I am over the great sport of Church bashing by Christians. From my perspective I think it is meant to come across as deeply righteous and philosophical. But I see it as spiritually arrogant and often incredibly ignorant (whoops just lost some social media friends). Here was yesterday’s bashing which was written by a man who has made a living out of the local church.
Has the church become more focused on itself or does the life, the spirit and the message of Jesus still remain our focus and motive. I’m wrestling. If he is not our inspiration then all we are doing becomes our own message, in all in that we do, in all in that we build and in all that we defend and protect. The church is for the outcast. The outcast is not a recruit to build the church. The outcast is the reason he came. His is the life we follow. It appears to me that we are building our own edifices whilst in so many ways avoiding to be Christ in our world. Jesus was not a church builder, he was and is the enduring hope for the outcast, the marginalized and the condemned. His church was not defined by walls, songs and sermons. His church was defined by Himself. His church was and is His body. I’m struggling to find Him, to see Him and hear Him in the clamor of Sunday and the chaos of recent media. If only we could retreat into Him until, being found and finding, we could live Him without agenda, offering all that he is without restraint or judgment. If we believe His message then it’s time that His message is all we offer.
Today is the 3rd March 2016. Please indulge me as I tell you about the last few weeks of my life. (it’s relevant)
Two weeks ago, I was in Melbourne working with a local church going through a hard time leadership wise.
I then returned to the Gold Coast where I attended the QLD State INC Pastors conference with long term friend and guest speaker Tim Hall. Here I spent several days interacting and engaging with pastors from across Queensland.
I then flew to Melbourne to preach at an ACC Church in country Victoria. This included dinner with some of the leadership of the church on Saturday night before Church on Sunday.
I then returned home and drove to Coffs Harbour to spend three days with the INC NSW Pastors at the State Pastors Conference. Loved hanging out with a passionate group of men and women.
I then travelled to Shellharbour to support and work with the amazing leadership team of Shellharbour Community Church. And then went out to lunch with Senior Pastor’s Shane and Rachael Cook.
I then flew to PNG to spend two days with the INC PNG National Executive. During these two days we spent much time discussing strategies to move the church forward.
Over the last week I have spoken to many Pastors from many different movements who contacted me as to how they could help the people of Fiji post cyclone Winston. I have also spoken to the Fijian INC National Chairman Ps Sevu, as he travelled his broken nation and relating to me his heart for what he is seeing.
I also had a conversation with a Pastor from another movement who was saying 70% of all the pastors in his movement were bi-vocational. (and this is one of Australia’s largest movements).
Here is what I think:-
I have literally spoken one on one to over 100 pastors in the last few weeks. Apart from one exception (being brutally honest here), every pastor I spoke to across three states and three nations are incredibly sacrificial people who have a deep heart to impact their town and nation for Jesus. They are into self sacrifice, working long hours, walking with people, and providing leadership into the church space in their town. They are not interested in “building their own edifices” nor are they interested in self seeking kingdom building.
For the pastors who are Bi-Vocational:- this means they work another job whilst prepping sermons, caring for people and connecting the church with the community. These leaders give even more.
Maybe if more philosophical Christians started doing what they lament the church is apparently not, then the world would be a better place.
Now if you are a Christian and you have a Pastor – send him a text or email and thank him for being awesome.
Ps Peter Pilt
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Categories: Church related
Well written Peter. I totally agree. Ministry is not a place for the timid as it demands so much to do it well. We ought to thank our great leaders much more often, Heaven help those that find themselves under the leadership of an abusive pastor!
Is it wrong that I am wondering who the exception was? 😉
Might I also add, there are many more besides those with”titles” in the church, that also give as generously and with as much commitment as those you have spoken about… Who deliver the Gospel of Christ each and every day, as His Hands and Feet to a lost world… Yes there is a lot of church bashing happening… And if it’s happening where you are, then YOU BE the agent of change, instead of joining the rest of the opposition team.
Sent from my iPhone
“Jesus was not a church builder,” – But He personally trained up all of His disciples and Paul the Apostle to be so. Anyway, I still think that Jesus was the ultimate church builder. That author needs to define what he means by ‘church’ before his tongue runs amok.
