So, now that I have shared my thoughts on feeding your pastor, I want to take some time to talk to you about two types of people who I experienced in the church.
The Christian and the Churchian. (I thought Churchian was my term. However, I just Goggled it and it already exists! So much for being original. I’m still going to give you my take on the term.)
Growing up in the church, some people taught me what it meant to be a Christian. On the other hand, some people taught me what it meant to be a Churchian. Having grown up with these two types of people, I generally do not have a problem identifying either. And, you would think that after (eh hum) several decades I would not be shocked by the latter, but I still am at times.
I want to begin with my description of the Churchian. The Churchian goes to church, likely every service, perhaps every time the doors are open. They sing the songs, clap their hands, and show off their Bibles. They wear the right clothes and might even volunteer to pray during the service. From every outward appearance, they are good Christians. But, privately, they gossip about other church members. They find fault in the pastor and his staff. They spread negativity throughout the congregation, planting seeds of uncertainty and doubt. When they are away from church, they cause strife with their neighbor. At restaurants, they treat their server poorly. Perhaps they yell at a customer service person at the local fast food restaurant or scream at the car in front of them. The Churchian. These are the people who cause the unbeliever to turn away from Christ. Why? Because why would they need Christ if the person who goes to church is no better than them (perhaps even worse)?
James 1:26 NIV Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
Matthew 6:1 NIV Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
The Christian. Follower of Christ. Christ-like. The Christian goes to church for the community of other believers and wants to learn as much as possible about drawing closer to Jesus. The Christian has a heart which is led by love and compassion. They realize that it is not because of who they are, but because of Christ,that they have life. Christians support their pastor, their church family, and the needy. Christians behave in a way pleasing to God whether they are in church or driving in their car. Christians make mistakes (they ARE human after all). But, when they make mistakes, they seek forgiveness with a humble heart. Christians have servant’s hearts. When an unbeliever meets a Christian they want what they “have” because they are “different”.
Ephesians 5:1-2 AMP Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.
Titus 3:1-8 NIV Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
As a church, as followers of Christ, it’s time to quit playing games. It’s time to quit focusing on others, blaming others, and criticizing others. Imagine what our world could be if God’s people turned their eyes toward Jesus and focused on Him instead of each other. Imagine a world where God’s children strive to be the very best humans they could be with His help. That’s the world God desires when He sees us. That’s the example He wants us to set for those that are watching His Church.