Tonight Tim and I went to buy some shoes and accidentally went to church.
It started with a beautiful sunset. We wanted to get a better look, and since Crane’s Roost was nearby, we drove a couple of blocks and parked the car. As we were walking toward the water, we heard a lone male voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar. We followed the sound of the music and found a seat near the stage. It became apparent that the man was spiritually inspired, because the lyrics were about surrendering control of your life to God. The man finished his song and then told a story about how he and his wife adopted nine children. Tim and I were really engaged at that point.
Then a preacher took the stage and launched into a typical Sunday-morning style message. He talked about getting saved, asked the rhetorical question, “Saved from what?” I braced myself for some hell fire and damnation, but then he answered his question something like this: You need to be saved from a life of hopelessness.
I looked up the church when we got back home and found this in ALL CAPS on the WHAT WE BELIEVE section of the church website:
We believe that those persons who die in their sins without Christ spend eternity in Hell and those persons who die with their sins forgiven through Christ spend eternity in Heaven.
If that’s what he really believes, then why did he blow his chance to rescue the people of Altamonte Springs from eternal hell by saying they need to be saved from hopelessness? Why didn’t he warn them about what’s really going to happen to them?
- Deep down, he doesn’t really believe in his own doctrine.
- He believes his own doctrine, but he’s ashamed of it. In fact, he’s so ashamed of it, he would rather risk the eternal destiny of his listeners then embarrass himself with what he believes to be the truth.
I’m sure God used the pastor’s well-intended message to encourage someone or draw someone into a relationship with Him. Hopefully he/she/they will get to know God BEFORE they read the doctrine on the church website or take a membership class.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. (Matthew 23:15)
Related: Keys to Hell
Unrelated: To those of you who regularly follow this blog, hello again! The blogging hiatus has ended! Upcoming blogs include The Shack movie review, a review of a sermon given by my dad at his church in Colombia, a guest blog, and more…