“The church is for the outcast.” – Hmm? Yes and no. The original church house meetings were for the born again believers to join as one, worship the Lord, and fellowship and grow. Others would become born again during their normal walks of life and then start attending a church meeting. (Notice I didn’t say ‘attend church’). Yes, the church as a body, as a whole, may well be for outcasts but the meetings were for believers. Things can change but if that writer wants to moan, then let him moan sensibly (Biblically?).
Sorry, Anne. That was supposed to be a reply to Peter’s original post but I’m new here at commenting and clicked the wrong ‘button’.
Well written, but I doubt you will lose some social media friends – the arrogant never realise that it could possibly be them you are referring to. The people you have described seem to be following in the footsteps of Christ (as they should – as we all should), so I find the comment of one pastor being the exception quite interesting?!
Thanks for sharing Peter.
At least 2 of us are wondering…
Here here Peter. I’m over it too. There needs to be more of a ‘spirit of love’. Too many people are throwing around loosely terms likes he’s a ‘false prophet’ – they are only in it for the ‘money’. I even heard one US preacher saying that he doubted someone’s salvation if they didn’t read the King James bible and read another etc etc etc. I just love meeting people who love Jesus … and in my years as a Chrstian since the age of 13 I’ve loved the fellowship and friendship of many from all sorts of denominations. Let’s not get caught up on silly discussions on ‘why do you still sing hymns’, ‘how come you only have communion once a month’, ‘how can you believe Jesus is coming mid-trib’ – you get the point. As the old chorus goes … “we are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord … and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Wow!! Sorry Peter but I think you may have been a little reactionary here, rather than having a proactive response. We all fail in that area so I am in no way having a shot at you. I find the quote you have posted to be in no way accusing, just a compassionate heart that loves Jesus explaining his frustrations.
You certainly have been busy, but I think we are in a transitionary place in the church. The church I think is in labour pains, a transition from the old form of doing church (lots of hierarchical structures) in to a pattern similar to the early church in the Book of Acts. I am sure you are well aquatinted with this line thinking. In natural birthing the transition stage can be very difficult (I actually got the trembles & couldn’t deliver naturally & was raced off to theatre for a ceaser delivery), so it can be in the spiritual. I really think it is more crucial than ever that we understand the times spiritually & understand what God is doing. Scary I know, because are almost pre-disposed to understand first & then do.
In the end it is His church & the gates of hell WILL NOT prevail against it, but I truly think 20 years from now, maybe sooner, maybe later, the church will look very different to the way she looks now & it will be Gods doing not mans, not senior pastors etc, it will be God.
I hope that you know Peter well enough to have put that out there like that Gail. Forecasting what God will do in 20 years time has made dills of the many over the past 2000 years or so. I guess we will find out soon enough.
Sane did you notice that I said ‘I think’. It was not a pronouncement, it was a thought. And yes I do know Peter.
Very much agreeing with what you have said, Gail.
When we speak about “the Church” we must use the description of “the Church” as written in the New Testament. The New Testament church is our model to compare or judge how things are going during our time. There is clear teaching in the scriptures that the Church began on the day of Pentecost and is made up of all Born Again Believers from that day onward and will include only born again believers up to the day that God sends His son Jesus Christ to call His Church (His Bride) Home to Himself. His call will come to the Church on the day when the last saved born again believer is added into His Church. See 1 Thessalonians Ch 4 vs 13 – 18.
I am pleased to read this Peter but cant help feeling that you may be creating another problem, i.e. bashing the church about bashing the church.
I would have liked to see a little more context in the comments your blog is based on. It is important to note that in Revelation and elsewhere, for example, God, through the writers has much to say in warning and correcting the church. This is of course not ‘church bashing’ but I’m not convinced that the comments made in the blog were necessarily bashing either. Thats why I’d like to know more.
i wrote a whole ”speech” then the page shut down …duh doh 😦 Suffice it to say that as Christians of all different shapes & sizes, denominations & non denominations we carry Christ & His body (Church) with-in us everywhere we go, not confining it inside the walls of a building. That wouldn’t be following Christ at all & if we thought that a building was the be all & end all of our Christian calling then we really would have it wrong but i don’t see the majority of the Body staying behind closed doors & sharing their own ”message” NO i see a mighty army of Jesus Christ on the highways & byways doing what the Lord has called each to do 🙂 !!
