What's Wrong With Coming to Church (revised)

Black Men in the Church

An Open Question


I ask this question in the hope that it will supply some answers concerning the current trend. I would also hope to generate some thinking in the minds of those who generally find excuses when it comes to regular worship.


A generation ago people in the Black Community went to Church and brought their families with them. During that time there was also found much more instances of the traditional family; mom, dad, and kids that belonged to both of them… married and under the same roof. People not only knew each other, but there was a real sense of community. We were concerned for each other and looked out for the well being of our neighbors. Today, it’s quite common to find broken and dysfunctional homes. There’s plenty of baby daddy and baby momma drama. Somehow, as a community, we have gotten away from following the way of our ancestors. My question for all of us is “WHY?”


What’s wrong with coming to Church?


Along with our loss of respect for God and Christ, our respect for each other has somehow disappeared as well. We have overlooked the Church and replaced what the Bible teaches about righteous living for every suggestion that the world around us has to offer. It seems that gangbanging, drug dealing, crime, and living a negative lifestyle are the choices we choose to make. Stop for a minute and ask yourself “WHAT”, if anything is so good about such behavior. Take a look around your neighborhood and tell me if it’s anybody other than the people living there that’s the main cause of the problem. Crime is way up and concern for our brothers and sisters is way down. People don’t speak to each other and most don’t know the names of their neighbors. For the most part, we have become a community of strangers… the sad part about it is in the fact that our kids are watching us and learning to act as we do. Have you ever thought or said to yourself that you don’t want your kids to have to go through the things that you did. In order for them to have a chance at something different… we have to be different. You might think of Michael Jordan or Lebron James as the role models, but who is it that’s right there in front of the kids, on a daily basis... who besides you. Our children see and learn more from watching us than from anybody else. We must do better… BUT FIRST we have to want to, and then we must be willing to learn what better really is. The first step is in learning all we can about the “Love of Christ” and then learning to share that love with each other.


What’s wrong with coming to Church?

If Jesus Can't Fix It

The Roots of the Church

I can remember a time when the Church was the place where you expected to learn right from wrong. It was a place where the people were not just different but where really trying to make a difference. You could find encouragement and get some help… real help with everyday problems. If nothing else, there were people there who you could respect, and you could learn to respect yourself. It was a time when there was no shame in bending your knees and praying to God.


We spend our time turning to politicians, case workers, government agencies, and social programs. It seems to me that these are the same advisors that promote more police, bigger jails, and tougher laws. In addition, they endorse things that clearly are not of God... same sex marriages, gay rights, and the end of prayer. Honestly, do you think a society where a police state and immorality are the norm is really the solution? Check the history book… isn’t that the back breaking straw that brought down the Roman Empire and a few others government systems as well? If there is nothing new under the sun, if there is nothing being done that hasn’t been done already; then why do we keep looking for new fixes from old remedies, riddled with problems? When you keep doing the things you’ve been doing… expect to keep getting what you’ve been getting. Business as usual !!!


Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.


What’s wrong with coming to Church?


Does it appear that the current watchmen (government and secular society) are aligned on the side of God; following in His righteousness? As we spend time turning everywhere else for help, why not turn to the one place where help is sure… why not turn to God? Blessing is His business. The Church is His house and all who are justified through Christ are the bricks He uses to build it. You can go about it on your own if you wish… but isn’t that what we’ve been doing? There are many who will say different, but everything I’ve ever read in scripture points to the fact that God loves us and wants us not to be lost. He gave His Son to ensure salvation for anyone that wants it. After all, the Church is for the building of the saints. It’s a question of which personality we choose… saint or sinner. If we really are honest with ourselves, the choice is simple. If Jesus can't fix it...

What chance at fixing it do we have?

Come back to Church before it’s too late.


Blessings,

Matt.

Comments 40 comments

liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

I hear ya! Might the church be trying to be too much like the world and failing? Got a number of hubs on your very good question. This one for instance. http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Love-the-L...


