Saturday, July 6, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Deleting God by Nicholas L. Maze

Chapter One

For most people, Church is the normal Sunday morning routine. There are, of course services, on other days, and the routine worship day may vary according to religion or denomination, but Sunday is the most recognized day. In most cities on a Sunday morning, if you turn on your local radio station, you will hear Christian music and the morning inspirational message. Christianity and Sunday has become one in the same. They have become a tradition.

Not only has Sunday become a tradition in Christianity, but attending Church has as well. Although making Church attendance a regular routine is important, it is the traditions that alter the overall purpose of Church. Every generation has a tendency to neglect the values of their previous generation. They never had to struggle, fight, or work hard for those values, so they approach them with a nonchalant mindset. In reality, this is how traditions are formed. Traditions are developed based on history. For example, “Since my ancestors fought for this/that, I will continue to stand for it.” Rarely do people take the time to learn, study, and understand the purpose of

their ancestors’ values. As the generations to follow come about, values continue to depreciate. As a result, the original purpose and values have been stripped away and all you have is tradition. No substance, no purpose, no values, just tradition.

In Matthew, the 15th chapter, we find an interesting view of tradition. In this chapter, Jesus is approached and criticized by the Pharisees because His disciples are not following the status quo. Jesus replies and says that GOD’s commandment has been made of none effect because of the man-made Pharisaical traditions. This is a powerful display of how focusing on tradition can easily destroy our purpose with GOD:

“15 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying ,2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die

the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Modern Christianity is fueled by tradition. Nowadays, we focus more on the entertainment of Christianity and less on the fundamentals that build a firm foundation. You will find more people dressing up to attend what has turned into an event, than you will find people taking notes to gain an understanding of GOD’s Word. We run to Spiritual Leaders that are the best dressed, have the most charisma, money, and can produce a good laugh. Some people arrive at Church expecting humor and an enjoyable show. It is becoming so extreme that people are bringing food and beverages into the sanctuary as if they are attending a movie theatre.

This type of behavior from the members of the Church is also altering the leaders of the Church. In order to draw in the most followers and remain loved by their members, leaders are providing a circus atmosphere to keep their members entertained and excited. They’ve allowed members to use the front of the sanctuary as a dance floor. They’ve brought back the traditional “hound dog” preaching. They have allowed dining and the distraction of others to take place in what was once considered a Holy sanctuary. These alterations and traditions are making GOD’s commandment of none effect. The spiritual battle of winning souls is being lost because nowadays most people come to Church to be entertained and to maintain the tradition.

History

The early Church originated in Roman Judea, in the first century A.D. It was founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ. It began with Jesus’ Apostles,

whom Jesus commanded to spread His teachings to the entire world. Originally, Jewish Christians met in synagogues and in one another’s homes, which were known as house churches. Although most say

the reason for the house churches was the small size of the congregation, some believe the small churches were a deliberate apostolic pattern in the first century and intended by Christ. Eventually, Christianity became more accepted by governments as it began to grow. Afterwards, rooms and entire buildings were set aside for the explicit purpose of Christian worship.

Prior to being legalized, the Christian Church was a widely persecuted religion. It was condemned by the Jewish authorities as a heresy. Christianity teachings were fundamentally foreign to the polytheistic traditions of the ancient world. Imagine having someone approach you about an individual that will kill you for wrong and save you for good. Or better yet, the request that you give 10% of your wealth to this individual. These teachings were perceived as being heresy. Although theses types of conflict took place in the first century, it is still happening today.

The world is filled with lost souls and what they are hearing as it relates to Christ equates to a foreign language. One of the reasons the language is foreign is the fact that just as in the first century,

many people in the world have no true understanding of GOD and HIS Word. They may see a Church filled with people and hear various people talk about HIM, yet they are still misguided as to who HE really is and the true power of HIS Word. When the people that spread GOD’s Word approach people in the street to teach about HIS goodness, many are viewing it as heresy. To make matters worse, they are hearing the teachings from Christians that also have no understanding of GOD’s Word. Many Christians attend Church faithfully and never make an effort to learn about GOD and/or study HIS Word. They only memorize various sermons and try to win people with an overview and not the true understanding of HIS Word. Modern day Christians are working with bits and pieces of their religion which makes their words seem even more foreign. With limited knowledge, modern day Christians try to convince others to be a part of their religion.