You’re an example of what is right with-in the Church … i take my hat of to you as i watch your travels into the world , you encourage even the lest of us to share His Gospel (even in a tiny little town called Shoalhaven Heads 🙂 For that man to say ”If he (Christ) is not our inspiration then all we are doing becomes our own message” is surely not hanging around with Spirit filled, God fearing people !
i recon he wanted to blow his own trumpet & say ”look what i’m doing for God ” & ”look what the rest of you Christians (mini Christs) are not doing how presumptuous of him to surmise that we the ”Church” are not fulfilling Gods call on our lives to plant, water & let God bring the increase. silly man i say !!
Many yrs ago (about 22-23yrs) my hubby & i spent some amazing time with Christine (Carrioffulos)-Caine & Tim Hall … He changed our lives & the lives of many of our youth, some of whom changed so radically after listening to him share Christ that many of them have gone on to spread the Gospel all over the world 🙂 Tim was & evidently still is a wise servant of the Lord 🙂
Your response is very typical of pastors. You need to tell us of all the things you’ve done in the last little while, claiming relevancy to your message. There are many, many Christians trying to be Jesus in this world and not looking for affirmation from others for doing it.
Thanks Louise for your comments. I merely mentioned what I had done to show that I had been with many pastors. Trust me there is much I do that no one knows and I kind of think it’s sad that you don’t know me but will alude to the fact that you feel this blog is some weird way of having my stereotypical fragile pastor’s ego stroked. No no no.
Sadly just as in the times of the Reformation and the Great Awakenings there is a longing in the hearts of people for a true and real encounter with the living God and “the church” as a system (not the Body of Christ) is all about the system and the fluffing up of the CEO’s, just as we see in this blog. Can we get back to Jesus, it is supposed to be all about Him and people all around the world are waiting to experience the authentic Body of Christ. The fact that in the past there was never a critique of the church system is the very reason we have the inquest in Rome going on right now. People including leaders are not God and are fallible and we have to be able to be critical thinkers without offence being taken.
Thanks Julie for proving my point. No acknowledgment of the good work that churches do, no encouragement to Pastors just unprovable generalized stereotypic blah blah that wouldnt be out of place post the scripture that says The devil is the accuser of the Brethren.
Peter…. Loving all your responses here. Great article and even better responses to the replies. Good stuff mate
Good stuff Pete I am so blessed to have you in my world and dear friend. Keep being Pete
I found the piece of writing quoted as an example of “church bashing” to be no more than honest reflection. It sounded like someone who has been doing serious thinking and questioning. Surely that’s a positive thing. To then go on to say that the man ‘has made a living out of the local church’ as though that should stop him from speaking, doesn’t sit right with me. I have spent my whole life in churches and I have similar feelings. I’m not on this earth to defend a particular institutional structure. I honestly feel that the way we have done church in our society puts a huge burden on pastors, can take the focus off Jesus and creates an artificial sub-culture where we find it hard to relate to people not living according to that sub-culture. This includes people in the local church who are not meeting attendance, lifestyle and positivity standards. There is also far too much abuse of power in many churches. These are honest observations after 40 years of involvement in local churches. It’s not just stuff off the top of my head.
Along with these feelings I also love and respect many ministers who work within this system and wish I had more time with them.
I do think that the way we do church will have to change. This doesn’t mean we should stop loving God or people.
Totally agree Karen. You have expressed my thoughts beautifully.
Just any to say here loud and strong. George Bullock is one of Gods sons with the most beautiful worshipful heart. Petsonallynimthinkmhenhas captured Godsvheart beautifully. I have read the full article. God have mercy on us.
just correcting my own post here as it was done on my ipad which so often ends up different to what I thought I had typed,
I just want to say loud & strong that Geoff Bullock who is the brother that was quoted as the “church basher” (I accidentally came across what he had written & recognised it immediately) is a great brother with a worshipful heart is definitely not understood correctly if he is quoted as a church basher. Lord have mercy on us.