Pastor's Column: Christian community shouldn't be a competing community
July 09. 2013 11:16AM
If you take a look back through the scriptures, you’ll see that Jesus did some things that were, back, then considered, ‘out there.’ You just don’t do things like that! But Jesus did.
He marched through many uncharted territories, so to speak. His way of ministering was a bit — oh, let’s call it what they called it – preposterous! The leading priests sought to kill Jesus for his fanatical ways. Indeed they did kill the Son of God because He didn’t fit into their mold of what a religious teacher should look like or how one should teach. Remember, it was the religious people who did this to Jesus, not the ungodly who never claimed to have it all figured out.
Acts 4:8-10: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.”
Not much has changed in the past 2,000 years, has it? It seems we’re still our own worst enemy. Let me just put it out there for you: As for me, I pray that God blesses and prospers all of the churches in our communities that preach and teach the TRUTH about Jesus and those that really live for Him all week long, not just on Sundays. I really do pray for God’s favor and blessing on all of our churches that stand for truth!
I think it’s very sad when a church or members of a church will speak negatively about another church or people of another church. Are we collectively the body of Christ or no? The Bible says we are and we are to not simply tolerate each other, we are to love each other and cheer each other on as we live for Christ and become more and more like Him through the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, as we call ourselves Christians, let us reflect on this thought: to be a Christian means to be a Christ follower, to do what Jesus did and to love the way He did it. Are you really imitating Christ? Because if we call ourselves Christians and then talk negatively about someone else behind their back or talk rudely about another church in town, well, to be honest, that’s not really acting like Jesus.
By the way, there are over 3,000 people in Dell Rapids and well over one-half of them don’t belong to any church. Growing God’s Kingdom shouldn’t be viewed as competition! There are plenty of people that need Jesus and need to be loved like Jesus loved. Just think, if every person in our community went to one of the seven churches in Dell Rapids, our buildings would be overflowing. I heard a good friend and fellow pastor say one time, “It’s not growing the Kingdom when sheep simply move from one pasture to another.” I totally agree! I have never and will never try to persuade someone to leave a church to come to Quarry Rock! That would be awful! Let’s face it, people are funny creatures and it takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people. I think liturgical worship services are beautiful! I think traditional music is beautiful! I think contemporary music is beautiful! I think topical sermons are great! I think series are great! Are you getting what I’m saying? Yet, what is of most importance is that the Holy Bible is our authority and Jesus Christ is our Master!
Let’s work together as a community and do what Jesus did and love like He loves! We’d be a much closer and prosperous community if we did.
Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”