The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Carnality in the Church

Why You Must Learn to Separate God from the Church

48

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Maybe your pastor ran off with the church secretary. Maybe the church treasurer stole a bunch of money. Maybe the worship leader made a play for your wife. Maybe the whole congregation is spreading slander about you. Maybe the evangelist on television conned you into giving him all your money. Maybe your priest molested you. When the Church treats us badly, the common response is to see her actions as the actions of God, and here is where the problem lies. Because while God will most certainly use the Church to cause you problems in life, the Church is just a tool to Him, she’s not His incarnation. When you merge the Church and God into a single entity in your mind, you end up in a major mess. Unfortunately, this is what a lot of humans do: they see the Church as an extension of God Himself, and they then try to use the actions and motivations of humans to understand who God is. If your pastor is kind, God must be kind. If your pastor is a jerk, then obviously God is a jerk. If your priest can’t be trusted, then God can’t be trusted. If other Christians exclude you, then God must be excluding you. This whole line of logic is seriously flawed, and if you insist on clinging to it, you’re going to end up in Hell. Why? Because God isn’t going to let you write Him off because you refused to acknowledge who He is. Read more of this post

When a Man Touched the Ark: Lessons for the Modern Church

When a Man Touched the Ark: Lessons for the Modern Church

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In ancient Israel, the Ark of the Covenant was a sacred object that symbolized Yahweh’s holy Presence among His people. Yahweh gave His people detailed instructions for how the Ark was to be constructed and handled. The actual Ark was never to be touched. It was attached to two poles to allow men to carry it. The poles were never to be removed from the Ark. The only authorized Ark bearers were Kohathite Levites (Deut. 10:8, Num. 4:1-20). Read more of this post

Buttering Up in the Name of Jesus: The Church’s Use of Carnal Strategies

163

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

The reality that we need money and manpower to minister in this world has led many of us to the flawed conclusion that God won’t mind if we get those things by any means necessary. Now the world has offered us several marketing strategies that are tried and true. Getting out the super glossy paper and colored ink, we splurge on mailers that show off our ministry efforts in the prettiest way possible and we riddle our letters with guilt provoking lines that are meant to drill our readers with conviction. When the donations start flooding in, we fire up the database and assign everyone a rank: miser, mediocre, or heavy tipper. Then we zone in on the writers of the hefty checks and whip out every ego petting trick in the book. We send them letters gushing with thanks and pride puffing compliments, doing all we can to transfer the burden of our finances onto their obviously capable shoulders so that they will feel morally compelled to keep giving in the future. We bribe people with “free” gifts and cheap books in order to get them to give again. We exploit the suffering of kids by taking pictures of their tear stained cheeks—anything to yank a little harder on those heart strings. Maybe our methods are a bit worldly, but it’s all for the glory of God. Read more of this post

Overcoming Carnality With Guilt

164

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Carnality is a major problem in the Church today. Our congregations are dragging under the weight of too many Christians who simply don’t care about serving God. The popular solution to this problem is to heap on the guilt. By breaking out condemning language and choice quotations from Jesus, we try to make souls feel so terrible that they’ll get up off their duffs and sign up to do something. Yet is this really an effective method? Can we shame people into loving God more? Clearly the Holy Spirit knows how to convict someone effectively, yet when we try to do His job for Him, both our methods and motivations are flawed. We often want people to act in ways that we consider spiritual so that we can feel more effective as leaders in the church. We want a harvest of results, and we feel justified in harassing people to serve because of verses we dig out of the Bible. Read more of this post