Something on the radio this morning set me off a little bit today. I was listening to the Christian music station when an advertisement came on for one of the radio’s sponsors, which happened to be a church. I don’t have a problem with church’s helping to sponsor Christian broadcasting by any means but it was how this particular advertisement ended. The church (who shall remain anonymous) stated it’s name at the end and then made the bold statement “also known as THE love church”.
I had to let it sink in for a moment (I had only had one cup of coffee thus far). “Wait, what?”, I thought to myself. “If they’re the ‘Love’ church then what are the other churches around them labeled as? The “Hate” church? The “NICE” church? The “I kind of like you” church? And after I asked myself that question another question popped into my head; “If that church has all the love” then what do the rest of the churches get? Why are they only known as the love church? Is it because they paid for this advertisement segment? Did they give themselves that name?
I wish it only happened once in a while in segments on the radio station but it doesn’t. I’ve driven by other churches that have seemingly snarky phrases at the bottom of their signs which make the statement – “BIBLE BELIEVING CHURCH“…Um okay. So the other church down the street is NOT a bible believing church? Or this church is just BETTER at believing in the Bible? And who decides that this particular church and its congregation is strictly a bible believing church? Do they pay bills? Do they drive a car? Do they pay taxes? Then they’re not solely a bible believing church then are they? By this one statement one could make the assertion that their claim to be strictly a bible believing church is false.
Still I’ve come across another sign over a church that made this dire statement: “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD”. When I first saw THAT sign I thought to myself, “Wow their God sounds wrathful and fierce, would I even consider stepping into that church?”
Here’s a truth that the Apostle Paul made that I believe ALL churches should hear again:
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” -1 Corinthians 1:10-13
I’m not picking a verse that fits my purpose, I really want churches to stop comparing themselves with each other. This isn’t some sort of Church growth competition. There isn’t some trophy a church will receive when they get to Heaven because they had the best advertising campaign or slogan on the front of their church. Though Paul spoke these words to a specific church at a specific time, the point is still clear and relevant today: “There should be no divisions among you”. Yet we can look all around us and see just that divisions and comparisons and envy and even hate. I’m telling you this ought not be!
Regardless if a church advertises that they are “THE love church” the fact of the matter is that if any connecting part of the body of Christ is sound in doctrine and serving those less fortunate they are Christ to the lost AND they are the “Love” church too!
I would say this to any and every Church out there: Stop the competition! Stop the comparisons! Stop the divisions and underhanded actions. We have real Kingdom work to do and it will never be accomplished by these ploys and vices. Get on with loving your neighbor and enemies and stop plastering it all over the place…because we need each other and we all work for the same Master.
-Just a thought!