What do you suppose your pastor would say if, after the service, you said to him that you would like a receipt for the offering you put in the plate?
How does one respond to Matthew 6:4, “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” when they are preparing to write off that giving?
How many churches do you believe have gone down to the bank to ask for a loan for that addition to the church, while at the same time completely aware of Proverbs 22:7, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Or perhaps what is best described as a “floating loan,” continuous money from the bank with the building and property as collateral? Many more than you might think.
Churches, by their very nature, are a family, or at least they are supposed to be, a close-knit family in Christ where no secrets are held, where every trial and tribulation is shared, where burdens, no matter what nature or form they take are spoken of and shared openly, with all praying as one, all suffering or rejoicing as one. Sound like your place of worship?
No, I didn’t think so. But, perhaps.
These places do exist, but not in the way you may imagine, instead of a few dozen vehicles out in the parking lot, most if not all with a monthly payment on them that needs to be met, there are well-worn shoes at the doorstep. Instead of plates filled with much at the end of the last pew, mostly the leftovers of the week or at best that exact ten percent, there is a handful of rice, perhaps an egg or two, or on rare occasions a freshly baked loaf of bread, an offering for the one who risked his life to come and share the good news of the Savior with a hungry few souls whose only desire is to glorify God.
Many of God’s people meet in their own homes now, shunning the so-called churches in town, those once stately building s that held long ago true worshippers of the Most High God. Now though they are places where ears are tickled, where traditions are honored above the truths of the Scriptures, where known and blatant unrepentant sinners sit in the pews that once held the tears of those whose lives were devoted to Jesus Christ. There is little worship in many of those edifices anymore, there is the Sunday morning program, well-rehearsed, well-worn, and thought of as accepted and pleasing to the Lord.
They are community clubhouses, nothing more than a façade to please the deceived minds of those well-dressed individuals who cross the threshold each Sunday morning. But down the street in that house on the corner, on Tuesday night, there is a small group of people who start and end the evening on their knees, who seek earnestly through prayer the face of God, who open the Scriptures and search diligently for the truths within them, and then spend the rest of the week applying those truths not only in their hearts and lives, but with all that will listen.
They are few, but the power and strength of the Holy Spirit emboldens them to the work set before them, and they do not hesitate one moment to obey.
Many pastors frown bitterly on those small gatherings, they are not following the creeds set by the “organized” church, they have no traditions, no set of rules and regulations to follow, but those in the house in the middle of the block do not really care what they think, they tired a long time ago of “pretend” worshipping, of sitting in the pews with those who have no ears to hear, much less a desire to do so. Now, I will ask a question of you, are you one of those sitting in that pew week after week? And if so, why?