Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"Churchianity" Revealed

Below is a message from a well-loved (by this woman) Bible teacher which seems very relevant today.

To some church members, religion is a rite or a ritual or a legalistic and lifeless form, a liturgical system marked by meaningless and wearisome verbiage. There is a lot of religious garbage in our so-called conservative and evangelical churches also. There is a ceaseless quoting of tired adjectives and a jumble of pious platitudes. We so often hear people say, "We want to share our faith." My friend, most people don't have enough faith to share. It's not your faith when you share about how wonderful you are or what wonderful things God did for you. You are to witness to Jesus Christ, who He is and what He did for you.

In talking about salvation, people say, "Commit your life to Him." If you ask them what they mean, they say, "Yield your life to Him." Do you really think He wants your life? He says that our righteousness and even our so-called good deeds are filthy rags in His sight. God doesn't want your dirty laundry, my friend. I am afraid that we have gotten into the habit of using words that take away the real meaning of the gospel.

There is another word that is surely being worn out and whose tread is really becoming thin. Love is a high word of Scripture, but it has been worn out on the freeway of present-day usage. It has been emasculated of its rich, vital, virile, and vigorous Bible meaning. It's been degraded to the level of a bumper sticker which says, "Honk if you love Jesus!" If you love Jesus, you don't run around honking your horn. If you love Jesus you're going to live a life of obedience to Him.

My point is that today there is a great deal of "churchianity" that is bland and bloodless, tasteless and colorless. It is devoid of warmth and feeling. There is no personal relationship with Christ that is meaningful and productive. One liberal pastor wrote that it made him sick to hear people talk of a personal relationship with Christ. I would surely make him sick if he would listen to me, because the thing you have to have, my friend, is a personal relationship with Christ. Your ritual and your liturgy are not worth the snap of your fingers unless you have a life that is related to Jesus Christ.

If there is no deep yearning for a life that is well pleasing to Him, if there is no stimulating desire to know Him and His Word, church membership is just like a young man falling in love with a furnished apartment and marrying an electric stove, a refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner, a garbage disposal, and a wet mop! That is just about all it amounts to. Let's stop playing church today and start loving Christ and living for Him!

From Dr. J. Vernon McGee's Edited Messages on Zechariah ©1994

9 Comments:

  • Excellent article!

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/02/2005 10:03 AM  

  • Good thoughts.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/02/2005 11:56 AM  

  • Yield your life in obedience to Him...witness to what HE has done for you...Great stuff rose~!Thanks for sharring ( oops) Jay Vernon McGee -probably spelled that wrong but, hey, I'm bluecollar!

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 11/02/2005 12:11 PM  

  • Good stuff!

    I used to listen to Dr. J Vernon McGee regularly at 3:00 p.m. while operating a John Deere in the middle of Kansas.

    He was unique!

    Will use some of the thoughts from this post this week in my message.

    THanks!

    JRush

    By Blogger John Rush, at 11/02/2005 12:20 PM  

  • It is agreed Earl and Dyspraxic.

    Bluecollar, HE has done it all!

    JRush, He was on here at 3 pm for years, as well, and still is. This girl used to listen to the broadcast during the commute to school ... and read through all of his edited messages of the whole Bible - very helpful.

    "and may I say very kindly, friend...."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/02/2005 9:04 PM  

  • Good article, J. V. McGee is one of a kind! He's representative of the "old school" that sadly (for us) is passing away.

    Thanks for posting this, Rose!

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 11/03/2005 1:43 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Have you ever noticed that when some Christians quote a Scripture, they 'primp' it, like they're quoting poetry or something?

    I always thought this was a very 'churchy' thing to do. It seems to say, "Excuse me from our conversation for a moment while I quote something I don't understand, then I'll drift back to resume the real conversation."

    By Blogger loren, at 11/03/2005 2:39 PM  

  • Bobby,
    It is neat to know that others appreciate J. Vernon as well.

    Loren,
    When this gal was first saved, I felt very weird talking about Jesus and the Bible...it had to become a part of me before the comfort level was there. People that have grown up in Christian homes may not understand that. Cuss words were more comfortable to say than the name "Jesus".

    Know what you mean about primping. It just reveals a level of discomfort with the subject matter, maybe. The words of God should be intimate psrts of our conversation, not a foreign language or a poetic oddity.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/03/2005 9:23 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Know what you mean about cuss words being easier. Before I was a Chrsitian I was a sailor and I cussed like one. I used to make the other sailors blush. But when I became a Christian I had to learn a whole new list of adjectives and adverbs.

    Incidentally, after I got saved I started working on the assembly line at Texas Instruments. The ladies there cussed worse than I ever thought about cussing! One day I had to tell them, "Ladies, ladies! Watch your language! There's sailors present!"

    True!

    By Blogger loren, at 11/04/2005 8:58 PM  

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