It's Time to Stop Playing "Church"

I am very thankful to have been trained very early on in my Christian walk to have a balanced life philosophy, as my Pastor put it. He used the verse of scripture in Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” to teach us not to fulfil the saying “you are so heavenly minded, you are earthly useless.” I was taught that my walk with Jesus transcended the four walls of church and that I was called to be the light of the world and not only the church.

As the years went by, I encouraged new believers to avoid just being “local champions” in their churches, as there is more to our faith in God than clocking in and out on Sundays. However, depending on the believer’s orientation of faith and spirituality, some did not think there was anything wrong with merely being a Sunday believer. A preacher once said “We all live life the way we see life” and I couldn’t agree with him more. We tend to gravitate towards the set of beliefs we are exposed to when our eyes are first opened and we’re converted. The perception that we develop on what the Christian life should be about will go a long way to affect how we conduct ourselves.

It is very easy to be caught “playing church” on Sundays when we are in the midst of other believers. And from Monday to Saturday live by the law of Thelema which says “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” There are some who are sincerely convinced that it is good to have some kind of ‘spiritual’ life, regardless of how one lives. This paradigm is not consistent with the Bible and it is sincerely wrong.

I have observed a subtle trend that seems to be creeping in to the body of Christ and this is the compartmentalisation of our lives. I found the meaning of the word ‘compartment’ in the Cambridge dictionary very fascinating, it says “ to separate something into parts and not allow those parts to mix together.” Some of us have subscribed to the erroneous belief that so long as we play our roles well in our various worship services, we are not necessarily accountable to anyone for the way we behave elsewhere. We have somehow categorised our activities into sacred and secular and we even wrongly use scriptures to justify this lifestyle. After all, didn’t the good book say “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s?”

Nevertheless, the Bible abounds with verses of scripture that point to the holistic nature of our faith. Deuteronomy 6:5 (And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might) which was reiterated by Jesus in the New testament is one of the texts that admonish us to surrender our whole being to God. This confirms the fact that when one is serving God, we should surrender to the will of God in all things and at all times as He wants to be Lord of all, that is our Spirit, Soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

I am persuaded by the above mentioned verses that it is the ultimate intention of God that we as His children endeavour to live a life that is totally surrendered to Him. That we allow Him to have pre-eminence in every facet of our lives. It is apparent that we will have failings in our faith walk. Yet having the consciousness of His presence with us in everything and at all times is a very good way to live a fully surrendered life.

It is vitally important that we understand that life is connected and there are no isolated decisions, especially as a believer of Christ. Every “private” choice we make has a reverberating consequence not just on us, but also on the entire body of Christ, which is the universal church. We must appreciate the fact that every aspect of our life is equally important. Once we begin to see the bigger picture (which is that we are spirit beings with a soul being renewed by the Word of God and we live in a body that is the temple of the Holy Spirit), we will approach the Christian walk very differently. When we get to the point where we actually believe that we are part of one body, which is not merely an organisation but a spiritual organism, we will become more careful and considerate in our daily way of life.

The desire of God is that we all come to a place of understanding who we are uniquely as Christians and what we are called to do. This will encourage us to yield fully to God, avoiding empty religious routines and half-hearted devotions to God.

Someone once said, “if I don’t want to make Jesus Christ Lord of all then I might not as well make Him Lord at all”. I believe that in this earthly realm we will never become a finished product in our work with God, since we are all a work in progress. But still, I deeply yearn to be wholly devoted to my Lord in every sphere of my life. The urgency of the hour demands that we stop with all the religious hocus pocus. We need to demonstrate to this dying world that we are indeed crucified with Christ and we are a generation of believers fully devoted to our Lord. This not only brings glory to God, but it also becomes a credible testimony of our faith to a cynical and sceptical world that we are indeed SOLD OUT to our saviour Jesus Christ.

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