"I look at the painted smiles on your face. The emptiness shows that you never had a place.

I look around and see an empty pew, that could have held someone like you.

I hear the preacher at the pulpit, teaching words hollow as his heart.

I wish someone would open their eyes to see how things really are.

I watch as the stranger stands in the back.

The judging whispers of the crowd piercing like an attack.

I feel the pain as rejection tears streak down his face...

He would have been better off anywhere but this place.

I listen as the choir sings songs of acceptance and love for all,

Yet when someone different comes in, prejudice arises and that love falls.

In the shadow of the outside, people wander in the dark.

We teach of holding out our arms, 'it only takes a spark'.

But when someone from the outside tries to reach out from the black.

We sit here in ignorance, taking our arms back.

Now I sit here in wonder... What are we in Christ?

If we refuse to make a difference... I have to wonder why?"

I wrote that poem earlier today as I was thinking about things. I was listening to the songs "If We Are The Body" "Does anybody hear her?" and "Stain Glass Masquerade" by Casting Crowns. And, you know? It really got me thinking. I get so tired of the 'fakeness' of the church. Now, you can go and attack me all you want; "Oh, my church isn't like that at all. We all love each other and the Lord." Well, if that is true, then I'm very happy for you. I wish everyone was like that. But, stop for just a second and ask yourself. Really think... Is it really like that?

Let me expand on my usage of 'fakeness' for a moment. What is fake? It's not the truth, is it? It's imaginary. A lie. A mask to make you think one thing, when it's actually another. It's not what it appears to be.

Sadly, this is a good description of the church. Not only the modern church, but any and every church. It's been that way from the beginning. People judge and hold prejudices against each other for every little detail. It's wrong.

James 2:1-4
2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Romans 12:3-8
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Corinthians 12:27
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Take a close look at these verses. What do you see? I see something that everyone avoids...

I see the truth. We are all apart of one body. Christ's body. And in that body, things should run in love and forgiveness, in compassion and mercy, in acceptance and trust. But what actually happens is far from it. We are prideful, judgmental, suspicious. It's quite bothersome, in all honesty.

The church is one of the most judgmental bodies out there. That is what upsets me most to know. Prejudice consumes our hearts, and we hold that against each other in grudges. I mean... Why can we not look through each others eyes? Why do we move on with fake grins and sayings that life is a bowl of cherries and everything is okay. When in reality, it's not. We're afraid to say anything, and we move on, wishing that someone would understand.

Anyone who is not in our denomination or do not believe the same way we do are wrong, right? Anyone who picks and chooses, anyone who doesn't dress or act like we do. Anyone who dislikes our church rules or beliefs is just going to go to Hell. That's it. End of story.

No.

I get sick to death of this judgement of each church against each other. Catholics and Protestants. Baptists and Methodists. Pentecostals and Church of Christ. Why do we spend so much time hating on each other, when we are all apart of one body? If we spent half as much time trying to reach out to those we judge on the outside, instead of judging on the inside, imagine how many believers we would have in the world! We could touch ten billion lives... But instead, we're sitting here within our own church walls picking out the other churches and preaching against them. I long for a day where a Pope and a Pastor, a Priest and a Bishop, Catholics and Protestants, can all come together in peace without argument of who's religion is right or wrong, who's faith is truer, and who's more worthy of heaven, and just glorify God together. Because, in the end, isn't He all that matters in the first place?

We also hold the outside in constant judgement. Is there darkness in the world? Sure. Should we be careful about who we associate with? Of course. But that doesn't mean we turn our backs on the lost and broken. Did Jesus do that? Did He only walk with the ones who believed just like him? Did He only talk to the wealthy? Did He only love the ones who loved Him back or those who were already a part of the believers? No. He didn't. He reached out and loved the unlovable. He gave hope to the hopeless, and life to the lifeless. He touched the untouchable and gave second chances to those who thought it was the end. It didn't matter that they were covered in markings or looked, acted, or talked poorly. It didn't matter if they were rich or poor. It didn't matter that they had murdered in their lifetime, nor did it that they were thieves or liars. He loved all, and as believers, we should too.

"If we are the body" ~Casting Crowns

"It's crowded in worship today

As she slips in trying to fade into the faces

The girls teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know

Farther than they know

But if we are the body

Why aren't His arms reaching?

Why aren't His hands healing?

Why aren't His words teaching?

And if we are the body

Why aren't His feet going?

Why is His love not showing them there is a way?

There is a way

A traveler is far away from home

He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row

The weight of their judgmental glances

Tells him that his chances are better out on the road

But if we are the body

Why aren't His arms reaching?

Why aren't His hands healing?

Why aren't His words teaching?

And if we are the body

Why aren't His feet going?

Why is His love not showing them there is a way?

There is a way

Jesus paid much too high a price

For us to pick and choose who should come

And we are the body of Christ

But if we are the body

Why aren't His arms reaching?