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I hear more and more people saying they don't feel the need to attend church. It is a way that Satan uses to disrupt the spiritual family and bring the secular life into the home. People must stop using the failings of human leaders as an excuse to remove themselves from church. There are plenty of Bible believing, integrity filled churches and pastors.

Thanks for the article, Hyphenbird.


genaea 4 years ago

I was raised right there on the front pew! My God has walked me through life with church as the main part til I was about 20. I have found the word to be more accurate. The church taught me quite a few adulterated truths. The bible says "come away from them". The truth is the church can be dangerous for most new babes. I have heard thousands of sermons. Visited many churches (the choir of our church was in "demand") I hear too much fundraising and worldly issue discussion. One pastor actually cursed on the alter telling his congregation that he didn't give a damn how they felt about (his leaving his wife of many years for his "beautiful" secretary). The bible says that we need to study the word. I believe that it is important to do this first so you know when God is in the sermon. So many sermons don't include God.


AlMonsees profile image

AlMonsees 4 years ago

I find it discouraging to sit in church on a Easter Sunday morning to listen to the sermon about how horrible certain celebrities are with drugs and money. If I want to listen to what is up with celebrities, then I watch the news... not go to church. When I go, I want to hear about Jesus, God, and something that actually is helpful. I find I learn more and closer to God with Sunday Bible Study then a sermon.


4seazons profile image

4seazons 4 years ago from Queens, New York

A totally truthful and also thought provoking Hub. The latest lie from Satan is that "churches" are too traditional, lack the true spirit of God and put people into bondage with suppers, plays and fundraising. When you pray and ask God to direct you, there is the place where He will send you so you can be planted, grow and contribute to the Body of Christ with your gifts and talents. The first thing backsliders and those who are in real trouble say is "I need to get back into church...I need to go to church". They know that is the foundation for life. As we minister the love of Jesus, let us minister as well the crucial necessity of belonging to a good, Bible-teaching, five-fold ministry church home. In these end times, it is the only way we will survive. Thank you for bringing this topic to the forefront Matt!


pmccray profile image

pmccray 4 years ago from Utah

A very enlightening hub. Main stream have succeeded in removing God from our courthouses, schools and most financial and government buildings.

Look at the mess all are in, children can't go in peace to school and learn without being bullied, beaten or killed. Abused by authority figures, lack of respect for the law of the land in our so called hallow halls of justice (the more money the better the defense). Our government and financial institutions are spiraling out of control due to abuse of power and greed.

There is nothing wrong with keeping church in your family and home. The best tool the enemy has against us is spreading the lie that evil doesn't exist. One only must open their eyes and look around.

Excellent hub, interesting subject matter. Voted up, marked useful and interesting.


floweringrod profile image

floweringrod 4 years ago from The western World

But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth. The Father looks for those who worship him this way.

The LORD says:

Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.

So where could you build a house for me,

and where could my resting place be?

Then Jesus went into the temple and threw out all those who were selling and buying there. He pushed over the tables used for currency exchange and the chairs of those who sold doves. 13 He said to them, “It’s written, My house will be called a house of prayer.. But you’ve made it a hideout for crooks.”

Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves?

(I tell you that you are Peter. And I’ll build my church on this rock.)

Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.”


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Brownsville, Texas

My brother, this is not just a Black community problem it is a Christian community SERIOUS and URGENT problem. As a full time pastor for over 30 years, I have seen things steadily moving downward instead of upward and people have simply ceased to come to church. It used to be the smaller to moderate size Church congregations were a haven of learning, family, help and love but now the church is dying. According to Barna Church Research over 387 churches per month in our country are dying and closing their doors and permanently only to be converted into flea markets and ball rooms and the occasional antique furniture store. I don't know what the answer is but I do know who holds the answer and we must look to Him and pray that God will guide us all in the direction we need to go to bring people back into our churches. Thank you for this well stated commentary on the state of the church in America today. I felt your pain in every word you wrote and appreciate your courage in writing this article.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear liftandsoar,

As I’m sure you’re well aware, this is a complex question with as many layers, sections, and side tracks as we could collective imagine. Answers won’t come easy but we must begin the dialogue. To begin, I believe we must first look seriously at what the Church is intended to be; its purpose for being and its relationship to Christ. Any congregational body that chooses to be like the world has to fail. It clearly stands outside of the great commission and is at risk of being at enmity with God.