Modern

Today, most Christians don’t realize the important role they play in their religion. They understand that the Pastor or Spiritual Leader will ask for money, and that they have to dress up on Sunday. They have limited understanding of the Bible, and thus are limited in their spiritual power. It has become rare to find a Christian roaming the streets witnessing to individuals, trying to convince them to give their lives to Christ. Nowadays, Christians sell food and give away free items to attract people. Their spiritual strength is based within a building. Whatever happens within the building structure is considered good enough. The thought pattern is: “If I shouted, shed a tear, or sing a song, I know I have made GOD happy. I have done my part”. This is the very reason we see the same vehicles outside in the parking lot on a weekly basis.

Just bringing a loved one to your Church as a visitor is not the solution. A soul cannot be saved, if there is no understanding of why it should be saved. Yelling at an individual and telling them they’re wrong is useless. This type of behavior has been tried on children. When you yell at a child and send them to their room for punishment,

nothing is learned. The only thing they learn is not to get caught next time. So, if it doesn’t work on children, how can we expect this method to work on adults? GOD anointed spiritual leaders to educate you so that you would be armed with the same power as Christ. We’ve allowed modern day Christianity to have no effect. We, being the weapons of GOD, go out into the world with no ammunition. Our ammunition being the knowledge of GOD.

We can start through Church attendance, hearing GOD’s Word through an anointed leader. The leader’s enlightenment on GOD’s Word provides better understanding to those in attendance. Just like a student in school, it is impossible to remember everything being taught, so it is a good idea to take notes that you can review later. By going back over your notes, you refresh your mind on the teachings and generate a better understanding of what you have been taught through the sermon or teachings; at the same time, study the Word for yourself at home, at your job, etc., constantly feeding your brain and preparing yourself for a spiritual battle. The souls that we

desire to win are constantly being fed by the influences of this world regularly, so we also must be prepared. When a lost soul questions our faith and beliefs, we will have an answer and be able to display GOD’s power and how HE has restored our lives. We should not have to say, “See my Pastor” or “I’ll get back with you on that.” It should be studied and stored within us. There should be such an anointing that you have the answers before they can ask the questions. This is

why we go to Church. Not to show off a new outfit,

not to discuss dinner, not to gossip, not to get free candy, not to sleep, but to worship and learn GOD’s Word. We go to unite with other thirsty Christians and become equipped with GOD’s anointing.

Even with a desire to learn and grow in GOD’s Word, there are still situations and surroundings that place a barrier between reaching those goals. Sometimes it can be an individual or sometimes it can even be the Church itself. Some are manageable and some are simply impossible to change. Some situations have become so routine that they are expected in a Church setting.

Whatever the case, these issues can weaken the growth of a Church. It is the various issues that will be mentioned in the following chapters that led to the creation of Deleting GOD. Like so many others, I have had my share of negative experiences within a Church setting. There were some experiences that upset me (and I’m sure others) so much that led me to turn away from the Church for a while. After having my own share of personal experiences, I felt this was a subject that had to be spoken on. As previously stated, future generations have not struggled like past generations in standing for their religious beliefs. All they have is what they have experienced, and if that experience is dressing up for two hours and buying a dinner from the kitchen, then GOD is not pleased.

Deleting GOD is an open window to the often times overlooked issues that exist within a Church. Problems cannot be resolved if we never know they exist, so it is important that we bring the issues to light and pray for change. I, myself am not a perfect individual and I feel that this journey has strengthened me, while helping others. Having served as an usher for a number of years has

allowed me to experience various Church services from a different point of view. During service, an usher is not only focused on the Spiritual Leader, He/She must be focused on the congregation as well. An usher is an armor bearer whose job is to make sure that the service runs smoothly. With such an important role, an usher’s eye is trained to observe situations that the average Church attendee may not see. If an individual holds that position on a regular basis, he/she will easily notice repetitive behavior during service. Although these situations may seem minor to some, they easily hinder individuals from learning and understanding GOD’s Word. They easily become a distraction that takes our focus off of what is being taught, and in turn forces us to come short in learning the Word of GOD.

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