Sunday, April 26, 2009

Deeper Devotion...

Good Evening Everyone,

Well we just finished up our soccer teams final game with a 1-0 win. Mike Roscoe scored our teams only goal but it was enough.

Bryan wrote to me to let me know that he made it home safely. He apparently received expeditious consideration because a young man named Cpt. Biden was on his flight. Cpt. Biden is the son of our Vice President and is stationed over here with us. I am really excited for Bryan. He is now with his family and that is a joy that is hard to put into words.Our company is doing well.

We are getting a little giddy as the days tick away. I have to say that we have been blessed as we have had a safe tour.

I was listening to the news the other night and there was a discussion about the growth of the Muslim Faith. An additional discussion was had about the growth of the Mormon Church. I started to think about these facts as it pertained to our Christian Faith. I have been concerned over the years that our churches have been more concerned with growth in numbers and less concerned about individual Spiritual growth.

Now, I understand that no church is apathetic to Spiritual growth, however, the lack of the church's ability to hold its members accountable for their growth in faith makes it difficult to judge Christian devotion.I have always viewed church as a place where the body of Christ meets to not only worship our Lord, but to encourage eachother to Witness. I have lived in many places during my years in the military and have been to churches of all sizes and I have noticed that the larger the church the less connected the parishiner's are to the church. In fact, I believe, there are a certain population who simply like the idea of belonging to a church more as an identity than for Spiritual growth.

I was in a church as a child that had a program that when the church grew larger than 500 members than they started a new congregation. The idea was the after 500 members it becomes difficult to really know those who are coming and going in the church. Now, accountability is an individual responsibility but it is also the role of the church and its leaders to hold its members accountable. I often think that if we practiced our devotion to our jobs the way we practice our devotion to our church, than many of us would lose our jobs. We come in to church late, leave early, miss meeting on Wednesday nights and even look at Sunday School as an optional inconvenience. This type of devotion lends itself to a weakening of the body and makes our church vunerable to other ideas and beliefs.

I understand that this harsh critique, does not apply to everyone. In fact, there are some wonderfully devoted members who spend a great deal of their time and energy to building the Lord's ministry. So, please do not feel offended.

The reason that I bring this topic to the forefront is because, I believe that their are religions and people of other faiths that are extremely devoted to their beliefs and are becoming very successful at spreading their influence. The weaker in faith that we become the stronger other faiths will become.A church is only as strong as its weakest members and we need to make sure that our members are accountable to eachother and to our church. Individuals need to focus on developing a relationship with Christ and focusing on His purpose for us.

The Church needs to be unafraid to hold its members accountable. The church would do well to have a smaller, yet more devoted body, than a larger and a more watered down body. I believe that churches should stop focusing on building bigger buidings, going into huge debt. and giving an appearance of Godliness and devote their energies to building a strong, highly accountable, body. Churches need to hold each member accountable and each member needs to allow the Church to hold them accountable. It is as simple as that.

We are at a time where other religions and other ideological faiths are growing by the thousands. If we fail to hold firm to our faith and our beliefs then at some point we may have the right to worship Christ taken from us. Stand strong and put on the breastplate of righteousness and prepare for battle.

I hope you are all well and thank you so much for everyone who has supported us this year. The turnout and support of our unit through our blogs and through individual and group efforts has meant so much to us. We look forward to coming home and assimilating back into our community.

God Bless,


1 comment:

"Doc" W. Chris Perez said...

Your sentiments are shared. The church at Ephesus as mentioned in Revelation was a model church which knew it's "S"s of service,stamina,scripture and sanction, but was cursed because they had forgotten their first love and the object of all our worship, service and love. We are a modern day Ephesian church. Pray for us to return to our first love.
Miss you all. Have been blessed to have served with the Army's finest corps of providers. Hope you will be blessed with God's success in your lives. Hoping Bryan will enjoy his R&R. Looking forward to having all of you visit Guam sometime. Have resumed civilian activities and back into the groove. No Sgt Major checking my socks. Stay safe and get home as soon as possible. Blessings, Chris