James 4:4

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

I will be reading your articles with interest.

Dear Hyphenbird,

Our society has positioned us to look for short cuts; we exist in an instant world that wants instant results. All too often we find the masses attempting to find a leader (pastor) or attaching to a group (local congregation) in an attempt to gain validation for their own agendas (itchy ears). As Jesus said, “seek and ye shall find.” What is also found in the process is a place where Satan has an established foothold, and the power of the Holy Spirit long gone. Like you, I do believe there are both pastors and local bodies that are faithful. Many of us have a way to go when it comes to submitting to the authority of God’s plan and not our own. A good first step is to do the leg work, “study to show thyself approved.” Everyone needs to be familiar with what good teaching (Sound doctrine) is suppose to be, and that takes time as well as work. Don’t expect that because a person is a pastor, or the congregation is well established that that they’ve got it right.

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

As always, your insight is a good reminder for us all.

Dear genaea,

I’m glad to hear that you spent a good many years within the Church. First and foremost, it is not only the ideal place for families and children… its mandated.

Exodus 31:13

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

I do agree that for babes in Christ there is a danger. This is due in part, because of what many of today’s congregations have become and their deviation from the Church mandate. Preparing saints for the work of the ministry should be the primary focus. This assumes that there are saints ready to be prepared. That assumption turns our focus to the second, and probably the larger part of our downfall. Every believer is charged with the same commission, i.e. share the gospel and make disciples. A great many of us seem to forget that part of our calling. The general view is that it’s somebody else’s job. Part of the responsibility of all men, fathers in particular is to be the priest of their homes; teaching the righteousness of God to their families. If we were to get back to this Biblical model there would be less chance of danger from false teachers and their doctrine.

Deuteronomy 4:9

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

As for the pastor you mentioned, as well as any leader who puts his agenda forward before the plans of God, there are Biblical guidelines for dealing with their shortcoming. Clearly, this leader is not concerned with what those in his care thinks of his behavior, but what about his actions in the view of God. I’ll put aside what is written about marriage and divorce, things that usually come up with strong opinion, and ask instead for him to consider his role as a shepherd. What kind of example is being set? Might His unrepentant attitude do more damage as a stumbling block to those he is charged with caring for? And for that matter, where is his concern for God’s people? When leadership becomes “Puffed Up” they need to be called into account, and when they are unable or unwilling to realign themselves with the will and commandments of God, as found in “His Word”; then they need to step down. There are times when we as the people of God should assist them in stepping down; another good reason for being present as a Church body. Did not Paul confront Peter concerning his actions between Jews and Gentiles? Wasn’t King Saul rebuked by Samuel for not keeping the commandments of God; a shortcoming that cost him his anointing and leadership? Yes, we are called to separate from the heathen, but we are also called to correct, and build the character of those who would call themselves godly. All those who refuse to accept correction should be separated from the “Body”, as they are no longer fit to remain as part of it.

Malachi 2:1-2

And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

I thank you all for the observations you’ve brought to this article. I think your comments all point to the necessity of the Church, and in its having a great need for the godly to be in attendance.

“Blessings”


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear AlMonsees,

The Church is not the place and the pastor should not be the one to spread gossip news. Any reference to worldly behavior, when given, should serve as illustration or example to the sermon message. That message should be what “Thus saith the Lord” and it should expound the “Will of God” for His people. As it stands, Bible Study has emerged as one station that still holds to the Word of God… something more pastors should consider when preparing their sermons.

