Okay, so Brian's comment on my last post made me want to write a new post just to go a bit more in depth in my reply... (i was just going to reply in a comment but then decided i had too much to say) and this post isnt directly to brian except like... the following line.
Yeah i agree that offending people isnt a sign that we're serving God, but i do think it's wrong if we're holding back or avoiding issues to be politically correct, or to not offend, or anything like that. I think that insults God.
(this is the part that isnt a reply to Brian)
Its saying that the listener's feelings are more important than the Truth needing to be told.
and I know some churches dont talk about politics or the pastors dont say where they stand politically, but i think the opposite should happen.
like with the '08 elections, i know that there were like prayer rallys and stuff for the Yes on Prop 8 (which i think should have been more advertised at Journey because that line is a bit blurred at Journey... like where we stand) but with like McCain vs. Obama, i think that there should have been discussions about who to vote for, teachings on how to decide in a God-honoring morally and biblically correct way, etc.
because i think that as a church, and churches all over SD we need to unite as believers and do what we can to place whoever is best in the white house. (which everyday i believe more and more WASN'T Obama, which i will post about next)
I know that there are maaannnnnyyyyy different values and moral standards and beliefs within Journey and the pastors saying their opinions wouldn't flow right with everyone, and they would really have to check their opinions before teaching them, but really, as a church we are supposed to be of one body....
and if that body has conflicting parts then it isnt right, it wont function to its fullest potential.
which brings me to another topic.
I think that there is too much competition between churches. Numbers have become too important in the church. Personally, i think that numbers speak only so much of how great a church is...
i mean sure, if a church is AMAZING then yes there will be a lot of people coming, staying, believing, growing, etc. but you could also have a number of people having idle spirituality, or none what-so-ever, or you could have a ton of stubborn people that have nothing to do on a sunday morning...
but really, i think that if someone leaves a church to go to another one it shouldnt be so terrible or "wrong" (as ive heard some people saying,) because if someone isnt getting fed, then people should be HAPPY that they are seeking to be closer to God and encourage them, like "if you are not being fed here, if youre not growing closer to God here, please PLEASE keep searching."
i think that the goal has been messed up in the church.
numbers have gotten too important/stressed, and people actually getting fed has gone down. (not saying that churches arent trying to feed the visitors, but if you are always at a visitor level, then the current believers can only go so far)
here's where i may get a bit offensive... (im not sure if i will be or already have been or not, but still.)
I have a few issues with how things are going down right now...
i dont know quite how to word it so i apologize if i sound wierd or harsh.
why is it that we have to TRY to make sunday mornings more APPEALING to the OUTSIDE-worldly people, thus blurring a few lines in the church, and then having the in-depth, growing-closer-to-God moments or at least emphasis on spirituality more on wednesdays? i mean the Word is totally being fed on sunday mornings! no doubt about it!
BUT spirituality has been taken out of the church a bit more. like demons, angels, the whole spiritual realm, has been pushed to the side a bit more
(which i think should DEFINETLY NOT be out of a high school ministry, especially because thats where people are spiritually flexible and it is clear that there have already been attacks)
and has been replaced with fun games and entertaining videos etc. i mean yes, it is fun, and engaging, and makes the atmosphere welcoming and enjoyable, but i think that is also insulting to God. Shouldn't God's AMAZING, MIRACULOUS, AWESOME-ness be the draw? and yes i understand that there needs to be fellowship within the church, but i think that should be on wednesdays, and have the in-depth discussions, spiritual contraversial teachings, on sundays.
I mean, i love Journey, I love Brian, and all the pastors, and i think God moves in Journey, and Brian is doing a good job in Encounter, but i think that there should be some more spirituality being taught. (in all churches) more things on prayer, worship, the spiritual realm, moral values, spiritual gifts, pretty much how to be a better Righteous, God-fearing, Christ-follower, and let God deal with/move in the worldly visitors.