THE RIGHT ONE?
Think of all the personalities in this world. All the personalities on social media. All the multitudes full of diversity and differences of opinion. All the different cultural backgrounds. All the varying needs, the rich, the poor, the man-made labels of lower, middle and upper classes. The age groups with youthful ambition, hard-nosed business men, older entrepreneurs with their individual ‘empires’.
Think of the crime syndicates, think of the secret organisations, the money pedlars, the inner city crime scenes, gang culture and warfare. Think of the pimps and prostitutes. Think of the elite – the millionaires and billionaires, the movie stars and pop stars.
Think of the dictators, the communist regimes, mis-used democracy, the politics of power and position-seeking, the judicial systems that differ throughout the world.
And so we could go on trying to describe the world in which we live – humanity-wise.
And then there is the description that perhaps fits you and I (?).
It is a term that I think originated in North America – the descriptive term is: ‘average joe’.
I’m not from the USA, but the term sounds like it fits most of us in the Western Hemisphere.
But ‘average Joe’ will also fit in somewhere in the list I started this post with.
Enter stage left – the Christian gospel.
Stating the obvious, the Christian gospel is sent to mankind. Think mankind – and then look again at my list.
How will this gospel sit with those who fit the above categories?
And then factor-in the fact that the onlooker can be forgiven for thinking that in fact there is more than one ‘gospel’.
Think of the observer, the outsider, the ones not involved in Christianity – and listen as they express their confusion over what Christianity is all about.
Just as individual Christians have individual personalities. So churches and church organisations seem to vary immensely to the ‘average Joe’ outsider, in their corporate ‘personalities’. The average Joe who is not involved in it all.
Terms and name tags are bandied about by Christians as they label their own particular ‘tribe.’
The outsider concludes – “But which church is the right one?”
Rather than pursue it – they decides to refuse it.
Giving it a little of his/her time they roughly peruse what immediately hits them. The showcase presentation on social media, websites, Facebook, YouTube, T.V. etc.
They perhaps haven’t the time to enter into a deeper examination of the warp and woof of a particular ‘brand’, they happen to have come across, via google search.
What are we to do if we are to navigate our way to the right church?
Navigating our way to the church that is right – and thankfully there will be more than one. But unfortunately in some cases – there may not be one near you.
What are we to do when even Christians need to examine each individual group of believers to see if they are ‘sound’, ‘the real McCoy’, and are not as we say in my culture – ‘one stick short of a bundle?’
Well – let’s stop right there, and state that there is no escape from going to the gospel as an individual personality, firstly and foremostly. It’s meant to be that way.
The message is to the individual, before we get to what corporate body of people we should attach ourselves to.
Salvation is about the human heart finding the Only Living and true God.
A corporate body of people who claim to be Christian, or who describe themselves with the Christian label are not automatically the real McCoy, just because the ‘christian’ label is built-in to their PR description.
So individual, who is perhaps somewhere in my initial list above – get that bible open and get reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – the four gospels.
Steep yourself in it and hear the message, as you talk to God at the same time.
It is sent firstly and foremostly to you, with divine love from Jesus Christ The Lord of heaven and earth.
Understand that He too ‘can’t believe’ some of the shenanigans His people get up to. Matt. 13/58, 17/17. Mark 6/6, 16/14.
He is flabbergasted by the unbelief (from which all misbehaviour stems), that even those who believe get up to.
He has experienced this from the beginning when He recruited the twelve disciples. But yet, He fully invited them on board without reservation.
Whoever comes to Him they were told, He would never cast out, and He promised to be with them always.
Yep – you heard it right – the believers can do unbelievable things, because you see when we come to Christ and find His acceptance and promise of eternal life, we have only began a journey.
Having believed on Christ as Lord, we still have many areas God has to work on, to bring change. And you might encounter some area in a person, or in the personality of a church – that still needs altered, changed, or overhauled drastically.
You are not to be put off by this, because Christ came to build His church, mature His church, cleanse His church, revive His church, and it doesn’t all happen overnight.
In the words of the song: ‘I owe you some kind of an apology.’
Christians owe the world an apology for the fact that the church universal, is so imperfect in behaviour.
Whereas the world owes God an apology for its rejection of Him.
But of course the church is made up of people who needed a saviour, in the first place, and who haven’t, and never will, stop NEEDING Him to perfect them.
Having found The Saviour, they now need Him to increase their faith more and more, so that they will not disappoint you (unconvinced unbeliever) – with their shortcomings, and areas of remaining unbelief, in the midst of their established faith.
Unbelief is the second original sin, (mankind) the first was self-absorption and pride, resulting in rebellion (the devil).
Listen to the man (average Joe?) in great need:
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I BELIEVE; HELP MY UNBELIEF!”