|Connecting With Spirit
by Ron Murdock Posted: 13:00 April 21, 2009
The church seems to think their main function of society is to resist the rising tide of materialism and humanism. I've gotten the feeling that some Christians - not all of them - think they can decide what is good for everyone else. This sets up a confrontational mentality that gets other people riled up and creates more barriers.
I can never see how arguing or browbeating people into your viewpoint help matters. Same goes in my mind for legislating behavior. Churches seem to have gotten hung up or addicted into old behavior patterns. But a growing number of churches are getting away from old ways of doing things to find a whole new way of being transformed.
Churches wanting to break away from self destructive patterns yet return to the same old same old must realize that renewal isn't enough. Like individuals, churches must be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Examples are Matthew 12: 43 to 45 and Matthew 13:7. The first scripture could be looked at metaphorically. If old habits aren't replaced immediately by good ones, the old ones could come back seven times worse than what they originally were. Matthew 13:7 talks about seeds sown among thorns. Thorns acting as old useless patterns will choke out any new life about to start.
Congregations must use wisdom and discernment to find what is a calling of Jesus Christ and the sacred cows of old ideals and procedures. What happened back when may not work these days. Anyone who walks into a church for the first time only to see stifling formality will probably go to another church. But a church that is transforming will be more motivated to live their spirituality the other six days a week. Plus they will be motivated to use their gifts as they are stated in 1st Corinthians Chapter 12. I believe this goes beyond church life and goes to where the Holy Spirit is, so the Holy Spirit can lead a person to use their gifts.
Consciously or not, people may be going to church, not so much to belong but to change or transform into a higher spiritual awareness. But this doesn't mean it happens in a church setting as God is everywhere no matter one goes. Connecting with the Holy Spirit will change a dull, compromised routine into a vibrant, healthy and purposeful life. No longer motivated by a sense of obligation, people will be inspired to fulfill their destiny. Or instead of being told to do this or that, churches will help people who know what God's calling for them is. Pastors will be helping those who are training to do their gifts with integrity and quality.
I would like to see the day come when people leave church services intending on sharing their faith with the public and how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Since self denial is a restrictive way of doing things, walking in Spirit and a risen Lord is joyous self affirmation. People need hope more than anything else in life.
Churches are getting too institutionalized in their method of doing things. Members are recruited out of a sense of duty and obligation to attend endless meetings and serve on committees. Enthusiasm and enjoyment are set aside to serve the agenda. Yet if the only virtue is excellence, where would we go as a result?
Churches would become non-existent if its members don't share God's transforming power. Yet what works today may not work in the near future. So we need to take each day one at a time. The gospel is not Good News but Welcome Relief. Salvation is not dependent on dogmas, creeds and tenets but on the daily experience of a daily walk with God.
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