Changing Role Of The Church

Changing The Role Of The Church


          The churches of the 21st century should not be hospitals for sinners, but houses for saints. Churches need to change their image of mental health centers and develop the image of God’ Kingdom on Earth. This is a serious request for a traditional change and focus of  the Body of Christ.

This appeal does not say that the hospital model is not needed, rather that the hospital model is creating more sick people than well people. The hospital model is like the treatment for substance abuse model, there is no cure available, you have talking, introspection sessions and painful sacrifices, which will enable you to live better in the outside world.

That is not the role of the church but rather one assigned to it by mental health institutions seeking to transfer its responsibility of health to the emotionally challenged over to religious institutions.

The sick have created havoc in churches, which  pastors and lay people- in general are unprepared to handle. The needs and concerns of the family and community are now brought into the church and the focus of the activity in many churches is how to address the needs of select individuals who require exceptional attention and support. God has a model for the Churches- a model of wholeness and wellness. Let the weak say ” I am strong.” Let the blind see the way- let the spiritually dead walk through the doors of the church and know a resurrection. God’s house is a special place, it is not the sanitation department. Come all who are heavy ladden and find peace and love. There are recepticles outside of the doors of the church, use them and step into the house of love and Grace. The churches are intended to be separate and apart from the world- traditionally in historical churches-people put on their very best to enter into the house of the Lord. They put on their best clothes and best manners-this was God’s house- and we dressed our bodies and mind for God. Today people drag anything into this sacred space- and resent being told it is a disrespect to the people and the place. We have to return to treating God’s house with respect. I have heard many people say they stopped going to church because they did not want to be hurt. No one should be hurt in word thought or deed in God’s house. The church should not be afraid to ask people to leave the building if disrespect is demonstrated to the faith or the building. The church is losing its way as it permits the world to tell it what it is and what it is not. People enter the Church for prayer on personal and private issues- they enter for service or information-they enter for help. No one enters for hurt. The early Christians were identified by how “well they loved one another.” We should greet each person entering the building with “the peace of God.”Dr. Forbes preached a sermon in which he said, all who enters the doors of the Riverside Church, should feel the warm secure arms of love wrapped around them-they are in a safe place in the heart of God’s love. Do not come to church to battle-but to love- bring love when you come- and meet it at the doors.

Churches are also making mistakes in combining ministries. If a church has an open and affirming ministry, a prison ministry with re-entry focus- a rehabitational  ministry- and a community service ministry, it should not interchange with volunteers working in youth programs. Youth programs are family values programs, and youth should not have involvement with other ministries. Parents have strict ideas concerning who they want to be involved with children, these values must be respected. The church may want to be inclusive with its ministries, but that is not possible-especially where youth and children are concerned.

The Church should change from the St. Paul’s model, to the Christ Jesus model, – the models are different. Jesus model requires that the Church become the Beloved Community, however, the St. Paul’s model is about justification and saying and doing the right set of principles in the right way, and being accepted by the right people as having followed the prescribed set of principles. Paul is the leader and creator of the Christian Churches, he has written the guidelines for what a church is intended to be. Paul spirit is within the church. The need for argumentation, punishment and banishment for the gathering if specific rules and belief are not followed; and the discussion on who is or who is not a Christian or what procedures he has or has not gone through, comes from Paul. St. Paul loved a good fight and her wrote guidelines to how to handle a good fight within the church. Jesus was more interested in who the individual was and helping the individual to recognize his unique connection to the Father and to each other.

 The gathering of thousands on hill- tops was more about showing people that they could come together regardless of the racial and cultural differences and share bread and learn together. Jesus worked from a foundation of love to bring that love into the world and share its gift with others. The danger and power of love was demonstrated by the fact that those in power felt threatened by the outside inward force of internal power and sought to destroy the teacher as an example to the student about the dangers of change.  The church is the student and the Holy Spirit is the teacher, the question is which model do we follow.

Jesus model requires the acceptance of all who wish to come and share in God’s love and peace. The Jesus model teaches peace and love. The Jesus model speaks of the freedom to share the God given talents with your fellow human kind. Jesus healed the sick of mental confusion and told them to go on their way. Jesus calls the others to follow Him the representative of the way and the life of peace and love.

There of course needs to be places where spiritual guidance for mental health challenges can be addresses and some levels of medical cure obtained, but that should not be the focus of the Church. Churches however, can supervise these health centers in order to insure that the right and legally and spiritual qualified individuals are in charge of these spiritual health institutions. These are spiritual centers where issues of long suppressed syndromes of child abuse by family members and or trusted family members can be worked out.

 Issues of emotional and physical abuse must be addressed and healed in order for an individual to accept the love, which God through Her people -seek to give. Racial oppression, given and received, – result in so much stress and identity crisis, should also be addressed in these centers. These are however not church issues, these are health issues, and the more the church seeks to become doctors nurses and health care providers, the less they are effective in doing the work of transforming souls into their better angels.

Jesus identified the Godness or goodness in our spirit and our souls and taught us how to awaken the God and good within each of us. Giving three major commandments, and leaving a template for life on earth, He calls on mankind to love God with all the heart and soul- love your neighbor as you love the true acknowledged self, and protect children and bring them into an awareness of the God within.

Love our God, love our neighbor and love our children, this is the role of the church and this is the Jesus model, which churches should be following. Therefore, if it is not about learning about the God, the creator and ruler of this universe, it should not be in the church.

If it is not about understanding and appreciating the gifts and talents of the human family and helping the human family to live in peace and security and care for this land prepared by God, it should not be in church. And finally, if a spiritual house is not full of children, playing and praying safely at the feet of the saints and receiving the knowledge of kingdom of God, it is not a church.

The child is the father of the man, and what is done to the child in the process of his development determines what type and character of man he will become. Churches are the formative agent of the soul and character of man, and it starts with welcoming children into the House of God.

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