Thanks for weighing in…

“Blessings”


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear 4seazons,

Romans 1:20

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

As Jesus said, “…now they have no cloak for their sin” (John 15:22). Finding a real church home is all part of the “seeking” we are instructed to do; they are out there.

Thank You… for your encouragement and the visit.

“Blessings”


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear pmccray,

In a lot of ways what we see in society is a direct result of the things we have kept blinders on. We elect our so called leaders and allow them to run amok. Again, we have a tendency to expect someone else to do what we should do for ourselves. We have a voice, but when that voice becomes ungodly, the result is not surprising.

Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

If godly counsel is to be found, the Church is still the best place to look.

Thanks for the visit and the support.

“Blessings”


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear floweringrod,

The passages you use speak for themselves... and do so with the "Word of God."

Thanks for the visit.

"Blessings"


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear Drtruthman,

In no way did I mean to give the impression that this is exclusive to the “Black Community”… it is not. As I suggest from the beginning of the article, it is a growing trend and one that I strongly feel needs to be reversed. However, as a minister in the “Black Community it saddens me to reflect on what the Church once meant and what it has now become, as it relates to the mindset of this community. Since the time of slavery in this country, the one place of hope, for black people, was found in the Church. It served as family and friend; establishing and keeping community alive during a dark period of our history. Today, without the foundation of the Church our community is becoming more and more hopeless. People are looking for places to turn, but for some reason, the Church is not that place, and it is increasingly not the place for seeking God. As you remind us, the answer must come from the only one who can guide us through the mess of our neglect… God Himself.

Thank You, for your visit, your comment, and for the follow.

“Blessings”


SanXuary 4 years ago

I have studied this question in great detail and even began writing a book on this subject. The more I studied the Bible the less I desired churches and there is a litany of reasons why. Top and foremost is the inclusion of Earthly agendas and desires that fly in the face of Salvation and Heavenly purpose. The more I mature the less I see in claiming Earthly results in the pursuit of faith and reason. This knowledge convinces me how far off the mark most churches are in truly educating people in faith. I have asked many questions to simply receive an answer and find closed minds, selfishness and human agendas. Currently, I have no desire to visit any church and a greater desire to save my soul from them. King Henry the eighth embraced the Protestant Religion to divorce his wife. It only worked out as long as he allowed the Church to continue its traditions and rituals. In otherwards it was more important to have stain glass windows, crucifixes and popular rituals. That is today's church of go believe, feel good and return to being whatever you our after you leave. My belief is that you must build sanctuary in yourself, your home and everywhere you go. It is my belief that faith requires growth and maturity and free will. Recent statistics show that the majority of people attending church today are wealthy and educated. They are mostly concerned with Earthly status and the social group that they are a part of. They embrace faith and determine its success on Earthly results and miss the point of real spiritual growth.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear SanXuary,

Increasingly, I hear sentiments that express the individual distaste for what takes place in today’s church congregations. Although I can identify with concern for the many ills that are occurring, I must consider the real reason Jesus took on flesh in the first place. Was it not for the wrongs that were in need of correction? Before the coming of Christ, God sent the prophets to speak out against the corruption that tainted His people. Warnings and advice were offered in an effort to strengthen and restore the failings that overtook God’s people. Instead of removing Himself, Jesus spent His time in the temple teaching correct application of God’s righteousness. He went further in His effort by calling attention to the leadership of His day and holding them accountable for their distorted views and practices. As followers of Christ we do have a responsibility to build sanctuary in ourselves, our homes, and everywhere we go. However, that is not the extent of our responsibilities. Our biggest responsibility is in trusting the “Will of God” over and above the pursuits of individual desire. It matters not what we prefer to do or the reasons we use to justify doing it. Jesus died so that we could have right standing with God. Salvation is the threshold that allows sanctification, and the extent of that salvation must reach beyond us as individuals. If those with understanding and compassion don’t stick around and make a stand for God’s righteous cause, what will the Church become? We can expect more of what we're already seeing. In the end, it won’t be our desire that makes any difference; what will prevail is God’s desire for us.

