Seven Signs a Church Has Made Christ a Side Piece
Christ as a side piece
My spouse was about to eat lunch a few days ago and I said to him, "Enjoy." Immediately the song “Enjoy Jesus" came to mind.” As my brain processed "enjoy" in my spirit I heard “Sidepiece”. This is today's terminology for what used to be referred to as a married man's chick on the side or his mistress.
Many attend church services, know the lingo, wear T-shirts, have Bible verses on bumper stickers and know how to act churchy. They are not, however, enjoying a personal relationship with Him through Christ.
Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Some Christians know what they have been taught about Him but have never become intimate with the Heavenly Father.
Psalm 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
Moses was intimate with the Lord and talked with him face to face. The Israelites only saw the Creator's actions. The following is a list of distractions that may keep believers from growing closer to Him.
1. Emphasis on the denomination
It is important to understand how your church operates but, there should never be more focus on the denomination than Christ. It may be necessary to share the vision through new members' classes and occasional emphasis through the pastor from the pulpit. The problem comes in when almost every service you are being told what is expected of you from the denomination, more than being taught what the Bible says Christ desires.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men.
2. Focus on the spiritual leader
Sunday and midweek services should not be all about the pastor's personal needs, his personal vision and or telling members to say what the leader says. The Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Pulpit time should lead souls to Christ, and make them His disciples. It should not encourage parishioners to become cookie-cutter clones of the Pastor.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
3. The building's importance is highlighted
Acts 7:48 King James Bible
Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet.
Emphasize is often placed on telling Christians they must go to church on Sunday based on Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. At the time Paul wrote this, there were no church buildings. There are also theologians who say that this scripture is referring to the day when believers assemble with Christ and those who died believing in Him, based on the last sentence "As ye see the day approaching".
Christians should not be hearing more about how important it is to be in the building once a week than to daily live for Christ and prepare for His return. Your name on the roll of a church does not validate that you are in the Lamb's book of life. Be careful of following man-made traditions more than the Holy Spirit.
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
4. Mo money Mo money
I have talked with several individuals who say their church teaches on tithing and or asks for extra money practically every week. Churches need finances in order to meet their budgets and maintain the building. The issue is the constant, consistent, continual begging. You should not be hearing more about the curse of not tithing than you are about salvation, heaven and hell.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
5. Let me entertain you
Believers in Christ have a right to a private personal life outside of the church. What should not be happening is worldly entertainment being branded as "Christian" and marketed inside of church buildings. Increasingly time is utilized on jugglers, comedians, red carpet events, and rappers, instead of being used for ministry. In an attempt to hold on to parishioners, and gain new members, anything and everything is promoted, while the gospel of salvation is decreased. John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Services and programs filled with entertainment tickle itching ears and caters to the flesh rather than the spirit.
John 12:32 KJV And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
When He was lifted up on the cross, suffered and said "It is finished" this provided the way for all men to be drawn to Him. Entertaining people in the church does not teach them how to be better Christ-followers. Old school dances and Soul Train Lines are activities that anyone can indulge in and are not ministry.
6. Many ministries but no true ministry
Far too many churches promote themselves by saying they have:
Marriage ministry, Deacon and Deacon Ministry. Senior citizens, men, single parents, tots, young children, and teen ministries, etc. There is nothing wrong with catering to the specific needs of all the church members but this should not be a selling point. Sunday School, Christian education, and the sermon should always be about lost souls. 2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; thing, the ministry of reconciling sinners to Christ.
7. Lack of teaching that draws sinners to Christ
Was the last service you attended filled with secular music beats, people doing worldly dance moves and chanting "ooh ooh" as if they were in a club? If you heard jokes, endured multiple offerings, pleas for money, and announcements of celebrity Christians coming to town, none of this will save one soul. If Christ was mentioned only to entice you to give, or during the benediction then you have made him a sidepiece.The Holy Spirit should lead the way, not strobe lights or disco balls.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Preachers who use the pulpit to extort money, brag about personal possessions and entertain the people are treating Christ-like a side piece. Those who enjoy church activities but never attempt to know Him intimately and only call on Him in a time of need are doing the same. The outline for ministry can be found in Mark 16.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston