Them and Us#9. “Those who Live.”

Them and Us#9. “Those who Live.”

When is a church considered to be “Alive?”

Many atheists view Christianity as they view God—as dead! They believe that churches have nothing more to offer the world than basic social services. Others see churches as drop-in centres for the spiritually inclined; a smorgasbord of faith, tradition, and hobbies from which to pick and choose according to time and taste.

However, most churches probably view themselves as being alive with faith, friendship, and fun; a place to live their spiritual lives with the like-minded. One prays that their definition of life begins with the quickening of the Holy Spirit in baptism (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4) and shows progress by their faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6).

Some churches cultivate an atmosphere of solemnity. Their members worship almost motionless in their quiet and dimly lit buildings. Other churches encourage vibrant audience participation. For them, Spirit-filled worship is characteristically loud and emotional.

The very fact that a “Sunday worship style” is the standard by which a church is defined as being “Alive” or “Dead,” proves that the devil has entered the building. How did Christians become so spiritually shallow that they are willing to judge a church solely on a 57-minute Sunday morning experience?

Jesus exposed the futility of “reputation” when he informed the Church at Sardis that: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1).

A church that fits nicely into the world is a worldly church. Its inability to attract persecution in any of its forms bespeaks a spirit of accommodation.

The Lord’s church, by its very nature, lives in another world. Thus, we are dead to this one:
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

John Staiger


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