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   [12 May 2011 | Thursday]

America's fastest Growing Religion

Pastor Gary’s Blog

May 12, 2011

 

USA Today newspaper called them “the fastest growing religion in America”. Shocking it was not Pentecostals, Baptists, or Catholics. It was Mormons. That group out of Utah called, The Church of Latter Day Saints. That bicycle riding people who you can often see in neighborhoods sharing their faith with anyone willing to listen. I do not agree with their doctrine, but I do appreciate their relentless spirits. Somehow it seems that they are so unified in vision. Their tenacity to preserver. Years ago I worked with a man from that religion. I must say he was a kind and gentle soul. Much different from those who I had encountered along the way in the religion I had been raised in.

I had to ask myself why that particular group was named a fast growing religion while others were not. Then as I tuned in to a particular Christian radio station recently and listened to a debate over a particular film being released by a leading pastor in America I started to understand. Most of the churches in America are in disunity while the group in Utah is seemingly together. I am reminded of a church that started brand new over two thousand years ago. Listen to a major quality that was characteristic of that group of people. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common”(Acts 2:44 KJV) The Message Bible states it this way, Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met”.  I must honestly say that if the world today were to be in shock and awe at the body of Christ I am afraid that it would not be the wonders and signs that are being performed in our midst. They would be in shock that we could agree on anything.

In the early days of the Jesus Movement in the 1970’s there was a song sung by young people that showed honestly how they viewed themselves. The words stated this:

We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

Chorus
And they'll know we are Christians by our love,
By our Love,
Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

Perhaps it is time for the church all across America to take a good look at itself. I believe that this is our greatest hour of opportunity ever afforded a generation. An hour to step forward and make an impact on a people who are hurting, who are in disarray, who are seeking truth, who are lost, who are seeking answers to the nagging questions in their mind. They will not be impressed with our fancy buildings, our state of the art technology, our rhetoric, our style of dress, our coffee bars, or anything else. They will be touched by the love of God that flows forth from our lives. When Jesus came off the mountain after delivering what is called the “Sermon on the Mount”, the first person he encountered from Matthew’s perspective was a leper. A person with a horrible, stinking condition. Yet, Matthew said that Jesus touched him. I honestly believe that simple, yet powerful touch from the hand of the Creator did more for that leper than healing the words, “I will be thou clean”.  I figure it had been a mighty long time since someone hand touched that man, especially in his condition.

Our world is the same. Bearing not leprosy on their bodies, but their souls. It is time for the church to touch them. To get our hands dirty, if you please. And the greatest way we will touch them is when we get together and they see for themselves that there is true unity in the body of Christ. That group in Utah has challenged me. If they can grow so can you and I. It’s time to get our act together. To stop being critical of everything and love with the love of God. That alone would bring shock and awe to a world around us. May God help me!!!!!

 

 

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maocrcecw1 | Wed May 18, 2011, 05:05

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