faith is classy.....flesh

Ignore reprimanding sin and responsibility for one's actions.....flesh

Require forgiveness but slander those who have "done you wrong"...flesh

Ignore those you see who, have left and gone to another church, try to be pleasant to you.....flesh

Pray for bad to come to those who have wronged you.....flesh

The list could go on and on. This church is the complete example of the flesh church. I remember looking at the leader of this church and realizing that there is not one thing about him that reminds me of Jesus. I remember that there was not one area of his life that I wanted my life to resemble in any way. I remember that I realized that if his life and relationships were an example of the "blessing of the Lord" then I didn't want any part of that particular type of "blessing". I know people who don't even know God with more love and integrity in their little finger than I have seen displayed by the leadership of this church.

A Spirit church would have:

Members who were loved and appreciated regardless of their pocket book

People being saved during a week long, 12 service meeting

A pastor who is a shepherd not an elitist

Ministry to the poor

A pastor who showed up at funerals



Congregation members who feel loved

Giving to the poor and widows, not the well off already

Examples of the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of their leadership

1 Corinthians 13 in operation from the pulpit

A guest minister should know something about the churches he is talking about before he opens his mouth in judgement or support of those churches. For him to speak against other pastors and call their churches "flesh" when he doesn't know first hand what he is talking about is wrong. I thought that we were not supposed to "touch God's anointed" He needed to deal with all the flesh in the church that he was standing in before he began to attack others.

How pleasant it is now to sit in a service and not hear one church or denomination bashed from the pulpit. Not hear one community member slandered from the pulpit. Listen to someone preach who does not have to be constantly tooting his own horn and demanding glory for himself. Not to hear money and tithe rammed down my throat. Tithe is great, but I would like to see some mercy and justice.


Anonymous said...

Very well said!

Anonymous said...

SO TRUE!!! I wonder if they even gave an alter call for salvation? However, they would have had to preach Jesus at some point and I don't think that happened either. All I saw was tithe, tithe, honor your pastor, and money preached. IF, (and thats a big IF), there were any people there who were not saved, they still haven't heard aout Jesus or about the love and compassion of God. And they certainly didn't see any examples of these things. HOW SAD!!!!! HOW WRONG!!!

Anonymous said...

You are right. Everything that was deemed as so important was just flesh. Great post.