MANY CHURCHES ARE TURNING OUT JERK FACTORIES?

As you can probably tell by my last post, I’m not real fond of people who claim Christianity but don’t live it in their lives during the week. I’m bothered by people that can worship God on Sunday morning and then be rude to their waitress at lunch an hour later. Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus AND about being a better (different) person.


Dr. Richard Beck writes this challenging little post…

“The trouble with contemporary Christianity is that a massive bait and switch is going on. “Christianity” has essentially become a mechanism for allowing millions of people to replace being a decent human being with something else, an endorsed “spiritual” substitute. For example, rather than being a decent human being the following is a list of some commonly acceptable substitutes:

Going to church
Worship
Praying
Spiritual disciplines (e.g., fasting)
Bible study
Voting Republican
Going on spiritual retreats
Reading religious books
Arguing with evolutionists
Sending your child to a Christian school or providing education at home
Using religious language
Avoiding R-rated movies
Not reading Harry Potter.

The point is that one can fill a life full of spiritual activities without ever, actually, trying to become a more decent human being. Much of this activity can actually distract one from becoming a more decent human being. In fact, some of these activities make you worse, interpersonally speaking. Many churches are jerk factories.”

The Church turning out jerk factories? Wow, hard statement …

He concludes with this paragraph:

“My point in all this is that contemporary Christianity has lost its way. Christians don’t wake up every morning thinking about how to become a more decent human being. Instead, they wake up trying to “work on their relationship with God” which very often has nothing to do with treating people better. How could such a confusion have occurred? How did we end up going so wrong? I’m sure there are lots of answers, but at the end of the day we need to face up to our collective failure. I’m not saying we need to do anything dramatic. A baby step would do to start. Waking up trying to be a little more kind, more generous, more interruptible, more forgiving, more humble, more civil, more tolerant. Do these things and prayer and worship will come alongside to support us.

I truly want people to spend time working on their relationship with God. I just want them to do it by taking the time to care about the person standing right in front of them.” READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE.


Oh, how I wish we lived what we preach!!!

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Bobbie says:

    That list sounds like huddling rather than exposure, and we get stinky.

  2. pastorhawkins says:

    I think you are spot on in heralding the problem in many churches, if not most. I think the answer is many people who claim to be "Christian" have no concept of surrender, dying to oneself, and allowing the Holy Spirit to reign and rule over their lives (Romans 8). Far too many people have become a "law unto themselves" Their "faith" is simply what they think feels good. Such people, and churches built on such people, will only go and do as far as their wills and abilities will take them.

    Excellent post! Thanks for bringing this problem to the forefront.

  3. Anonymous says:

    "Convenient Christianity"

    We go to church and give of our time Sunday as long as it is convenient but he rest of the week is ours.

    Jesus didn't call me to church on Sunday. He called me to a life with Him.

    Good post

    Rob

  4. Charla (SHar-la) says:

    I loved this post, Trey. Belinda Eddins posted about reading the book, "So You Don't Want to Go To Church Anymore," on her blog. I read it right after I read Blue Like Jazz and The Shack and I think it is related to what you are talking about here. In many ways, when we enter the church building/grounds on a Sunday morning, our minds/bodies/spirits go into auto-pilot. The meaning and center of being a Christian is lost in translation because of all the details we get wrapped up in, like making our relationship with God better, praying the right way, getting out of church when we think it should be over, etc…And the point about waking up and wanting to make our relationships with God better, is in and of itself not a bad thing, but if you really think about it, it seems a very selfish act because we're focusing on ourselves, instead of those around us, as Jesus has asked us to.

    Anyway, again a great, thought provoking post and I really enjoyed it!

  5. Josh Linton says:

    Jesus doesn't bear rotten fruit (John 15). It's tough to believe somebody's words when their ways scream something else.

    I hate this reality within the Christian world today. I hate having to observe that some people, though adamant in word about following Jesus, aren't adamant in life about following him. I hate that a lot of times I am one of those people.