Thank you for your comment and passion, I look forward to your next visit.

"Blessings"


SweetMocha-Monroe profile image

SweetMocha-Monroe 4 years ago

Thank you for such a wonderful and enlightening hub. I also hear many reasons people no longer feel the need to attend church. At one time in my life, I shared those beliefs. Now, there is no reason for me to turn my back on God. He never let me down even when I was letting him down. True enough there are many things that are left to be desired by many so called Preachers, Teachers and Leaders within the walls of the church. These are human beings, not GOD. The unrighteous will fall and all that will be left standing is the righteous. Our jobs as Christians is not to follow man; but to FOLLOW Jesus Christ. Man can tell you anything; but God left His Word to be your comforter. Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. God Bless


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois

I like the line "A community of strangers." There are probably also communities of strangers that live together in homes, go to school together, and attend church together! Community seems different than what I hear it used to be like. In terms of what's wrong with going to church--hard question to answer. The important thing is "The Church" which is the people--the "called out ones" and that they gather together regularly whether in a home or a church building and whether they do traditional hymns or use a guitar. It's not the way worship is done that matters so much, it's the heart of worship and those engaging in worship. There has been too much of a tendency for many to turn relationship with God and others into attending religious services and getting involved in programs. These things are not bad in of themselves, but can't ever take the place of first priorities which is loving God and loving others. Thanks for the points you bring up in this Hub--very good!


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear SweetMocha-Monroe,

There is a passage that says...

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For me it echos your reminder to follow Christ instead of man. It also places emphasis on just how important it is to "Take His Yoke" and "Learn From Him." Any burden we accept at God's bequest will never fail.

Thank's for stopping by.

"Blessings"


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear Seek-n-Find,

The Church must be identified by those who worship in spirit and in truth… it will always be a matter of the heart. Unfortunately, we often view the Church as the building or place where people come together. As such there is a tendency to collectively associate everyone who gathers in those buildings or places as being part of it. The place of meeting will not necessarily be filled with persons whose heart is in the right place. That creates an urgent need for the sincere believers to keep the faith in unity, to display that faith to the community around them, and to teach others to do the same. All of this requires meeting and fellowship; something that cannot be accomplished individually. I pray that our love of God will one day bring us to love each other as He has always loved us.

Thanks for your spirit and the input.

“Blessings”


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois

Beautiful! I agree completely. The "lost" are not just outside the church, but in our very spiritual communities, as well! I so much sense the wisdom of God in your words. Keep writing and I look forward to reading more of your work!


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear Seek-n-Find,

I think it safe to say that I'm not alone when it comes to wisdom, and I'm sure your writing will confirm it.

Thanks Again!


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Hi mattmilamil, you've started a very good conversation. Thanks for your insight and your heart. I believe one mark of the true people of God, ie the church is how it treats those who are outside the church. They fall into three categories: enemies, clueless and alienated. Enemies hate us and all that we stand for. Ours is to find ways to love boldly while bearing graciously their hostility. The clueless simply have no experience with the true people of God and carry about a caricature of us. Ours is to befriend them and be alert to opportuntiies to demostrate the gospel - demonstrate as opposed to preach. Then there are the alienated. Those who once were loyal members of the church. Their hearts still belong to the Savior but they've been deeply wounded by the church. They have been marginalized for not falling in with the latest fad or ostricized for struggling honestly with issues or ignored when in extreme need.

