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MOTC 4

May 17, 2006

This photo is of a church in Woodville, Mississippi which was turned into a Movie Theater.

Now that is a picture ripe with analogies. My anti-entertainment mother who I guess believes that the more boring something is the more Godly it must be, might say that too many churches are movie theaters.

But here is a group of people gathering in pews for a purpose. In the Greek they could still be a church or ecclesia. But they are not Jesus' they are called out to meet for a movie.

Yesterday I was taken to Galatians chapter 2. I was being talked to about hypocrisy. Now I know what hypocrisy is. The word hypocrite was just like our word actor. A hypocrite was a person on stage who pretended to be someone else. But we normally think of that as someone who goes out and sins then shows up at church and pretends to be a good little boy or girl.

Paul calls Peter a hypocrite and those that followed him as well. You see Peter knew / Believed in his heart the truth of freedom in Christ. He knew that the system of Jewish rule keeping or any other rule keeping system was a perversion of the Gospel of Christ. His hypocrisy was that instead of speaking up about the truth, he pretended and went along with something he knew was not right.

Biblical hypocrisy is when you believing in your heart – knowing the truth of freedom in Christ – sit back and go along with those that would pevert and so make Christ's sacrifice for nothing! You say, this doesn't make sense, I don't really believe it, but to fit in I have to act like I do.

That is a dysfunctional family. Its not about unity but conformity.

I have been accused and convicted of hypocrisy. You?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2006 4:07 pm

    guilty…

  2. May 17, 2006 6:55 pm

    Tommy –

    This post makes me so very sad because I spent way too many of my Christian life being the exact kind of hypocrite you’re talking about here today. Way, WAY too many.

    I feel very blessed that I’ve not been in that “situation” or in that kind of fellowship now for at least 11 years, if not longer. It is not something that I will go back to in any way, either. I absolutely refuse to participate in, or keep my silence in (by means of acquiesing with such hypocrisy going on) such a group again.

    It’s exactly the same as what you referenced to me yesterday in your note to me about what the “ex” minister you talked with said. About telling a wife who is being beaten by her husband that she should stay because “all marriages have problems.”

    I’m telling you – you need to seriously consider and pray about making some significant (maybe drastic) changes in your life in your walk as God’s beloved child. I will be the first to tell you and acknowledge that such changes are not easy, nor are they made without a long period first of agonizing and deep anguish in some of the changes (and losses) that will occur.

    But, in the end – once a decision is reached and acted upon, you will wonder why on earth you tarried so long along the way in worrying about it so. If you remain God’s child first and foremost in all you think through and do, He will be your constant companion and will sustain you as never before.

    He will bring you to a place that is much more wonderful and glorious in His service than you have ever known before and you will not be able to keep from sharing His good news with everyone you meet and talk with. Believe me – that will be exactly how it will be. You will be forever changed for the better once you have fully plunged into God’s glorious freedoms in Christ.

    I see that coming about here and so I am optimistic and hopeful about my future here. I will do all in my power as God’s child in freedom to show others still bound in the past – in traditions – that there is, indeed, a better way.

    Those are my thoughts this afternoon, for what little (2 cents?) they might be worth.

    Believe me, I’ve been through some of the worst a Christian can go through (here in this country, anyway) and God has brought me safely to the other side. I will praise Him forever for that.

    P. S. That church building in your photo is fantastic!! Absolutely. Where have you found (gotten) all these photos? I love them all, but especially this one. It LOOKS like a movie theater.

  3. May 17, 2006 7:55 pm

    Way yonder guilty!

  4. May 18, 2006 11:47 am

    My hands up too.

  5. May 19, 2006 6:34 pm

    Tommy,
    Speaking as an MOTC who has been to your church…

    I understand your frustration. There may be a day when you need to move on. If that day comes, be gracious and kind. Burning bridges will not help.

    There was a time I nearly left ministry and nearly left the Church of Christ. I never quit loving Jesus, but not sure I wanted to be part of church or ministry.

    I had conversations with other denominations about serving with them. The thing that kept me in CoC was relationships. Yes, there is a lot of dysfunction, but these are also the people who led me to love Jesus and nurtured me. And the other churches turned out to have just as much dysfunction (maybe more)!

    I’m thankful God led me through that season, and I’m thankful to still be in CoC. And I’m not naive about our problems. I know about the junk and have been wounded by the junk. But I’ve also grown because I live within this community.

    With Dee, I pray for the day that you can look back and see that God was leading you to something better.

  6. May 19, 2006 10:09 pm

    John,

    thanks for your comments. I have said earlier in this series (I think) that I have no plans to leave. Everyone seems to think I do. Now if I found a place that I thought I could serve and would be better at helping my family and myself become more like Jesus, I would leave. I am anti-denominational including the Chruch of Christ Denomination. And I mean Anti not just Non.

    This post was aimed at me and others. Not a congregation. Its point was that it is hypocricy to know something to be true and act like you don’t, just to go along.

    I also have to say that I know you know that some places are healthy and to generalize that all other places have “just as much dysfunction” is a generalization like saying all Churches of Christ are alike. It was put to me this way the other day. Saying all churches have problems to some people is like saying to the woman whose husband beats her, “All marriages have problems”.

  7. May 20, 2006 9:35 pm

    Hey, Tommy, John & I are reading this together and he says to tell you “well said, I agree”.

    Now if I could only stop the beatings. 🙂

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