I get really stressed when I watch the news. So much destruction, death, turmoil, disappointment, and confusion going on in the world. I have been thinking a lot lately about community outreach and reaching the youth, especially in our African-American communities. I feel like the direction the government is leading this nation to be more divided. In times of hardship, the church should be our safe haven. But, because the church as a whole, has a tarnished reputation due to leaders in the church making bad decisions, serving their own wishes and not the communities we live in, the people have nowhere to turn. It is time we clean the reputation of the Church and get back to the basics of what church is supposed to be, a house of refuge. Let’s regain our humanity. The laws of the land may change, but God’s law is unchanging, and that is what we should stand by. Romans 7:6-“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
So many churches are caught up in the religious aspect and patterns they have set for themselves, and forget that the church is actually just a building, the church lives within each and every one of us. When someone actually decides to become saved, is that life just a body count to join your growing congregation or are you actually checking on that person after they leave service? One thing is for sure, when you become saved, you do not change overnight. It is a process. What are you doing to really help mentor that person? I feel most people have this perception that as soon as you walk out the church your crazy life, as you know it, will automatically disappear. A lot of churches get so caught up with the religious aspect and patterns they have set, they forget to inform their newly saved members that once you walk out of the door, there will be even more temptation than you ever experienced before. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 “Wherefore let him that think he stand take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to hear it”.
Before something happens in your life physically, it has to happen spiritually. What type of community support do you have in place for those new members to help them during the week to keep them uplifted? They need to be taught how to pray, how to research and read the word which will lead to a spiritual connection with God (Holy Ghost). Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also help our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself make intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” You must give yourself to a life of prayer to the Holy Ghost.
Just like the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-35 between the Levite who were known as the Priests in the Bible, and the Samaritan who are people who claimed to be direct descendants of Abraham, but were not recognized by the Jews. In the parable, Jesus described how a Levite came across a man who was robbed and wounded. The Levite looked at him and kept on his merry way down the path as if he was too good to help someone because of who he was. But a certain Samaritan saw him and stopped and had compassion for the man. He helped clean the man’s wounds and took him to the nearest inn. He also gave the man some money to help get back on his feet. Let us not be like the Levite and think just because we have a little money, education, or title, we are too good to help those in need.
I feel like SOME churches, and let me stress the SOME…because not all churches are like this, have lost touch with reality, lost their humanity, lost their compassion and purpose. It is not about who has the most members, drive the fanciest cars, has the biggest church or wears the nicest clothes. Jesus called this the den of thieves in Matthew 21:13. Your actions speak to the people. The Church is not going to save your soul, it is only a building. It is the people inside that church that reflect the body of Christ as a whole. What are you doing in your communities that shows the people you genuinely care? Are you acting like the Levite or the Samaritan?
The people are what make the church. It is time we clean up the reputation of the church. The church dwells within each of us. Time for us to become good Samaritans and help those that are lost and can’t see their way. Let’s be the house of refuge that God intended us to be. Let’s start providing the tools needed for our people to survive. Our people are crying out for help. Let’s start getting uncomfortable and changing outdated patterns that do not matter. It starts by being a little more compassionate for your fellow-man.
“But meat commended us not to God: for neither if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak…but when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ” –1Corinthians 8:8-9,12