One person said, “If you consider the church roll the Lambs Book of life, you’re surely trapped in legalism and bondage in your heart.” Most churches and the people in their pews lovelike Mike Tyson-you know, “If you don’t tickle my ears with the prosperity message, stroke my ego everytime I walk through the church doors and tell me I’m not a sinner, ‘I’ll eat your children'”.
Unfortunately, in the church, love in the twenty-first century has to do with more of the who’s who list than any sermon on the mount or 1 Corinthians 13. If you’re an average Joe trying to find God and you become transparent in most churches, you’ll most likely get that Stone-cold-Steve Austin-stare with a hint of Gary Coleman, “What you talkin’ bout Willis?”
Love has taken a back seat to the do’s and don’ts of the old testement and if you’redoin’, then you can’t have any part of our Jesus, at least not at most churches. Surely don’t let some homeless guy walk down the isles to get saved. “Don’t they understand how that makes the church look-C’mon we got an image to protect”, some would say. Then you woke up and realized Christ was all about the down-trodden, oppressed and the poor.
We would be shocked to find out how few alter calls are going on around the country in the name of being politically correct or to keep with the program agenda. This is the bondage and legalistic spirit of the Pharisee.
I’ll tell you one way that a lot of churches are unfortunately keeping their people in the cement block of bondage: dictacting to the choir what they can and can’t wear, making Sunday’s to be more of a fashion show about whos got the nicest glad rags than about the God they are actually singing about. I know of a pastor who was decieved into thinking that God was still genuinely ministering through his choir when he, the elders and many others new first hand that the mostly women choir, and single mothers at that, were as about as loving as a bunch of back alley street cats squabling over a dead bird during their practice sessions-no genuine love whatsoever.
And then they’re trying to lead the congregation into worshipping the LORD in spirit and in truth. Oh wait, stop the train! Plus the pastors refused to hear the issues of the choir members who were continually having to buy more clothes was causing a heavy burden and a bondage to the image of themselves and how they looked, instead of focusing on ushering in the Holy Spirit. Many were going into debt, fighting within their own hearts asking, “Can I afford this ministry and the gift God has given me to sing. The question is,should they even have been put in that place to have to ask that question when the church actually already had beautiful choir robes? but decided not to use them anymore because they had a certain image they were trying to portray.
Also, they were eyed up and down weekly to see if they fit the criteria to even be on stage to serve God after they bought the outfits. Many of them simply could not afford the nicest outfits so the ones who couldn’t, were rebuked and felt less important than the ones who could afford the nicer ones. Again, the problem could have beeneasily solved by simply putting the entire choir in the beautiful choir robes they had purchased years before, so all the petty-cattyness, jealousy, coveting, and financial bondage to clothes could have easily disapeared and God could’ve showed up.
But as we know through scriptures, if we are making our lives, our jobs, our service to himall about ourselves, we are handcuffing God and he won’t have anything to do with it. In the end that church was left with, and I’m sure there are many others around the country like it, a bunch of people with good talent, but no annointing by the Holy Spirt. He wants the glory, it shouldn’t go to man, this aint American Iodol, we’re suspose to be the church of Jesus Christ.
This is why, again, you don’t have one pastor or leader in the church at the top, making all the decisions because an agenda is sure to creep in sooner or later with the sin nature going unchecked. Another way to keep the church in bondage is to preach isogesis or the bible out of context. For example, judgement. Most preachers only preach about this topic fromMatthew 7:1-2 if they ever even get around to preaching the subject Now every sinner in America can quote this back to you faster than a lightning bolt striking the Sears Tower. The problem is the bible has much more to say about the subject than this lone scripture.
Actually, genuine Christians are suppose to judge the fruits of other Christians and if we have two or more witness’s we are to even bring accusations to the board of a church against its elders and leadership if it is for a just cause. Unfortunately, lots of churches out there are creating a bunch legalistic, limp-wristed, jelly back Christians who wont stand for anything but political correctness.
Preachers don’t want to preach the whole truth anymore because most of them have more skeletons in there closet(during their active ministries) than a historical museum.
Do whats right according to the scripture and make your church a genuineplace to learn about the oracles of God and his love and not just another pharisee training camp for a pack of fools. When issues arise, whether it be in the pulpit or the pews, be ready to stand up and be used by God to make a change so your church isn’t just a train wreck waiting to happen.
I gave only a few examples of how leadership and people can get into legalism and bondage in a church-what are some other examples that you have seen or heard of and what have you found that the bible’s answer are for them?