AWRIGHT DEN: Unpleasant truths
TODAY I write to those who profess to be followers of the way, disciples of Christ, ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, temples of the Holy Spirit and people of light.
I look at the body of Christ, the church, and sadly, it is very difficult to distinguish who represents the Kingdom and who represents the world. The truth is, we are not offering our bodies as living sacrifices and we have not only conformed to, but in many cases, become the world (see Romans 12:1-2). Before Jesus Christ left the earth He gave us one simple task, which is to be our primary focus – we call it the Great Commission – “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Here are the facts:
1. Neither missions, evangelism nor discipleship is the primary focus of the general church in Barbados.
2. Our fear of man is greater than our fear of God, so we do not speak the truth or promote the righteousness of Christ because we don’t want to offend.
3. We focus on impressing those in the world in order to feel appreciated and accepted by them. So we grade the success of our achievements on the size house we have, the number of properties and businesses we own, the communities we live in, the size of our bank accounts, our qualifications and positions, owning a luxury vehicle, etc.
4. We spend more time asking God for things to satisfy our carnal needs in a pretence that we need them to do His work. Why is it always, “God I want” rather than “God, what is your will?”
5. We justify our carnal and selfish mentality by saying, “We deserve God’s best”. It is so amazing that God’s best is always defined by our materialistic wants.
6. The scripture is the living Word of God, which is our connection to God and a manual for daily living, but we seldom read and study it.
7. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been replaced by an incomplete and distorted gospel of prosperity.
8. Miracles, signs and wonders are absent from our churches and lives.
9. We have divorced what we do from who we profess to be and represent.
10. Long-suffering, a fruit of the Spirit, seems not to be worthy of teaching or practising.
11. We never seem to be contented or at peace with what we have. There is always a need for more and more and more – and for what?
K.P. Yohannan, in his book The Road To Reality, said it well: “How can a Christian culture that knows so much truth fail to perform? Why do we have all this Bible study? Our Sunday school and Christian education programmes? Our camps, retreats, seminars, conferences, books, magazines, newspapers and broadcasting? Why is there so little power and holiness in our lives? Why aren’t we manifesting Christ to our friends, neighbours, classmates and peers?”
To stand up for purity, honesty and holiness will come at a cost. How many are willing to bear the cost and be like Moses and stand before the pharaohs of today, like Daniel and not compromise, Joseph and tell Potiphar’s wife no, and David and stand up to the goliaths of the day?
If you are in a church that does not teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ or reflect the scriptures, and you are not growing in your walk with the Lord, you need to leave. If you are in a relationship that isn’t leading to marriage and does not support spiritual growth or promote purity, you need to leave. If you are in a job that causes you to compromise your faith, you have to leave. If you are in friendships that cause you to live in sin and disobey the commands of Christ, you need to leave. If where you are is outside the will of God, you need to leave.
There is nothing more important to a Christian’s life than their salvation and devotion to Christ; nothing.
I too am guilty as I speak from experience, but the truth is setting me free. I am still a work in progress but brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize. I invite you to press on with me.
Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth youth ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email firstname.lastname@example.org