Thursday, October 21, 2010

Church and membership...

Here is a GREAT POST from Pastor Eric Brown at Confessional Gadfly.

I haven't been in Lutheran circles very long, but I personally haven't heard much rhetoric from the pastor or from other members of the congregation about how we need be more active.

This may be one of the biggest reasons why I left the evangelical church.  I heard this type of rhetoric, especially from the pastors, in a church I attended for a couple of years in the Raleigh area.  It was this guilt-laden talk that pushed me and my family out of the church for a couple of years altogether.  A person apparently couldn't do enough to please the 'machine,' so to speak.

What believers need to be reminded of and need to hear over and over is this:  Jesus didn't die on the cross for us to get crackin' and be active members!  He died for our sins.  He knew we were/ are sinful, and He came to serve us!

26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,  28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”   Matthew 20:26-28  (italics mine)

This is not say we aren't to do good works or not to serve those around us. Good works will certainly be fruit of His love and grace given to us!  Christ in us moves us to love others, show compassion, and engage in others' lives.  But many churches teach that good works are essential and necessary to maintain a relationship with God.  Many teach that we need active members if the church and the kingdom is to grow.  God ultimately is the builder of the kingdom, not us.  We are completely dependent on God.  Trust Jesus and His work on the cross!  You have been forgiven of your sin!  Believe!

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