Matthew 15:7 You are hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he said about you: 8 'These people show honor to me with words, but their hearts are far from me.
One thing that was clear with Jesus during his earthly ministry, he didn’t have a problem challenging the religious people of his day. He saw through their traditions and empty words. In the same way, he sees through our words, hearts and traditions.
Going to the front of the pew at a church, revival meeting (or in the comfort of your own home while watching TV) and declaring that you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior doesn’t guarantee that you are saved any more than a person who claims that they are saved just because they are good and live life doing good deeds.
Many people head to church or watch TV on Sunday mornings looking for something they just can’t find.
More and more people are voicing dissatisfaction with “churchianity” as they struggle to find meaning in their lives. I know because I’ve lived on both sides of churchianity for many years until I came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Going through the motions What ends up happening is that people who are searching for truth get tired of the routine because not only do they have that God-spot that isn’t filled, but they also have to deal with religious politics.
· What’s worse is if they attend church without connecting. They leave each Sunday wondering if that’s all there is. Where are the people that are supposed to care for me and where are the people I should be caring for?
“Outsiders” never find those connections because the established church people are busy taking care of their own little circles, paying the building and operating fees, planning the next financial campaign and thinking of their agendas.
· The religious people may ignore the poor, the broken, those who challenge their beliefs – those who really need the love of Christ.
· Those looking for God have good intentions, but at some point they decide to put him on the backburner because it’s too hard to deal with established religious traditions and/or the expectations that go along with it.
Using your gifts to serve
On the other hand, some people do become connected when the church people jump on the volunteer recruiting bandwagon.
· You are asked to join classes, small groups, boards, help with events, which is also known as “using your gifts.”
· You participate in the next church campaign designed to get you to think about God (and don’t forget to invite your neighbors).
· You even get coaching on how to invite people to church.
· It all becomes a social outlet. You start hanging with “good people,” find the perfect Sunday school class - these are good Christian friends.
You work your heart out by serving, but at the end of the day all you do is please the church people and then you wonder if the Lord appreciates what you do. In some cases, you do not please the church people and they call this to your attention.
What happens next?
· You leave the church and look for the “perfect church” and perhaps stumble into alternative spiritual beliefs. (You won't find the perfect church)
· You may be obligated by your traditions, family, etc. to stay but that empty spot in your heart becomes bigger and bigger.
· It’s your religious job, your income, your ministry – you have to stay?
· You turn back to questionable ways of living because you don’t know the Living God.
· You become an atheist, spiritual guru or whatever because you need something more.
· You basically live in silent or “out loud” desperation and yet have the perfect outward appearance.
· You quit the church and stop looking for God, but every so often that tug in your heart pulls you to Him.
This topic has been burning in my heart because so many people in the right religious places are wondering if there’s anything more to God. There are also many people who are searching for God, but don’t want anything to do with “Christians” or Christianity or religious establishments because they consider us hypocrites yet they yearn to know how we can have that relationship with Jesus Christ.
I am here to tell you that Almighty God wants your heart – not your religious motions and behaviors! He is living, he is real and he wants to know you and not your religion!I’ll be writing more on this topic. Please share your opinions.