Several years ago, I was teaching a four-week new members class. After the introductory session, a man told me that he was not coming back because our church had a constitution and bylaws, a statement of faith, four core doctrines, and sixteen fundamental truths. He said that he was too busy for a complex religion.
Truthfully, living for Christ is fundamentally straightforward, but righteously complicated. The authentic Christian should at least attempt to understand doctrine and theology. As it says in 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman (field-laborer, toiler) that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Helpful hint: It is hard work comprehending the whole of Scripture to better understand the small parts.
Americans are curious folks. We buy sophisticated computers but have no interest in learning how they work, so the Geek Squad prospers. We hire other people to cook our food (restaurants), clean our house (maid), teach our children (schools), prepare our taxes (CPA), and mow our lawns (landscapers). We pay a fee, and things better get done.
With the same mind-set, many people employ a religion that requires few “hands-on” obligations. They give their offerings, and the hired staff takes care of the rest. Just tell the attendees when to stand or sit or kneel. Even better, write out the prayers so they don’t have to think too deeply. Kickoff is at noon.
There are those that figure if they attend the church meetings, pay the fees, and comply with the outward formalities, everything will be fine. What could possibly go wrong?
The enemy of the Christian church wants attendees to be bored with doctrine and theology, uninterested in statements of faith, and fed up with personal responsibilities that have any form of accountability. Just provide lighted parking, acceptable music, minimal announcements, and the “faithful” may come, if it doesn’t rain.
Even worse, many people want “sound-byte” preaching that is peppered with pithy statements that assures them that they are winners, and God is too good to judge them harshly even if they are living in open sin. Enterprising merchants of modern religion have created a feels-good belief experience that encourages Biblical ignorance, eliminates personal culpability, and gets you out in time for the game.
The Apostle Paul saw this kind of religious pretense was coming in the Last Days, and exposed it in 2 Timothy 3:4-5, “Having a form of Godliness but denying the power. Have nothing to do with them.”
Attending church, tithing, and being a deacon will not assure you a place in Heaven. You can only receive Eternal life by bowing before Jesus and asking forgiveness, confessing and repenting of all known sin, turning away from the old life, and accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior (1 John 1:9). This is not too complicated, do it today!
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