Living Out The Gospel

 Monday, November 22, 2010

We expect the world to do what the world does. However, when the lines are blurred and you can no longer differentiate the church from the world we have a huge problem. Meaning---many churches have taken on the identity of the world and are looking less like the body of Christ and more like the world. In many cases, sad as it is, the church is little more than a seeker sensitive politically correct institute made after the hearts of men. Whatever it takes to draw them in mindset has made itself prevalent within the body. Thousands are drawn away by the desires of their own hearts and convince their members that in order to be truly successful we must build it bigger, better, and have more stuff to draw the outsiders. Of course you need to draw people in order to pay for the huge buildings and other things. This type of thinking has lead many churches to close it's doors in the wake of the recession. Money is tight these days and many churches are finding themselves short on money and unable to keep up the opulent buildings they've built. Case in point, the Crystal Cathedral, which has been forced to close its doors due to a dwindling congregation and a recession that has hit so many so hard. With no other option than to file bankruptcy, the Crystal Cathedral finds itself in a pit of debt of about 5.5 million dollars with no way to pay the mortgages or those they've hired to put on lavish programs.

Now the mega-churches have something else to worry about. The Tennessee State Board of Equalization has decided that one mega-church in Nashville Tn, will have to pay the amount of $425,000 in property taxes. Why, you ask? It seems that the board deems churches who have bookstores, gym's and the like in their building is considered commercial enterprises and are deemed taxable. The minister who received this huge bill is from South Nashville and pastors a congregation of 2,300. The pastor had this to say:

"They think a church worships on Sunday and then everybody goes away," pastor Dan Scott said. "Anything else you do is not church. But Christianity is not something you dive into once a week."

Of course Pastor Dan Scott plans on fighting this. I'm more on the side of the Board in this case. These things may be nice, but really there is no essential need to have them.

Once church in particular is really living out the Gospel they preach. Here is the article and the link. Read more:

David Platt (pictured right) became one of the youngest megachurch pastors in history when in 2006, at the age of 28, he was appointed to lead The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala.

Yet just as remarkable is how his church of more than 4,000 responded to his challenge over a series of weekend services to take Jesus’ words at face value and abandon all for Him.

The result? Families (including Platt’s) downsized their living spaces, simplified their lifestyle and gave away profits to the poor. Business owners sold their companies to aid global and local mission work. Dormant believers became activated to launch ministries. And the church radically made over its budget to do more with less so it could invest more in local and global ministries.

This year, Brook Hills embarked on a one-year commitment called “The Radical Experiment” which includes dozens of short-term mission trips around the world to allow people a different context of service. “If we’re not careful, if I’m not careful, we can start to think the world looks like Birmingham,” Platt says.

I believe this young man is going in the right direction. I'm not inclined to call it a Radical Experiment, but simply what it is-----Living out the Gospel! We don't need all the bells and whistles----Jesus just needs us to follow Him!


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