I was out of town for the last few days and while I was driving down a country road I came across this sign with a church next door. Now tell me… what message do you get from this? What would you think about this church? NOTE: The picture was removed by request. It read, “Fishing For Members of X Baptist Church Only.”
Sad thing is, that church probably voted to put the sign up… ang the vote was probably 100%! I know for a fact the sign has been there for over a year so there’s no telling how many people have seen it.
Now consider a few things for reflection.
Point 1. This is what is called a “stumbling block” that keeps people from coming to Christ. As Dr. Landrum Leavell said to a class in seminary I was in… “If you’re going to cause someone to stumble over the cross… make sure they stumble toward it instead of away from it!”
Point 2. The people who put that sign up are no different from the Apostles. Mark 9:38-41. There has always been a “club” mentality as part of the church. A.K.A. Cliques!
ASIDE. I have found that cliques are obivous to those who aren’t in them and invisible to those who are in them. I’ve also found that those who aren’t in “the clique” are jealous because they want to be in “the clique” and become a clique of their own (An “anti-clique”). Those not in “The Ciique” look down as much (If not more) on those who are in “The Clique” they want to be in but would never admit to their desire to be in “The Clique.” I’ve also found that those not in “The Clique” and those in “The Clique” are equal in their sinful attitude toward each other. AND they’re both blind to their sin regarding who’s in which clique!! ** Did you get all that? **
ASIDE CONTINUED. Every church I’ve ever been a part of has this problem. Every church I’ve ever been a part of says they are a friendly church and open to everyone yet they’re blind to the problem they have. And I’m pretty sure I’ve been party to the problem I’m writing about in every church I’ve been a part of… I just didn’t realize it.
Point 3. We’re no different. Every church has people who are possessive and protective of… their parking place, their pew, their seat in Sunday School, their “Group,” etc. Every church has “No Fishing” signs. We need to ask God to reveal them to us since this kind of attitude drives people away from The Bride of Christ!
Point 4. You and I have a “No Fishing, Members Only!” sign in our life… we are just blind to it! If you say you don’t, I’d suggest the arrogance of your assertion is strong proof that you have the very attitude that leads to these kind of signs. The sign may not be as blatant as the one the church put up… but it’s there none the less.
Didn’t Jesus say to The Clique of His day (Pharisees) the following in Matthew 21:31, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.” It was to these very people that Jesus also said the following…
Matthew 23:16, “Woe to you, blind guides…” 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” 24 “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! 25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”
Luke 6:39 Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
Application: Start praying a bold prayer. Ask God to reveal to you your blind spots. Ask God to reveal to you your “No Fishing… Members Only” sign. Then listen, watch, and observe. I promise you that God will reveal to you your blind spot.
And I promise you one more thing. You will be shocked… SHOCKED… at what the blind spot is in your life. You will be absolutely shocked at what your “No Fishing” sing actually is. Then repent… ask God’s forgiveness… take down the sign… and put Philippians 1:27a into practice.
Scarey? You bet! Need? Absolutely!