Saturday, August 2, 2008


I heard a story one time called The Dead Church. It goes something like this: A new Pastor in a small Texas town spent the first four days making personal visits to each of the members, inviting them to come to his first services.
The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the Pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone's duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon, the notice said.
Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the "funeral." In front of the pulpit, they saw a closed coffin, smothered in flowers. After the Pastor delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.
Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a "dead church," all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each "mourner" peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.
In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.

The number of Americans who attend church (regularly, not just on Easter & Christmas) is dwindling. I don't really have to wonder why.....we all know that when people come face to face with the Gospel, they are forced to either change or walk away. Most people do not want to make the changes in their lives that God commands of us. There are those who refuse to go to church and those who go to church out of obligation - in their mind they have an obligation to appease God. Some go out of habit or because they love to socialize. There are hundreds of different reasons for going to church and not all of them are the right ones.

Have you ever heard someone say "I don't guess it matters why they go to church as long as they go" OR "It dosen't matter where you go to church as long as you go". Talk about worldly philosophy! I wonder how many people go to a church because it is the church their family has attended for years. How many people go to a church that teaches principles that don't line up with the Bible? How many people really research enough to find out if their church teaches doctrine that is contrary to the Bible? How many people are willing to step out of their box and leave a church that is not Biblically sound?

How many people go to churches that are completely dead with pastors who are just there for the paycheck? A man named Whitfield said, "How can dead men beget living children?". It's a good point. As children of God, we have a responsibility to find a church based on the leading of the Spirit, the sound doctrine of the church, and it doesn't hurt if the pastor is on fire for the Lord. We will have to answer for the generational sin of generational church attendance. We will answer for following a dead pastor who teaches false doctrine because we are not called to follow a pastor, but to follow the Good Shepherd.

There are churches today that should have huge signs over their steeples that say "Ichabod", which means "the glory has departed". Those are the churches that we should also depart from. Since we are told in the Bible that god will spit those who are 'lukewarm' out of His mouth, we should really take inventory of our hearts and lives to make sure that we aren't 'tepid'. We should also take inventory of the church we attend to make sure that it is on fire, because lukewarm is not how we want to be found when Jesus returns.


Mommyluann said...

good word, Bethanne...

alliekat said...

I just find it completely depressing that you can create blogs for a whole week in advance when some of us have a hard time with a few times per month...certainly not in advance!

Thaddeus said...

Hear hear. Stumbled on your blog, and I couldn't agree more. Too many 'Christian' churches are slipping away from true Christianity.

ocean mommy said...

Oh girl. This story was awesome!! I'm copy and pasting to send to my dad. He pastors a church that is on the verge of being dead...he will probably bring this story to life!!! I'll let you know if he does. ;)

Alana said...

Great post and wise words, my friend.

Fran said...

This stuff gets to me.

How's Disney?? I'm thinking about you and hoping the "hot" ain't too hot!


Eddie said...

Great Post young lady, Dad's real proud of you and every word is "right on". I'll just say AMEN and move on.

jennyhope said...

Okay, when I lost Shelby (our first born). A cousin on rods side called me and told me how she knew what I was going through. Really I said? She was pregnant and a little further along. Well, she had an amnio and they thought the child my have spina bifida and so they did a partial birth abortion because the church they attended had something called the book of discipline that they went by and her pastor told her that it was ok to abort him because of what his quality of life would be like. Half the time those tests are wrong. I WAS NOT IN THE MOOD for her conversation and since she said she was a believer I explained that God should be true and every man a liar when it comes to His word. No, she didn't know what I was going through. I didn't want to lose Shelby even if something were wrong with her. Anyway, It horrifies me to think that you can get so misguided that you don't seek truth for yourself. That is why we have got to be like the bereans. OK sorry for the LONG post!