    And so I constantly seek to attach myself to Jesus because of his promise "If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit" (John 15:5). So I think, though Dr. Beck has challenged me deeply in so many ways, that a response to this problem is to connect to Jesus in deep ways (or to work on our relationship with God). Don't get me wrong, I see his point too. But, the way to truly become good, kind, nice is to meet Jesus in intentional spiritual exercises and have him change us inside out. Without this component it appears to me that tipping a little extra, etc. could become a hollow shell of legalistic posturing.

    Just some thoughts.

  6. Peter P says:

    The problem is, if the pastor (i.e. ME) is a jerk, how is he ever going to produce anything but more jerks?

    Challenging post, Trey.

  7. Janice Garrison says:

    Very good thoughts…I don't want to be just a "Sunday Morning Christian". I'm working on being a 24/7 one.

    "Under Construction" :)

  8. Terry says:

    There seems to be a jerk in any group of people. If I am in a group and cannot find a jerk, it just could be that I'm the jerk in the group. (This was not a direct quote, but Rick Warren has said something like it. I thought it was both funny and true–at least in my case.)

  9. Rick Morgan says:

    Terry thats hilarious!

    It is a lot more difficult for us to be jerks if we are carrying our cross.

    I just blogged on this scripture: "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me."

  10. Scott Roche says:

    Can't disagree.

  11. Ryan says:

    I believe growing my relationship with God is the most important thing.

    Jesus said in John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

    It doesnt say know of God or know who God is. It says know God. I think waking up and asking yourself how I can grow my relationship with God is the most important thing we can do to start our day. In Fact, I STRIVE for that, sometimes I can go a whole day without stopping and praying to God, and I know that happens to every Christian. That is the most important thing we can do.

    Then we are decent human beings because we are saved and we know Jesus, not TO BE saved. Being a decent human beings will get us nowhere after this life we do not KNOW Jesus.

    This is a good post but I completely disagree with Richard Beck when he talks about "work on their relationshp with God" I highly doubt he meant to but it looks to me he downsizes the importance of our relationship with God. I am a decent person and I do good things BECAUSE I am in covenant relationship with God and Jesus Christ, not the other way around. Being a decent person doesnt come first and then I get to be in relationship with God. It is definately something that should happen because of our covenant relationship with God, and our relationship with him is the most important thing.

    I have more thoughts but this is a lot already.

    Love you Trey,
    Ryan

  12. Ryan says:

    "But, the way to truly become good, kind, nice is to meet Jesus in intentional spiritual exercises and have him change us inside out. Without this component it appears to me that tipping a little extra, etc. could become a hollow shell of legalistic posturing."

    Quote Josh Linton

    I totally agree with you Josh. We arent saved and righteous in God's eyes by doing more good things than bad, and being a decent person more often than an indecent person. That's the legalistic view. We are righteous with God when we are holding on to Jesus and HE makes us righteous. And he makes us righteous when we KNOW him, not when we do good things. And by no means does that mean we can just do what we want, sin, and not be a decent person.
    Jesus says in John 14:15 if you love me keep my commands
    John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.

    If we are in relationship and love Jesus we will do what he says. And Jesus says to be a decent person and treat our neighbors as ourselves.

    Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge God and HE will make your paths straight.

    If we are in constant relationship with God and acknowledging him in all we do it WILL lead to being a decent person, and if it doesnt, maybe there is something wrong, or we arent really acknowledging God.

    Okay now I am really done.

  13. Randy says:

    I was just thinking along these lines yesterday. Actually a "jogger" from my town had me thinking along these lines. Everyday, in my little town, a man hits the road no matter if its snowing, raining, 100 degrees or whatever. He is so faithful to his "jogging" that the local paper wrote an article about him. But the local paper and many people don’t see this man as much I do. When he see's cars headed in his direction, he jogs, but once the cars get up the road he starts walking. He is much like many professing Christians today — merely putting on a show. We have Sunday Joggers today, who come to worship services each Sunday, but once they are out of our sight, they stop jogging.

    – Randy

  14. Gabrielle Eden says:

    I'm totally confused. How do you "work on your relationship with God" and not improve your treatment of others?

    God opposes the proud. Sin puts a barriers between us and God. If we have these things in the way, we can't have a relationship with God.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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