Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Church For All Nations

God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah and said that "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 56:7). I have always enjoyed that verse. It spoke to my heart. But I wonder if that is the way it really is?

It has been said that 11:00 Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. We tend to go to churches made up of people who are just like we are. Whites end up in white churches. Blacks end up in black churches. And so it goes. Now, before you mention it, I admit a part of that is because of culture. However, my post today goes to the heart of the Christian.

The book of Revelation says that God is calling people to Himself out of the world "from every tongue, tribe, nation and people." God's people are being gathered from all over the world, out of every people group on the planet. And we are all bound together in the bonds of love by the Holy Spirit. If that is so, our hearts need to be open to all people.

Ask yourself, what would be your reaction if, next Sunday, every empty seat in your church was filled with someone of a different ethnic background than yourself? Let me be more specific. If your church is predominantly white, consider all the empty seats in your church and imagine if next Sunday morning, every empty seat was filled with a black person. Or a hispanic person. What is they were filled with prostitutes? What about gang members? The number of mixes and matches of people groups are endless.

Most churches would be so far out of their comfort zone that they would drive the invaders (or so they would be treated) "out from among them." See ... they say they are open to God's people but they really want people like themselves to populate their church. They really don't want "outsiders."

But if we are going to be the churches that God intended us to be, we need to be churches that belong to God above all else and be houses of prayer for all nations. If we are going to survive as churches and as Christians as the 21st century progresses, we are going have to stop segregating ourselves from other peoples in our church fortresses. We are going to have to open our doors and our hearts to every body. Good grief ... isn't it about time?

2 Comments:

Blogger timholcombe said...

John,

theochat.com is back online.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Richard M. Wright said...

Excellent article, John. I was genuinely moved. Muchas gracias!

Rick Wright (aka rickwright01 from Baptistlife.com)
Pastor, Church of the Nations (oddly enough)

4:32 AM  

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