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O COME ALL YE FAITHLESS
By Paul Proctor
August 2, 2003
It is painfully obvious to me that many Christians, even �conservative� Christians, are beginning to adopt the liberal principle known as: �the end justifies the means�, or �whatever works� � not only in business, education and politics but in matters of church and faith as well. Nowhere is it more evident than in today�s church growth movement where biblical absolutes are optional, experimentation is �healthy�, comfort is �crucial� and �results� (numerical growth) are mandatory.
Illustrating the absurdity of �the end justifies the means�, and how it has become the modus operandi of the postmodern church, I suggested in an article three months ago, entitled: Brotherly Bribes (www.newswithviews.com/PaulProctor/proctor 19.htm), that congregations who practice this principle ought to just cut to the chase and offer cash incentives to visitors. What�s good for GMC ought to be good for G-O-D, right?
Well, guess what? In a recent USA Today article, Diane Haag, of the Shreveport Times, tells of a black church that will actually pay white people $5 an hour during the month of August to attend their Sunday services. It was apparently the brainstorm of the church�s pastor, Bishop Fred Caldwell who, using the parable of Matthew 20:1-16 as his inspiration and justification said: �I just want the Kingdom of God to look like it�s suppose to.� � meaning what � like a government program � contrived, symbolic, superficial, humanistic and prone to failure?
Louisiana Black Church Will Pay Whites To Attend www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-07-30-church-usat_x.htm
Then, I guess, when the Greenwood Acres Full Gospel Baptist Church is eventually overrun by unemployed and unaffordable white people with covetousness in their hearts and dollar signs in their eyes and fights begin breaking out over what Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw will report as more racial tensions among Christians in the South, the world can again laugh at this bigoted thing called Christianity while we hunker down in our little focus groups to scratch our noggins and exchange cuddly clich�s like: �the Lord sure works in mysterious ways, doesn�t He?�
Once again, absurdity becomes reality in a world without absolutes where �worship� has become little more than deviant displays of �bread and circus� designed to gratify the flesh and fill the eyes of those who crave the world�s clamor more than Word of God.
I suppose Bishop Caldwell, in all his brilliance, forgot what the Apostle Paul said about �the love of money��
�For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.� - 1 Timothy 6:10
�and about reaping what you sow:
�Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.� � Galatians 6:7-8
Twenty or more years ago, a friend told me about a very unusual bible study group his mother was a part of at the First Baptist Church in the town where she lived. I don�t remember much about it except to say that it was a no-nonsense gathering that involved a great deal of in-depth study, research and preparation � a very demanding program that required a lot of reading, homework, sacrifice and discipline. I don�t recall if attendees were actually tested or graded from time to time but those who clearly failed to apply themselves and didn�t take the study seriously were kindly asked to not return. You see � they had a VERY long waiting list of people wanting in. Quite a contrast to today�s quaint little social gatherings and chitchats we call bible study, where everything BUT the Word of God is used to beg people in and keep them coming back, isn�t it?
In spite of Bishop Cardwell�s good intentions, the Christian life is not about what you can get, but about what you can give � because only by surrender and sacrifice are Christians made more like their Lord and Savior and less like the lustful world around them. That�s why Jesus Christ is remembered with a cross instead of a throne.
�Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.� � Matthew 16:24
� 2003 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected]�
"Well, guess what? In a recent USA Today article, Diane Haag, of the Shreveport Times, tells of a black church that will actually pay white people $5 an hour during the month of August to attend their Sunday services."