Hollow Religion and Vain Rituals

Generic Concrete Quote (ES)Throughout the last century in America, people have labored to build houses of worship. The old “Home Mission Board” was stocked with pioneers who would seek out rural locations to build church buildings for the people to have a place to gather and hear the Word of God and assemble for the purpose of prayer and intercession. During the Great Depression, men like Dr. Percy Ray would organize the building of many rural churches and the people of the communities would come, filled with enthusiasm and expectancy, to help in the building of these houses of worship.

Once established, these buildings would be filled (almost continually) with the saints of GOD. Prayer meetings would last for days on end; petitioning God for the souls of a lost loved one or a friend across town. Revival meetings would last through the evenings and onto the mornings as countless souls would be won to the Lord. As a result of these clap-board, one- roomed buildings, saints united in success to bring about a great change in the communities all across the southeastern United States, for the glory of GOD. It would seem that the opportunity to gather as one, for worship was received with great gladness and Christian fervor. It was a grateful heart that brought about such love for fellowman and abounding adoration of a Savior, who would look so kindly upon them as to provide a building for worship and service.

Sadly, as that generation has gone on to be with their LORD, a new breed of Christians has emerged. They don’t know what it is to ” pray the price” or labor for the sake of the gospel. They’ve forgotten the purpose of the building in which they sit week after week and give their money to maintain. All too often, people come to these stained glass empires to strut the latest fashion or get some feel good message that will bolster their already inflated ego. More often than not, this house, where God was once the object and the lost its mission; is now a place to get the latest “pop-psychology” of self-help in a prepackaged drive-thru manner. This feel good nicety-nice message has replaced a repentant heart and a tearstained alter with a hollow religion that has no power to save. The hard doctrines of repentance and sanctification have been tossed aside for an emotionalism that offers a temporary excitement but offers no lasting Peace.

The focus of the Contemporary Church has shifted from the service and worship of GOD to the exaltation of self and the sustaining of a bulging church budget. The Church of the living God has taken on the image of a Shopping Mall. The pastor’s latest Publications or DVDs are being peddled in the foyer next to  “Coffee Bars” that could rival Starbucks. Moreover,  The sights and sounds of the Worship Center mirror the production seen at a Rock Concert. What is the reason for this? To be more relevant to a society that has no room for GOD? True are the words of the Apostle, “In the last days…men will become…. lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” In truth, is this the house of the Living GOD, or has the Glory departed? Paul followed this statement with these words, “And from such people turn away!”

Is this not the same sin as the prophets charged Israel with? Where is the care for the widow, the fatherless and the poor? Where does surrender to Christ find its place in this man made ritual? Is this behavior what the contemporary Church considers taking up our cross and following Him? Has not the Cross ceased to humble us and the Blood to make us weep? Has the idol of “self and status” eclipsed the bloodstained banner? Is not what we call “Church” nothing more than a stench in the nostrils of Almighty GOD? Will we come to see this hollowed out charade for what it is and repent; humble ourselves before GOD and do the first works? Judgment must first begin in the house of GOD. If we will not judge ourselves; there is ONE who will judge by the Blood He shed for it!

Saints, Be encouraged, for the day Declares the coming of Our LORD!

So Come LORD Jesus,
Pastor Craig 

 

Craig Layton is pursuing a BA in Christian Studies with a Great Commission Minor.  He is a conference speaker and Revivalist who speaks to issues from Christian Worldview issues to how to prepare for genuine revival within a body of believers.  He is senior pastor of Leary Baptist Church in Leary Georgia; which is presently experiencing a protracted season of true God sent revival..  Married for 6 years to his wife Kimberly, they have two children and two grandchildren.  You can follow Craig on Twitter at twitter.com/Pastor_COLayton. And on Facebook  at facebook.com/craig.layton72

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