Forty-five years ago, the hymn, “What will you do with Jesus?” was among the Top 20 invitation songs in our congregation. The lyrics echo Pilate’s question to the crowd after they had chosen that Barabbas be released instead of Jesus. “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all said, “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22). The hymn remains a powerful and personal challenge to the sinner to consider his status before God; “neutral you cannot be!”
During the decades since the 1970s, many Christians have developed a less-judgemental stance towards those they once believed to be lost. Many who had left the Lord’s church for denominations were still treated, to one degree or another, as faithful to the Lord. When some sought a loving and honest dialogue about the perils of sitting at the feet of false teachers, they were met with hostility; neutrality was often advised.
Today many churches of Christ are loathed to be considered “Exclusive” in any way. Congregations that once expected their preachers and teachers to follow the New Testament pattern of faith and worship, now practice an almost, “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” model.
Those faithful to the New Testament pattern are invited to “a traditional worship service,” while everyone else is invited to “a contemporary worship service.” It has always fascinated me that the leadership of these “progressive congregations” will eventually ask, “Why have members left after all the changes we made for them?”
The answer to that question comes best in the form of another question: “Since you have striven to be like a denomination, why does it surprise you when your members treat you as just another one to pick and choose from?”
What we believe and teach about the Lord and His church is all-important. So,…
“What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking,
“What will He do with me?”