Over my short life I've seen the cults continue to grow, despite their disadvantages. They do not have a strong basis for belief in their systems. Additionally they have had very negative PR and commonly annoy us in our homes.
We know the problems they have doctrinally. They have diverged from historic Christianity. They have turned from Biblical doctrines and written their own holy books. We are primarily talking about the Mormons and the Jehovah s Witness . But what are they doing right to see growth? Can we learn something from them?
|Would you do for the truth what the cults do for a Lie.|
We know the state of our Church. We have a poor public image. We give little, serve rarely, prayer meeting are underrepresented, we have enormous problem with sin, the family, and divorce. We lack leadership, are disorganized and reject any obligation or commitment to our community church. These are fair generalizations of us.
Let's look at what they are doing right and see what we can learn. They have a plan and purpose, that they work at constantly. This requires leadership and strategizing. They work their public image. The Mormons and Watch Tower have formed organizations that have requirements to be in good standing with their churches to go to Heaven. Of course both have removed the concept of Hell and its existence which is a good move to gain cultural acceptance. In addition they require that good members held in high standing should perform certain acts. These are prescribed by their organizations and are not always Biblical.
For us, we know that to be fruitful we must be faithful. No scheme can produce the fruit of God. He does this as we are faithful to His command of love. Nonetheless, we must adhere to the gospel of love, provide leadership, purpose, and strategy. Then we must implement our plan of action.
The sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross is essential. This gospel that produces this new sacrificial life will be developed by faith in Jesus, whom will resurrect us from the dead. It must be understood that coming to this new life of mercy for the world around is the result of this faith. Leaders must prod us to love and good deeds. They must lead us into this place of sacrificial living, caring for each other and the poor. These leaders must propose a personal plan for each person and a general concentrated work that the congregation does together. An environment of expected service and participation must be carefully established.
Our people in the Church are not predisposed to love and good deeds. This is because of a general misunderstanding of the relationship of faith, love and grace. We live with an ageless concept; that spirit who has harassed the Church from the beginning; Cheap Grace. As a result we are held in slothfulness, chained by a false concept of salvation which sneers at the good works. The world suffers without Jesus while our churches rest-in-peace even before buried under sod.
This new church will expect that those in Christ s service are working for the broken. These Saints would be aghast at self-service and laziness as much as they would upon finding their pastor had run off with the secretary. They would notice an absence of interest in serving as a sign of back-slidenness. The church would pray for this sinner s soul. See the difference in attitude. But now in the Church If you cuss you re ostracized but if you live for family and peace you're rewarded. What an upside-down quasi-Christian culture we feel comfortable in?
Some think that organization is somehow not Holy Spirit lead. But let s remember that if you are a child of God following the Spirit of the Word under godly leadership you are being led by the Spirit. Have they forgotten that leadership is a spiritual gift? Has a lack of planning ever made something better; like building a house or making dinner? It is pretty apparent that this argument is another diversionary lie of the Enemy.
Through this Gospel of sacrificial love, determined leadership, and strategizing we will gain a growing loving church, sacrificial living, and a public image that is defined by manifest love. The world will know us for our love. Through this faithfulness to Jesus, we will be fruitful proving to be His friends.
Isa 58:12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. NIV
This scripture shows the result of sacrificial compassionate living. Read Isaiah 58. We will be called Repairer of Broken Walls and Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. We will have earned this new title: Love is our only means; faithful love for Christ s sake.