Why aren't His hands healing?

Why aren't His words teaching?

And if we are the body

Why aren't His feet going?

Why is His love not showing them there is away?

There is a way

But if we are the body

Why aren't His arms reaching?

Why aren't His hands healing?

Why aren't His words teaching?

And if we are the body

Why aren't His feet going?

Why is His love not showing them there is a way

Jesus is the way"

"Stain Glass Masquerade" ~Casting Crowns

"Is there anyone that fails

Is there anyone that falls

Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around

Everybody seems so strong

I know they'll soon discover

That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay

If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too

So with a painted grin, I play the part again

So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Chorus:

Are we happy plastic people

Under shiny plastic steeples

With walls around our weakness

And smiles to hide our pain

But if the invitation's open

To every heart that has been broken

Maybe then we close the curtain

On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there

Are there any hands to raise

Am I the only one who's traded

In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing

And we know every line by heart

Only when no one is watching

Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free

If I dared to let you see

The truth behind the person

That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open

Or would you walk away

Would the love of Jesus

Be enough to make you stay

Chorus (x2)

But if the invitation's open

To every heart that has been broken

Maybe then we close the curtain

On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone that fails

Is there anyone that falls

Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small"


"Does Anybody Hear Her?" ~Casting Crowns

"She is running

A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction

She is trying

But the canyon's ever widening

In the depths of her cold heart

So she sets out on another misadventure just to find

She's another two years older

And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

Or does anybody even knows she's going down today

Under the shadow of our steeple

With all the lost and lonely people

Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning

For shelter and affection

That she never found at home

She is searching

For a hero to ride in

To ride in and save the day

And in walks her prince charming

And he knows just what to say

Momentary lapse of reason

And she gives herself away

If judgement looms under every steeple

If lofty glances from lofty people

Can't see past her scarlet letter

And we never even met her

He is running

A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction"

These lyrics are so true. It pretty much sums up all the feelings I have into three songs. Why do we judge before we've walked a mile in their shoes? Why do we wander about lost within our own church walls? Why do we hurt on the inside, but act as if it's fine on the out? We shouldn't wear masks and put on an act. If we wouldn't do it for Jesus, we shouldn't do it for each other. And, trust me, Jesus is watching. Don't live a lie.


In a round about way, I'm trying to say... Stop. Take a look around. We are all different. We face different problems and we all have different ways of doing things. We all look different, we all act different, we all are different. That doesn't make us any less apart of the body of Christ. Don't tear a brother down, or turn him away if he doesn't 'fit the part'. Love him as Christ loved you, and give him encouragement. If he's lost, show him the way, don't turn him away.

If one of us cries, we should all cry. If one of us laughs, we should all laugh. If one of us rejoices, we should all rejoice. And if one of us mourns, we should all mourn. We are one body. We should lean upon each other and encourage one another. Because we are all ONE body in Christ.

Don't be a hypocrite, fellow believers. Don't just talk the talk; walk the walk, and do what is right. Remember, in the end, God is the final judge, not us. He will tell us whether something was right or wrong. In the mean time, love like Jesus is watching.  Because He is, and He commands us to. Even if no one else is loving, don't be a crowd follower. Take a stand, and make a difference. Because that's what we are to do. We are to shine a little bit more of the Everlasting Light in this dark world, one person at a time.

"Somebody like me" ~Jason Crabb

"The congregation parted like the Red Sea

When that old drunk stumbled in down the aisle

And took a seat

Right in the middle of Amazing Grace

He could feel the judgment they were passing

Thought to himself “Ain’t that just how some folks act”

He’d rather be on the street than in this place

And with tears on his face

You’d think somebody would put their arm around him

You’d think somebody would hit a knee

Pull him in, say a prayer

That’s what I’m talking ‘bout right there

You’d think somebody would practice what they’re preachin’

Well, I wonder who that somebody could be

Prob’ly somebody like me

Well, he’s got problems nobody wants a part of

When he got up and slipped out nobody stood up

They don’t wanna make a scene

So they let him walk outta there without a prayer

You’d think somebody would do something different

You’d think somebody would go against the grain

Be the one to run him down

Bring him back and turn him around

You’d think somebody would wanna make a difference

Well, well I wonder who that somebody could be

Prob’ly somebody like me

Oh can I get a witness

Oh yeah

You’d think somebody would put their arm around him

You’d think somebody would hit a knee now

Pull him in, say a prayer yeah

You’d think somebody would put their arm around him

You’d think somebody would hit a knee

Pull him in, say a prayer

That’s what I’m talking ‘bout right there

You’d think somebody would wanna make a difference

Well, I wonder who that somebody could be

Prob’ly somebody like me"


As always, thanks for reading. =)

~Sam



 


Comments


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.


Leave a Reply

    Sam:

    Young reader, writer, and all around dreamer.

    Categories

    All


The Sam Side