On final thought: any strategic plan that uses people instead of ministering to people is straight form hell. In my experience most are of the latter variety.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear liftandsoar,

1 Timothy 1:12

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

“Demonstrate as opposed to preach”; a mouthful even if only a few words! The Bible, on many occasions, has been used as a device against others by many who seem to think that they have arrived. At the very least, we sometimes act as though we are further along in our walk and send the message that those lacking need to catch up. In any case, how can we walk alongside our brothers and sisters if we insist on being separated and far apart? The simple truth that all should try to remember is that we are all sinners in need of a savior. Of the few that find the path, much assistance is required to remain on it. There is plenty of opportunity for service and the best service is in demonstrating the desire for service itself.

I thank God for your servants heart!


mdiggs1234 profile image

mdiggs1234 4 years ago

Hi Matt,

I liked this hub...the black community is full of some many spiritual problems...though we are not aware the source is spiritual..we need to pray for our "people" that the "blinders" are lifted from their eyes ..The problem is when some people turn to the church, they are sometimes not welcomed with love, people are in "cliches" and the preaching is not bible-based and is watered-down! this turns people off and they reject the "church"...we need to pray that god touches people's hearts and leads them to good holy role models who can help and keep them on the right path...


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear Mdiggs1234,

Many of the Apostles echoed the warnings of Jesus…

That the love of many will grow cold; that there shall be offence, betrayal, and hatred of one another; because false prophets will cause many to be deceived (Matt. 25). I think you and many others, myself included, are witnessing these very things taking place within the Church walls. This warning came with the instruction to prepare for these happenings, and to endure firmly to the end. As Jude gave advice to the brethren of his day; this is the very time that we should be contending for the faith. Yes, people are being put off by what they’re finding in the Church… but what they encounter are the ungodly and those being influenced by them. It seems that those who should know better have grown weary of well doing. Come judgment day, I’m pretty sure standing up to win souls will carry more weight than giving in to the personal feelings that made us feel good.

Jude 1:20-23

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Continue to fight the good fight,

“Blessings”


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear Saikat Lahiri,

You're right...

That is today's world. A world set up and influenced by the "evil one." The thing is, it will also be tomorrow's world if we don't change our response and way of dealing with it. You've hit the nail on the head... it all starts with relationship; something we could take a bit more seriously.

"Blessings"


adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 4 years ago from Atlanta

My brother as others have already stated it is not just one particular community of churches, it is worldwide. I do not understand why you have specifically pointed out the black church.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear adrienne2,

I apologize for any misunderstanding or confusion you may have experience.

As I mentioned in the response to drtruthman, in no way do I mean to suggest this problem as being exclusive to the “Black Community.” As a minister and member of this community, I simply draw from my observations and experience with this area that I’m most familiar with. Please don’t misunderstand or think for a minute that I’m in any way trying to turn this problem into a racial or cultural debate… that is far from the case. To be clear, I personally believe there is only “ONE CHURCH”, with Christ as the head. However, there does exist within this “ONE CHURCH”, many congregational communities. Communities which are unique in their own right, and at times comprised along cultural and racial lines. Each of these local church bodies, in spite of their unique situations and circumstances seem to share the problem of people turning away from the Church. This suggests to me that there is some common cause that transcends locations, economic positioning, cultural traditions, and racial makeup. It is my hope that this article, through discussion of the observations that occur in the midst of the local church bodies, might help to uncover common threads that address the broader trend. With a focus centered on our respective local issues we can easily lose sight of what takes place outside our individual circles; things that might lend to a better understanding of the root cause. If nothing else, this article should help us to see just how much we do have in common and possibly stimulate critical thing toward more effective solutions.

