Church is pretty important to a lot of people who read this newspaper. That’s because a lot of people around here go to church, at least from time to time, or they know people who do. Having lived and observed for 70 years I have seen many things that people just don’t get.
For example, men and women are different. You’d be surprised how many people don’t get that. God made them different and that’s a good thing. The next time you get out of the shower, look in the mirror. There is no gender confusion there. Men and women are different physically and in almost every other way. Men may not be from Mars and women from Venus, but they are worlds apart. Their bodies are different, their brains are different. (Scientific fact right there; check it out.) Here’s another, Democrats and Republicans are different. Democrats equal high taxes, focus on minorities, liberal and progressive. Republicans equal conservative, lower taxes, etc. I have observed that most people just don’t know that. They don’t get it. They believe one way and vote another. Spanking your kids is okay with God and should be with parents. That’s a no brainer; but a lot of people would rather believe Dr. Spock than God. They just don’t get it. And their kids and society pays the price. The list goes on and on: Fords are better than Chevrolets; you know… things like that. But people don’t get it.
When it comes to churches, having been a pastor for 47 years, I’ve noticed there are a lot of things that people don’t get. Like this: Not all churches are alike. It does matter which one you go to. A church alive is worth the drive. Life is too short and God is too good to stay in a dead church. One pastor said, “When I die, I want my deacons to be my pallbearers. I want them to let me down one more time.” A pastor was having his car fixed. When handed the bill, hoping to get a discount, he reminded the mechanic that he was just a poor preacher. The mechanic replied, “I know. I’ve heard you preach.” Some churches have pastors who preach the word and deacons who serve. Others don’t. The kind of music, the style of preaching, and the kind of building the church meets in doesn’t matter a flip: Life does. Is the Spirit of God there working in that church, bringing people to faith and maturity in Christ. The preaching of Christ and His gospel, love and friendliness and serving others, those are the things that matter. I’m telling you, most churches don’t get that. People don’t get it. I’ve been telling people for years, if a church is small over a long period of time, it’s because it wants to be. It doesn’t want to see people saved and the church grow. I’d get out of a church like that so fast it’d create a draft and everyone there would catch a cold. Same thing goes for a large church that remains stagnant over a long time. Another thing people don’t get is that Christians and churches ought to be making disciples. That’s what we call the Great Commission. I have discovered that many churches and pastors don’t even know that’s the one thing we must be doing, much less how to do it. They don’t get it.
So, let’s get it. Let’s get with it. Let’s get it together. Do some serious thinking. We only have one life to live and we might as well try to get it right. And if you believe the Bible is the word of God, then take the Bible seriously. You don’t want to stand before Christ in the Day of Judgment and have Him say to you, “You just didn’t get it, did you?” Then it will be too late. It’s not too late now. Repent.
Terry Simpson is pastor at Grace Church, Clinton