“Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” —Ezek. 22:26
In a recent interview on a local radio station, the pastor of one of the newest “worship center”/churches in the area was commenting on his church’s philosophy of ministry and inviting the radio audience to come and “experience” their services. He said, “We don’t do a lot of the God stuff around here in our services.” The fact is, that a great many churches in America have cut, and are continuing to "cut" the “God stuff” out of their services. This is, by the way, the one greatest explanation for the anarchy, immorality and insanity that is currently ravages our cities: The elimination of the "God stuff" from our churches, individual Christian lives, and consequently from the social conscience.
Revelation 3:20 speaks of Christ’s relationship to the churches of the last days where He says, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.” The obvious answer of many a church today is, “You’re outside knocking on the door? Good, that’s where we want You.” “You want someone to hear your voice and open the door” Don’t count on it; we don’t have you on the program.” “You want to sup and fellowship together? No thanks.”
The Burger King hamburger chain’s slogan is “Have it Your Way”, but this isn’t the criteria for the work and worship of a New Testament church. God wants lives to be lived, work to be performed and worship to be observed and conducted His way, and He has given us the Bible so we can know what His way is. Churches aren't supposed to operate according to the world's standards.
. Too many pastors, whether they are "sincerely" intentioned or not, are really good at schmoozing and making spiritual merchandise of their congregations, and the measure of their success seems to be how much of the "God stuff" they can eliminate."Street smartness" used to gather and hustle a crowd is being taught via a lot of "church growth" and "ministry" seminars, workshops and Bible colleges today, but "street smartness" isn't the standard God has outlined in the Bible for the direction of churches
Getting the "God Stuff" out of a church's public worship usually begins gradually and subtly. Once its gotten out of a church, it's almost impossible to get it back in. So watch out. If you see indications of it beginning in your church, put a stop to it — do it in the spirit of love, but put a stop to it. God is to be worshipped in "spirit and truth" (John 4:24), not in accordance with a spirit of pragmatism that says, "The end justifies the means, so do whatever works to "getter' done."
God has been, and is being, marginalized in hundreds, probably thousands, of churches that have become modernized to the point of becoming paganized because of the "God Stuff" that has been gotten out of them. Paul's admonition to church members 2,000 years ago has never been more relevant and needed than it is for church members today:
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:
for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works
of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light”
—Rom. 13:11, 12
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”