Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's What's In a Person's Heart That Really Matters

I have heard controlling ministers describe certain churches as "flesh" churches. (If you have never heard this term, it's used in controlling churches and carries a negative connotation.) From listening to these ministers it seems that a "flesh" church is one that serves donuts, allows casual dress, and has fellowship groups. Okay, what about in Acts 2:46, where it says that people met from house to house, breaking bread, and the church was added to daily? What about in Hebrews 10:25, where it says we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together? Does it say anywhere in this verse that the assembling has to be in a church building where a formal service is conducted? I think that when people meet together and lift up the Name of Jesus, it doesn't matter if it is in a church sanctuary, a home, or even a barn! It's what's in a person's heart that really matters.

How can people think any church that is reaching the lost, teaching the Bible, loving people, and meeting needs in their communities and in the world, be a "flesh" church? To me, bashing people, using fear tactics to get people to tithe and give their money, telling people to shun other Christian brothers and sisters, and putting down other churches, is more "fleshly" than anything I've ever seen. And where does it say in the Bible that you can't be a minister or a true Christian if you don't wear a suit? I go to a church where the pastor doesn't wear a suit and I am hearing some of the best teaching I have heard in years. Some of the things that people are making such a big deal out of really don't matter at all. It's not about what a person wears, it's what's in a person's heart that really matters.


S. said...

In some way what we are used to through tradition, seems to become ingrained in us as what's "right". Growing up in the Methodist church I saw a pastor in a suit and have (for the most part) in other churches I've attended through time. I will admit that when I first attended my new church I was a little uneasy about the more casual attire of the pastor. Any Biblical reason for that? None. I quickly adjusted! Why, Jesus wore sandals, and I would have gladly sat under His ministry!
I've seen my pastor wear a sport coat and slacks, shirt tucked in, and shirt out w/ jeans. I also see a man who knows as much about the Word as anyone I've heard (and teaches all its blessings), who knows how to pray, who is accountable to others, and who God is using to bring many people into the Kingdom (most important thing!). This loving pastor also has time for others. I attended a p.m. Sun. meeting. He had ministered in 4 services that day and following the p.m. one he attended this mtg. He had just returned from overseas (one of two recent trips) and left the meeting saying he was headed home to rest (which he really deserved), BUT when we were dismissed he was outside greeting people. That shows me his heart!
(I will take this pastor over a suit-wearing pastor with a stony heart any day!)
By the way, I remember my Dad drinking coffee with other men in the basement of the Methodist church and never thought a thing about it. There's a coffee bar in my former church; free coffee and a coffee bar in my new one. Why is any of this an issue? Some of the best fellowship I had in my former church was around tables at mid-week suppers.
Didn't Jesus eat with his disciples? Didn't He feed thousands in a ministry setting?!
I agree with you - suit or no suit, coffee or no coffee - it's what's in a person's heart or it's "the heart of the church" that really matters!
P.S. We attended a good, home-based small group this summer and are looking forward to having a fall one in our home! They help you connect and provide great fellowship.

Anonymous said...

A 'flesh' church is a church not under said preacher's control. It's all so clear to me now....