Ephesians 4:3

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

“Blessings”


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona

This is a very thought provoking hub Matt, I grew up in the church and I love the church. Unfortunately, I have found that sometimes those inside the church do a poor job of making visitors feel at home enough to keep coming back. I think this is particularly true in large churches and it is something our church is continually striving to overcome.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear April,

I hope that thoughts will be provoked and that our ways of dealing with the issue will be examined with a renewed vigor. Sadly, it seems the very people who should be of comfort are just as uninviting as the world outside. That has to change; and it should do so as much and as often as necessary. When people come from a hurting world the last thing they need is more pain. At the very least, the Church, can ill afford to present a face of indifference; allowing new comers to become lost within the walls. As you point out, this is a real danger with larger congregations. Many have become institutions of “Big Business”, losing the feel of family and community. I still hold faith we can find ways to do better. The fact that you and your church are trying helps to encourage that belief.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

“Blessings”


donnaisabella profile image

donnaisabella 4 years ago from Fort Myers

Thanks for this hub, it is so clear in what it suggests and teaches. That is my heart too, that we remember our good ways of old and not destroy the boundary that actually protects and makes us grow and prosper. Thanks for sharing.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear Donna,

It's simple really... Seek "His Kingdom" and "His Righteousness." To do anything other is to step outside of "His Will." Our difficulties arise when we presume our understanding and agenda to be enough.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Thanks for having a heart that is led by "His Divine Light."

"Blessings"


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Brownsville, Texas

Dear Brother Matt,

Thank you for your very kind response to my comment. For the record, I was not offended in anyway and understand entirely where you are coming from. I pointed some of the same things out this past week in my local newspaper column.

I am shocked at the way people are so mundane and indifferent to what is going on in our communities because the local churches are in need of finances and attendees. We hear people talking about world missions while forgetting about our mission right here at home. I believe in spreading the gospel to the world but we must get believers back to church so we can help our communities. It is just so sad. Your article is certainly a discussion piece I see. You seem to be getting it from all sides so you must be doing something right for the Lord. Praise God and "Preach on". Well, I say again, I stand with you in your desire to get people back to church. God's continued blessings on your ministry. Lee


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 4 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear Drtruthman,

As you speak of missions, let us not forget a great mission given us by God... one that for the most part seems to have been abandoned...

Deuteronomy 11:19

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

It's surprising how a return to the simple things can greatly affect the outcome of our spiritual direction. I pray that our eyes may be opened to understand this simple truth. Perhaps then the error of our ways in forsaking His direction will become clear.

"Blessings"


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Brownsville, Texas

So true my brother, so very, very true. Preach on!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Good Morning mattmilamii,

You've said so many true things. When it comes to excuses, a person once told me they couldn't come to church because they had to go to WalMart and buy a can of hair spray. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 2 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear lifegate,

Whether it be an excuse or a reason, they both amount to the same thing... an attempt at self justification. If mankind could succeed in that effort there would be no need for a savior. In any event, I wouldn't want to be making excuses or giving reasons for being outside the Will of God come judgment.

Thanks for the visit, the comment, and the follow...

Blessings


deorganicchurch profile image

deorganicchurch 2 years ago from Claymont, DE

I definitely agree that society is falling apart, and many people are no longer turning to the church as a resource to help solve the problem. Many of the churches are also decaying along with society as preaching becomes more world centered and less God centered as time progresses. Many godly people just went to develop a relationship with Christ and live godly lives, but they are increasingly being bombarded with program driven worship services that don't preach the true Christ anymore. It isn't that the truth isn't there anymore, it is just watered down, simplified and made palatable for the Christian that has one foot in the church and one foot in the world. The other side of the problem is if pastors preach the whole Bible to their congregations, many lukewarm Christians stop attending and look for other churches that support their dispositions. As a result, as attendance drops, pressure is put on the pastor to make changes or be replaced.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 2 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God Author

Dear deorganicchurch,

Thank you for reading and having the courage to speak your mind concerning todays problems with the Church. If we are true to our faith, we must make the effort to place God above all else. Catering to the desires of men, especially when we pit those desires before the Will of God is clearly not the path that should be taken. I long for the day when we move back in the direction of kingdom business as a main stay in our affairs. Hopefully, there are still a few who are willing to be Spirit led, as well as those who earnestly seek the truth. Although the road is difficult, I for one cannot allow for stumbling.

Blessings

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