(or at least the people who sit in them)
Amos 5:21-23 (The Message)
I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
When I first read this passage, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Repeatedly. Brandee and I recently stepped down from a worship-pastor-type role in the church where we were raised. We’re currently just seeking to follow Jesus. Period. WWJD, without the funky, multicolored bracelets.
I wrote earlier about the domestication of the faith. Where is that Holy Fire? Where is the burning away of the chaff in our lives? I have felt God’s displeasure with our static displays of worship. Something has to break! God, let it break off of us now! As we spend time with God, vertical one-on-one time, we’ve got to change. Our lives cannot be the same, after encountering Him in his glory!
Enough of our tame version of the Christian life. Christian Radio Personality Drew Marshall puts it this way:
“I believe this world is tired of a people whose God is tame,” he said. “…the world is longing for a people whose God is big, holy and frightening — and gentle and tender and personal.”
He goes on to say that Christians are a “scared bunch of people” who make a lot of noise — an indication of insecurity.
“Unfortunately those of us who have been given the task of communicating the terrifying, frightening good news found in the Bible have been obsessed with making Christianity safe,” he said. “We have tamed the lion, and now Christianity is so sensible, so understandable, so palatable, at least to us on the inside of the fortress.”
In trying so hard to create safe, seeker-friendly Sunday mornings, we end up with a watered down allusion to the Truth. (we point at it, without fully allowing it to penetrate us) All that is needed to make a church service “seeker-friendly” is to be friendly to the seeker! As seekers all, we need life-changing collisions with a big, holy, frightening, gentle, tender, personal God!
When was the last time you sang to me? As a passionate worshipper, I don’t want to sing another word that doesn’t resonate with not only my spirit, but especially His. I firmly believe that absolutely every encounter with the Living God must breathe life into us! We can’t go week to week to week singing the same songs, going through the same motions, remaining unchanged.