Are You A “Spastic Church Member!?”
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 16, 2009
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 15:24-26)
They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. (1 John 2:19)
Are you a spastic church member? Sounds harsh doesn’t it, but it is a valid question, especially when we live in a day and age whereby we think we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, if it feels right to us to do it. This malignant theology has infected today’s Christianity and has become a blight and cancerous growth that needs to be eradicated from local church bodies. Here is what I mean:
Recently I was in a discussion with a fellow pastor about the importance of doctrine and that local Baptist churches were in danger of losing a whole generation of folks to theological error that did not follow baptistic principles. He declared that he really “did not see the need for us to be so dogmatic about what we teach as Baptists, because after all aren’t we all Christians and can’t other churches have good ideas as well?” I partially agreed but then I asked him this simple question, which he did not answer: “If what you say is true, then why does your Baptist church pay you to be its pastor?”
Paul says that we are part of one body, the church. (1 Corinthians 12:14-27) His reference starts out for the universal church but then quickly moves into how the local church is to function and use the gifts God has given it. He makes the argument that a hand or foot cannot cease to be part of a body nor can they get along well without each other, just as church members in a local church body need one another to do the work of the Lord in their area. If you understand Paul’s argument you can see that when we go to several churches at once, church hop, then we are contributing to a spastic situation. In fact, a doctor would call it cancer! A malignant growth outside of the normal bodily functions that are attacking the body. Now you may want to declare, “I’m not attacking the body of Christ!” But let me elucidate…
At best, we have created a Frankenstein’s monster of our own making and choosing. We have selfishly decided that we want to have it our way because it seems right for us to do. However, what we have done is shown others and the Lord that we cannot make a commitment; are not dependable; theologically sound; that we cannot effectively serve or tithe; and then it becomes easy for us to make excuses as to why we are unavailable. In fact it becomes easy for us to sit outside and throw stones at churches we never become a part of! We also create harm to the local church we show up at for the moment because they cannot depend on us for anything, only to suck on it like a spiritual leech for the spiritual sustenance we need for the moment. If we just flit in and out when it suits our needs, we are effectively telling God, “To heck with what You are doing with that local congregation,” and have then become part of the spiritual problem of our society instead of the Godly solution!
Acts 15:24 speaks about people like this that left their local church and decided to do their own thing. The Jerusalem church then had to rescue the other local congregations from the theological error they created, by sending out people like Paul and Barnabas to correct this church hopping influence! John was also so concerned about this that he wrote, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (1 John 2:19) Why? Because people who decide on their own to be their own spiritual “Lone Ranger,” riding in and out of local churches, usually end up with a skewed theology. Their focus, like I wrote above, is not in serving the Lord to see His work established but rather to appease themselves.
Be very careful that this is not where you are in your thinking, Dear Child of the Lord. If you are not a member of a local congregation what right do you, as a cancerous growth outside of the local body, have in making any decisions about that church when you do not deem it personally necessary to get involved or be a part of the body? I might sound harsh here, but there is no such thing as a “spastic church member,” only spiritual laziness and self-centeredness.
This article is the copyrighted 2009 © property of Lee Hemen and may not be copied or reproduced in any way shape or form without using the full text of this entire article, and getting the permission of its author.