I sat on this blogpost since the end of 2012. We had a guest preacher come to our church, and I was so glad that I was sitting in the back of the church. He delivered a message that left me no choice but to stand (and snoopy dance in a pre-dominant Caucasian church that’s about as quiet as a Presbyterian church) because it moved me to the core. Note I was near the exit in the back so no one could really see me (smile). Another brother (Caucasian) was also on his feet and we were both surprised that the church wasn’t moved to the core. In fact, 95% of the church felt as if he was either speaking Greek or he offended them because they were comfortable in their little seat in the church. Now mind you, my church (with both services combined) is about 1000 people. So, what was the sermon about? Getting off of your behind and fulfilling the Great Commission. To see the 95% respond as if they were appalled just showed me that some people (and not just in my church, but probably other churches in the world) are living in the ostrich syndrome. A person living with this syndrome doesn’t want to face reality, hear the truth, and hopes everything goes away by sticking his head in the sand. Many people who name the name of Christ are doing the same thing. The mentality of the ostrich syndrome in the AMCC is this: As long as it doesn’t bother me and my family (to include those in our Christian circle), I’ll stick my head in the sand. Tragically, it’s prevalent in the AMCC – I beg you, if you’re trapped either in this syndrome or in the church, please escape.
A little bit more information about the ostrich syndrome in the AMCC. Peter tells us the Jews to live among the Gentiles, but those in the ostrich syndrome are focused on separating from the world in totality. Of course, this is contrary to the “in the world, but not of it” mentality. It’s interesting that when we came out of the world, we were ecstatic. Now when we see others stuck in the world, we stick our heads in the sand and try to avoid them. That’s not fair to them (and we then sit and wonder why they won’t come to church).
OK, this was the gist of the lesson (and you will see when this is over, why this would offend someone in the AMCC) – focus scripture is 1 Samuel 14:1-23:
- No political party will is going to ever bring reconciliation to Southeast Asia or this nation, it’s only Jesus.
- God calls us to not be comfortable but to be courageous!
- Tutoring for kids where schools have to clean dung off of cafeteria tables so the kids could have a free breakfast. Again, not a political issue, but a church issue.
- We must die to self so that Christ can be glorified.
- The church needs to step up and defend the poor and needy!
- The church has been chillin’ too much! What do we do, be comfortable.
- We base church success on buns (how many buns are in the seats), buildings (how big is the building) and budgets (how big is the budget).
- The world doesn’t see who Christ really is because the church is so isolated and insulated.
- God is calling us to get out of our comfort place
- In the American church, we say if we don’t have it in the budget, we don’t do it.
- Without faith, it’s impossible to please God (it doesn’t say “without it being in the budget”)
- In the church, we live with the mindset that we have to have everything mapped out and there’s no room for God to work (thinking perhaps the Lord will be with us)!
- If you just work out of compassion, you’re going to die! If you work out of a calling, God will fill you up and take care of you!
- Too often in the church, we’re looking for the Red Sea experience when God is saying, “Would you just do something? Would you just put your foot in? Would you know that I am with you? Be bold and be strong and be courageous for I am with you wherever you go!”
- The church sits back while the world goes to hell! We sit back while our neighbor is battling through everything when we’re more worried about the leaves that blow in our yard than their salvation!
- If you’re chillin’ in your house, at your job, in your church, at your school, God cannot and will not use you! Stop waiting for God to give you a “Yes.” He’s told us to go and spread His kingdom, make disciples! We don’t have to wait for a YES!
- Summary: we must go when we don’t have the dough; we must go when we don’t know and we must go until God says no!