Eye Service as Men Pleasers

The desire to produce visible, measured good works plagues our souls night and day as Christians.  Well, I would say the desire plagues most Christians night and day.  And then there are some people who wake up excited and cheerful by imagining how much good they can accomplish during the day.  I wasn't even close to one of these kinds of people until recently and never consistently even now, of course. 

Going to church week after week, year after year for almost thirty years, yes, since birth has, I believe, thwarted God's true and total purpose for my life.  I have been put in my place for thirty years by various people, well-meaning and or, devisive, instead of being encouraged to find my real and true place in this world, to find my way with God.  With God, yes, with God. 

I could sing.  I loved to sing and at every turn I was being shoved up to the mic by others.  I was even told by one pastor from a church I attended in high school that he was the pastor and that he commanded me to sing a song that he picked out, that I did not like and did not want to sing.  I thought it was too worldly. Seriously.  I have been strongly encouraged and manipulated to do what others wanted me to do for so long, instead of being led to do whatever it was or wanting to do something out of a sheer passion and hunger for that particular act. 

Week after week, year after year, being poked and prodded to do better as a Christian did take its toll.  As much was spouted: we need teachers, we need helpers, we are running this event and that and we need help.  Come out to the church so we can count heads and go pass out tracks(pamplets that contain info on how to put your faith in Jesus for forgiveness of sins) to people who could care less.  Making meals for people you didn't want to make meals for, being involved with events that you didn't want to be involved in, following the church's pattern when it exhausted you and your family life.  There was nothing left.  You were so busy.  Choir numbers, solos, bus ministry, teaching, nursery(oh, let's not forget the nursery), visitation, children's church...these were the visible, charitable acts that got noticed and even applauded and awarded and rank and file promotions were given to those who "followed through". 

Eye service as men pleasers. 

What do I mean?  Well, I mean that this whole set up is certainly set up for failure and the isolation of God's true and misled people ensues daily when this mind set goes on uninterrupted by freethinking, stronger Christians.  Well, actually, freethinking people usually end up leaving such establishments.  What mind set am I speaking of?  The mind set that what we can see is what is pleasing God or the only thing that is pleasing God.  That measured, visible works are the only works. 

I have heard long diatribes in various, "Christian" circles by "Christian" leaders or from the sheeple about how there needs to be more workers or more people doing this, that or the other or how five percent of the people do a hundred percent of the work in the "church". 

Sheer nonsense.  Utter.

I read a quote this week and it said something like, the only way you can free your mind or put something in it is to keep it open.  Where in the world or in the bible does it say that we must live this kind of Spiritless life, living this way, with have-to's and must-do's and oh, look at me, look what I did today?  An act of ego building that comes from seeing so many heads together in one room to pursue what the leader thinks you should do that day?  I'll have none of it.  I'm totally done with that kind of life.  It's all so set up for complete and indefinite failure and discouragement of the body of Jesus Christ. 

Open your mind and consider the world as wide as an ocean and everything in it as varied and as different as it gets.  Let yourself imagine a world of God guiding each one of us as true and freethinking believers in Jesus Christ.  Come, let us reason together and fully contemplate the good that is going on endlessly and is never seen or noticed by the naked eye or very many of them at least. 

The extension of a mother's heart to her child privately and daily and even hourly as she nurses her baby.

The stop on a street corner to give a transient a cup of cold water in Jesus' name and encouraging word, "I know you can find a job!  You can do it!"

A private, anonymous monterary gift, not a tenth(He gave you everything), or a showy display of weekly giving.

A meal to a neighbor(you know and love your neighbors) who just lost a loved one.

The message of Christ given privately, quietly to someone God, Himself, led you to, someone wanting or ready to hear it. 

I could go on for ages.  Imagine living every day of your life like this...in the moment of listening to the Spirit of God speak to you directly.  Following your gut, that tool of direction inside of you...I believe it is the Spirit of God in the life of the true believer.  Don't go along just to get along any further.  Stop and listen.  Listen.

And Christ's kingdom has no end.  There isn't a list, just a leading.  And it could be anything and take on any form that pleases God in heaven.  A passion. A hunger.  A yearning.

And not someone else's, but your's.




Shari said...

Each time I read your blog I am reminded that we made the right decision to leave church. You describe all of the things we have been going through for years. Thank you for your boldness to stand up!

Run of the Mill Church in Pensacola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katy-Anne said...

I was once told by a pastor that since he was the pastor and he found no other place for me to serve in the church and that as a member I *had* to serve, that I HAD to work nursery. I told him no, and he said I was disobeying authority. He then looked at my husband and said "brother, tell her she has to. You're her husband and therefore her authority and she has to obey you, if she doesn't she's not right with God". My husband turned to the pastor and said "she doesn't have to do it if she doesn't want to". He was mad. We left that church not long after.

Deb Paul said...

Yeah, that's pretty amazing stuff, Katy-Anne. And let's clarify, was this an IFB church? I really have not come across this super controlling behavior in other churches, but then again I didn't stick around long enough to find out. May you never enter the doors of another church like that ever again.

Shari said...

When you say IFB I am assuming you mean Independent Fundamental Baptist?

Verity3 said...

So glad I am not the only one who thinks this way. I truly believe any church (or any other group of human beings) is susceptible to this kind of controlling behavior, by people who are driven to build their own kingdoms more than God's. A hierarchalist mentality just encourages people to speak of it more directly.

Part of the change for me was realizing that calling "bad" what God may consider good is no better than the reverse. Learning to suspend judgment when appropriate has shown me that there is a lot more truth, goodness and beauty in the world than I knew before. God is so much bigger than ultra-religiosity can admit.