A Church for Everyone

I agreed to go with a group of Christian friends to a Braves game.

This was going to be different. The field was covered with performing high school bands -- an appeal to all who like music. And that was only the beginning. For those preferring opera, a Metropolitan Opera star sang the national anthem. For those more political in taste, the Attorney General of the U.S. led the pledge to the flag. Lovers of money were tantalized by a $500 door prize. Cartoon fans were entertained by a million dollar scoreboard featuring cartoon characters. Those living on the level of the flesh were treated to the sight of a young lady in short shorts running around the diamond sweeping off the bases between every inning. And to climax it all, there was a huge fireworks display. I don't remember what team the Braves were playing, much less who won, but that was a game I shall never forget. That was baseball for people who don't like baseball!

Far too many churches are trying to remodel the religion of Jesus Christ to make it a religion for people who don't like religion! For those desiring recreation, they offer recreation. For those desiring entertainment, there is entertainment. For those whose primary interest is secular education, they offer day care, kindergartens, schools and colleges. For those whose appetite is for food, they build church kitchens and dining rooms. The attempt is to be "the church for everybody."

Such carnal, temporal appeals were never authorized by the Lord. He intended that the church be a "called out", separated body of people. If the gospel is the only appeal, it will make the separation. In Corinth, where the wisdom of men was valued, Paul "determined not to know anything...except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" 1 Cor. 2:2. In a city where oratory was highly esteemed, he refused even to dress up the gospel with "excellence of speech" 1 Cor. 2:1. His purpose was to see that the materials he built into the temple were "gold, hay and straw" 1 Cor. 3:12.

No, the Lord's church is not for everybody -- just for those who have those qualities which set them apart as God's elect and chosen ones.