Optimal Health Spiritual Wellness

The Church: Is It A Dying Organization?

 

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My mother raised me in church and for that I am grateful. We were in Church every Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night as well as several week-long revivals a year. It felt like my second home. Things have certainly changed. Could it be that the physical building we call the church is a dying organization?

Looking back on the church, I have realized some disturbing truths about this organization that have led me to ponder many questions.

  • Who is God?
  • Where is God?
  • Is God separate from us?
  • Aren’t we all just ONE universal Spirit?
  • Where is this Hell I’ve been told about?
  • Where is Heaven?

Do I have all the answers? Not by a long stretch. I ask these questions to also provoke thought in you. And remember, parachutes are much like the mind, heart and spirit. They only work when they are open. It is my hope you will keep your mind, heart, and spirit open as you also think about what your answer would be to these questions.

Perhaps God is not who you’ve been taught your whole life he is. Perhaps God is not where you been told he is. Are Heaven and Hell really physical destinations?

For centuries the church has used fear tactics to get people to follow. Follow who? They have preached that if you don’t “get saved” and follow Jesus that you will go to hell and burn forever. So, where is this “Lake of Fire” where thousands of “sinners” are burning forever yet never burn up? Where is it located? Are you able to answer that?

Where is this place called Heaven that “Christians” go after they die? Where is it?  Do people really go somewhere and walk on streets of gold forever? Sounds like a nice story but is it reality?

Could it be that Heaven and Hell are not physical destinations at all, but rather states of mind with each day bringing a new opportunity to choose which one we will be in? For me, my choices have led to many days in hell. On the other hand, I’ve also had many days in heaven.

Church for me has been both a place of inspiration and a place of great hurt with all the gossiping, deceitfulness, extreme hypocrisy, fear tactics and fairytales. I could write a book just on my experience in the church. Is the church perhaps too much of a business?  A bank? A social gathering?  A fashion show? A Broadway musical? A place to hide who you really are. 

Many politicians have used the church as a platform to win elections. “Oh, he’s a Christian so I’m voting for him.” I think we have all seen behavior that is far from Christian coming from the highest office in the land yet the Christians continue to support this behavior by casting their vote.

Next time you attend your church, look around. What is the majority age group represented in the church?  More than likely, it is not millennials. It is possible that they have chosen to also ask themselves the important questions? The millennials do not seem to be buying into the fear tactics, the drama, and the stories being told.

Each individual has within them the power to discover their own spirit and their own path without all the drama of the church. It is my belief that people are more awakened to the fact that the sanctuary is inside of them and not inside a building where you go to be preached at, condemned, and judged.

I certainly respect those who believe in the traditional thought process they were raised to belief. I respect those who choose to attend church. Still I have to wonder, Is the church serving its true purpose? Quite frankly, I see more spirituality in people who do not attend church. The Bible has been terribly distorted by many men to make it mean what they want it to mean and to justify their bigotry and hate.

What would happen if the church practiced more love and less fear? What would happen if the church practiced more acceptance and less judgment? What would happen if there was more authenticity and less hypocrisy? What would happen if they fed the hungry instead of buying the pastor a new Mercedes?

I have served at the top of many of these large church organizations. Oh, the things I saw, heard, and experienced.  One thing in the pulpit and another out. Families arguing and not loving each other. The church split with certain groups fighting with other groups in the church. Holding elections to vote people in and out of positions. Using certain parts of the bible to judge and condemn others.

My intention is certainly not to tear the physical church down, but instead to hopefully cause you to think about the questions asked in this article. What is your answer to each question?

As always, I would be grateful for your feedback as I believe we all learn from each other. It is okay to have varying viewpoints and ideology. We can still love and respect each other through it all.

Grateful for each of you,

Vince

 

 

 

 

6 comments on “The Church: Is It A Dying Organization?

  1. Shaun Vassell

    I Love this thought provoking read.

  2. Ken Jackson

    The Church is dying because its lost its way. It has become too political.

  3. yuri margossian

    Yet another thought provoking blog Vince.
    During my lifetime, I have encountered a few types of religions, my origin Armenian Gregorian Orthodox, my birth country Muslim and Catholicism, my middle school Christian Scientist and my senior school Protestant. I have yet to experience Judaism or any of the Indian religions.
    From all these different types, I have taken something on board which has sort of ended with me thinking that Buddhism is the way forward.
    I love the Armenian’s chants but dislike the fact that the congregation isn’t really involved in the proceedings, Islam shows that you are a nobody because you have to pray on the floor, Christian Scientists believe in mind over matter and the Protestants like the congregation to participate but I dislike the sterility of the churches. The Buddhist on the other hand believes that although you are bugger than an ant, you still should respect an ant as it also has a soul and simplicity is better than over decorative.
    Most of the churches in England, immaterial of what group of Christianity, are frequented by the few 60+ on the Sunday, however Christmas Eve, Easter, Weddings and Funerals are re very busy days for them. Apart from Funerals, these days entice young children in as a norm.
    You ask ‘Where is God ?’, to me God is my subconscious. I turn to him when i need guidance or help and somehow he shows me the way. I have now unintentionally changed him to my late parents and they are guiding me along with 3 great friend who I have called my ‘3 wise men’.
    You ask ‘where is Hell or Heaven ?’ As you stated, we are living in hell, on the bad days and heaven, in the good days.
    Man created religion to control the masses, and I presume he had to have a destination for life after death, hence Heaven or Hell. It is very interesting that every religion believes in this except Buddhism which believes in the after birth. The other religions call it ‘afterlife’ and this can be seen on the hilographics (sorry can’t spell the word) in the pyramids. The fanatical muslims believe that if they kill in the name of Allah, then they will go to heaven and they will have 40 virgins ! The question I have asked many times to the Mullahs and no one can answer is, what happens after the 40 are deflowered ? It’s utter claptrap. Guess a fanatical muslim woman gets 40 virgin men ?
    Personally, I don’t want to believe that death means death. I want to believe that as our souls die, we are re born again but in a different form, maybe as a leaf or a blade of grass. When my father died, everytime we had a family reunion, which was roughly once every two weeks, a fly would appear out of nowhere and just fly around the room. The irony of this was that it didn’t matter whether it was a boiling hot day or if it was snowing, but that fly still appeared and it didn’t matter whose home we were congregating in. We actually liked having him around and would look out for him.
    I think that many millenials don’t believe is God or the church/mosque/temple/etc is because we now have the age old question of science vs religion. Did God create the world or was the world created from a meteorite or star ? Furthermore, with our diverse religions in the schools, religion is getting a second position to that of science. Sadly, in England, being a Christian is like being a second class person. There is just too much political correctness going on and it’s getting confusing.
    The African American Churches have brought life into the churches whereas the older Churches, such as the Armenian Orthodox have drained it. Congregational participation is essential to keep it ‘fun’ and ‘interesting’ as opposed to dull and boring. If the Church want’s to survive, it has to change. The film Sister Act (Whoopi Goldberg) actually shows this point in detail.
    All the religions seem to use the Old Testament as their source. It’s also interesting that with Mohammed being the youngest of all the Prophets, the Koran refers to Jesus as one of the Prophets.
    In England we have the King James version of the Bible which is a relatively bloodless book. I have often wondered if the actual Bible was a bloody book or a peaceful book.
    Thank you for an interesting and thought provoking blog.
    Yuri x

    • Yuri,

      Yet another beautiful, educational, inspiring response from you. I sooooo appreciate you and have learned a great deal from you.

      Much love,
      Vince

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