We need to preach people out of the church.
Yes, we need to preach them out of the church.
Why? Isn’t the church for all people including sinners and broken people?
Yes it is.
Then why should we preach people out of the church?
Because people have become too comfortable in the church! The worst of crooks have become so at home in the church, and it seems to be OK. It is not OK. If the church welcomes and accommodates sin in the church and ends there without speaking against it or trying to transform sinners, we have got it utterly and terribly wrong.
We need no more flattery or false sense of well being. We need to hear in the church words which speak right to our sin and make us turn in our seats. We want to become uncomfortable, as if the church furniture is so bad. We want the words to prick our bottoms, heart, conscience, and soul so that we cannot just continue to go on without doing something about it.
We need to make it clear that no one can buy his way into the Kingdom of God. We need to make it clear that eternal favor cannot be earned by being so busy in church (to the point where it started to seem as if the church is their second home or it belongs to them). We need to make it clear that God cannot be bribed with money or time. We need to make it clear that the volume of one’s prayer is not directly proportional to the amount of one’s righteousness. We need to make it clear that social status is not directly related to heavenly status. We need to make it clear that one cannot play give-and-take with God on tithing and the remaining 90% of one’s income, or monetary donation and God’s blessing. We need to make it clear that the biblical teachings cannot be manipulated as per convenience but are absolute and non-negotiable.
Preaching people out of the church has been done and can be done again. Tony Campolo in one of his talks spoke of how he did it in a church. He preached and preached hard and people slowly started to turn away. After he preached the people down to size, they started coming again. But this time, it was different. They came to hear the word of truth however hard it is to digest. And the church grew from there.
We need to stop looking at the attendance, the ‘who-is-who’, or the church budget. It is alright if the church can barely manage the staff salary and there is no more left for church ‘development’. If we continue as we are reasoning this and that saying someone will feel bad, the church projects will be affected and so on, our church will continue to be a hypocritical community.
…For as of now, sinners are so comfy and snoring in our pews!