by Bobby Bruno 3/30/2014 / Christian Living
The church of today is full of grumbling and complaining. Most denominations, non-denominations, and "religious" factions are warring about who has the correct Gospel, about who has more of Jesus, about who's traditions and teachings are the true Gospel, and about whether Jesus was just a man or is in fact God. I believe that the church spends more time defending itself than it does helping others, just watch the news anytime a Christian says anything about today's society not following God's Word in the Bible (Kirk Cameron and Pat Robertson, for example). I believe that more people are not coming to Christ because they see the churches fighting amongst themselves. One need only look at the vast number of "denominations" there are to see that unity in the Body of Christ is lacking tremendously. For example: this denomination excepts homosexuals as leaders in their church, and this one does not. How can a sinful public choose Christ when those who are supposed to be following Christ don't speak or act like it? I believe that Paul is telling us in Philippians 2:1-18 that we must hold to a higher standard of unity (just as God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit do) and must humble ourselves to the point of even dying on a cross for our neighbors, just as Jesus did for us. The world will not fully see Christ in us, the church, as a whole, until we can come together in truth, get our act together, and be as obedient to Jesus as He was the Our Father God. In my life, I do still grumble and complain, but mostly in the area of those where Christians aren't acting like Christians. I'm no "saint" myself, but I try to treat people as nicely as I can and would like to see unity within the entire Body of Christ where the difference we make as a church is a tremendous as Jesus is.
The church I used to attend is an Assembly of God church, Pentecostal in all its ways. We have approx. 45 nations represented in our 1000 member church. We have many outreaches each year, tons of Bible study groups (called Lifegroups), and feed the homeless a couple of times a month. We have food drives, coat drives, financial help is available for those who truly need the help. We do a Vacation Bible Experience for the kids every summer, and also have Sunday Bible study groups for all ages. We worked along with other churches of different denominations to do outreaches each year. We strived as a church to be Jesus to all people without grumbling and complaining, something I'm happy to say our church does very well (helping, not grumbling). We are a very like-minded congregation.
Comment: "Unfortunately, in a lot of church's including mine, there are a lot of selfish people doing things for selfish, self-serving intentions rather than to give God glory."
Author Response: Two of my friends at church broke off their many- year relationship when one friend was asked to oversee a ministry that my other friend had been overseeing for years. No explanation was given and this hurt my one friend. He left the church he had been going to for years because he could never forgive his friend for agreeing with the authority of the church. Now neither of them go to my church and I lost two good friends over an ego problem. Egos have no place in the Body of Christ. Two years ago I was kicked off the worship team on drums because I didn't play like a youthful drummer would, I was now too old to play drums at church. Sure it hurt deeply as I had been playing for the church for 8 years of which all I ever got were compliments on my style and timing. For two months I did not attend church because I couldn't stand in church and worship God properly because I would have had to look at the worship leader who let me go, which would make me focus on him instead of God. But I did go back to church after two months ready to worship God in truth, and not focus in the leader who, by the way, was let go a month later when it was found out that he was doing something inappropriate for a Christian, let alone a worship leader. Yes, my ego was bruised, but I didn't let it interfere with my walk with Christ. Again, egos do not belong in the Body of Christ. If someone has hurt you where your talents lay, then check your ego -- it may be sitting too high on that pedestal you've constructed for it.
Comment: How could we use these principles today in our lives and as well as the church? We could start out doing random kinds of acts for people for example while we are at the gas station, we could take time to pump someone's gas, cook a meal for neighbor that is working long hours and it could be the simple thing as just helping someone carryout their grocery's at the grocery store.
Author Response: Some people think that you have to go to another country as a missionary to do good for Jesus. Why do we sometimes make it so hard to be a loving Christian to those around us? Jesus never asked us to go live with someone in need to make sure all of their needs are met every moment. No, He just wants us to help them in their need for the moment, and then move on the the next person He guides us to help. You're right, Terri, we just have to do one act of random kindness at a time when we see someone in need. The examples you give above are a great start. All we have to do is think about how we would want to be helped in certain situations, and then simply help someone who is going through the same thing. It's just that easy!
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.