Hello, Blog World.
I haven't written in a while, so I figured it was time. So hello, old faithful friend.
Right now I'm listening to Jars of Clay's song, "Two Hands". I'm usually not a big fan of Jars of Clay, but I really like this song. It's hopeful, I think. Especially the bridge. Anyway, so I'm listening to this song and trying to figure out what I want to say to you.
It seems like I always say, "Oh, I have dreams of changing the world" but I never have anything to report, nothing exciting to say. Maybe that's just me, though.
I've been talking to a lot of people about ministry and church and Jesus lately. It seems like my church is dying, and that really makes me sick on the inside. Have you ever felt that way? It really makes me sick inside, because I have loved these people for so long, but it seems like our church is dying. It makes me cry. Not just on the inside, too.
I talked to my nana last week (she goes to my church, too), and she thinks it's my pastor. She thinks he's changed. I don't know if that's true. Lots of people would say that my church is just not open to evolving to meet the current needs the world has right now. I don't know if that's true, either. I used to think I had all the answers, but now I know I don't.
I listen to this morning radio show called "Mornings with Brant". You can listen online at www.morningswithbrant.com. It's awesome. They talk about Jesus, about life, about laughter, and just things you wouldn't even imagine, and there's great music in there, too. I just love it. Anyway, besides my shameless plug that you should soooooooo check it out (it's on from 6 to 10 every weekday morning), they are really making me think.
Today, they brought up this question: If your church decided to sell its property and its building, how would you feel about it? And just FYI, this is not disbanding the congregation and saying, "This church family doesn't exist anymore..." This is saying that those that are less well off than we are deserve to have food today and a Bible to heal their hearts. And clothes on their backs. And we're finally deciding to step up and be the hands and feet and words of Jesus.
Oh, the state of the Christian church in modern America makes me both sick and seething mad, and on top of it all, I just want to crawl up into a little ball and cry my heart out until the power of Satan goes away.
I LOVED that question that Brant asked today. He posted it on their facebook page, too, and I replied there, but apparently halfway through all the responses, someone had the guts to say, "Well, y'all are so gun-ho about doing it, so who's gonna be FIRST?!" And it makes me so incredibly sad that I CAN'T be first! If I brought this idea to my church board the next time they met, I would be laughed out of the room.
I can already hear what they'd say.
Are you serious, Ashley? Are you crazy? Look at where we are! We've made something out of our church. This is comfortable. This is beautiful, and this is finally OURS. Why should we give it up? Why do we need to give up what God has blessed us with?
And I know right now what I would say to them, and it certainly wouldn't be politically correct or even spiritually correct!
With tears in my eyes and a tremor in my voice, I would shout:
This is YOURS?! Are you KIDDING me? You guys don't even know Jesus anymore! You go through the motions, and you act all holier-than-thou, but you are WEAK! You are worse than they are! You are why they don't want to be here! They see right through to your lies, and they know that you are just like them, sinners in need of the Redeemer, and yet you act like you don't need Him!
They are POOR! They're DESTITUTE! They're STARVING, and SICK, and THIRSTY, and ALONE and NEEDY and THEY ARE EXACTLY WHY JESUS CAME HERE!!! And you all forgot that! How in the world could you forget? How STUPID can you be?!
And I don't know what else I would do then. I think I would curl up in a ball and cry. Because I love them to death. They're like family to me. But they are dead. They're starving themselves and they don't even know how much they're hurting themselves! And they're keeping the people out of heaven that need it the most!
I have a feeling, if I didn't get so angry that I forgot, I would tell them that I didn't understand how Jesus stand them anymore, because they were the Laodicean church, not hot but not cold, and Jesus was about to spit them out of His mouth.
But I don't want to tell them ANY of that! I love them. And I love Jesus' people that aren't quite His yet! And I love them all, and I want to show them all Jesus' hope, and I want to fly to heaven's gates with EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM--both the ones in the church already, and the ones who see through to the hypocrisy and are scared away by it.
This is something that's just been bothering me so much. And I'm sick of not saying ANYTHING. I don't even know how to speak, outside of blogging like this. Jesus' church is ignorant, and I don't even know how to wake them up.
I know Jesus has called me to speak out for Him, but I don't even know what to say.
It makes me sick and sad and paralyzed all at the same time.
What do you think? I know not too many people really follow my blog, but if you do happen to read this one blog, can you please reply? Christian, Atheist, agnostic, teen, grandparent, I don't care. I just am no longer content to let the church stay this way. But I don't know where to go from here!
Thanks for reading... this one was a longer one. But Jesus truly wants each and every one of us, and I want to make it easier for us all to be with Him.
Until next time,
Ash the (frantic) Dreamer