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The Church is Not a Catering Service

Corruption exists in the church. There, I said it. But I don't think you needed me to say it to know that this is so. Yet we get shocked when leaders fall. We get shocked when we find that, instead of faith in almighty God, we have placed our faith in a person who should have represented Him well, and we're more shocked to find that person is just as flawed as we are. Yet whenever this happens, the church (whether individually, or on a more corporate level), tends to try and appease the culture that does not in any way act like the church. Instead of admitting sin, and moving forward, we dwell, and we try to "help God out." This happens in other areas, too. The world around us is wicked, and does things that, because it is in rebellion against God, are detestable. Yet, again, the church tries to make overtures to the ever changing world and culture, so that, in some places, you can't tell the difference between the world and the church.

The Church is not a catering service. We're not here to please and appease. We can't reconcile with the world, so we need to stop trying. Our mandate is not to go out and soften up the blow of sin, we're not here to keep apologizing for past mistakes, and we're not here to try and help God look good. He does not need our help! Our role is not to get people in the doors with a have it your way, all you can eat, pick and choose what you want style buffet of faith. We're called to "Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength," and "Love our neighbors as ourselves" (Mark 12:28-34) and to fulfill the great commission (Go and Make disciples, Matthew 28:16-20). Jesus' first sermon called out sin ("Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, Matthew 3:2, Mark 1:15), so why do we feel the need to excuse sin? Just as Jesus said one cannot see the Kingdom unless He is born again (John 3:3), there is no salvation without confession and repentance. God demands holiness, and His Son calls for the same, we can't have it our own way, we must seek His. Confess, repent, move toward Christ. The world will always act as it will, but Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and will be forever more. Hebrews 13:1-19 Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

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