Have we Become a Ridiculous Church? Part One


“The Idol of Big Buildings”

            Allow me to take
something off my chest that has been infuriating me for years. I grew up in a non-Denominational,
charismatic Church. Even today, I thank God for that congregation and the
things I learned there; however, I also learned some things that I am not to do
because they were unbiblical. I am only going to point out one specific thing
which I believe is like a tumor in our local congregations across America.

            By the time I joined
this particular bilingual and multicultural congregation, they were already in
a building that sat three thousand people; the second building sat approximately
three hundred people and they had a third building set for Sunday school, Class
Rooms, etc. Sounds wonderful, right? Before this particular congregation of
mostly Hispanics moved into this building, they were paying next to nothing to
meet in American churches; they paid as low as $75.00 a month to use an already
established American Church. But, even with that price they at times struggled
to make the payment. This was a congregation of about one hundred and fifty to
two hundred people. So, with less than a thousand people, with a people that
were already not too, big on giving; they believed a word that said: “God told
us to buy this building.”

            Me and my late wife
were brand new Christians when we joined this church. We spent a few months at an
Assemblies of God Church. I was particularly happy there, but when my wife came
to visit this bilingual church, she was convinced that that was the church for
us; so I decided to make the change. At the time, we also had two beautiful
baby boys and I was so excited that my children were going to grow up in the
church.

            The building was
beautiful. The Worship Team was out of this world; anointed, bilingual and
skillful. The word was prophetic, powerful and full of fire. As I walked in I
saw the beautiful banners, the colors, the Praise dancers, the music…it was an amazing
thing to see. But, something happened; as time went by; everything became about
the building. Being able to pay the rent was the center of all miracles for
this congregation. At the most, we grew to about three hundred people in a
building that sat three thousand as I said before. Something was wrong with
this picture. Why did we even buy this building? Financial pressure also has a
way to divide families; our financial pressures did just that for this
congregation.

            Many people came in,
many prophets came in and prophesied that God will do a miracle and pay the
building off. All of them stand today as either false prophets or prophets that
were totally off. As I grew in my faith, I served as a Deacon and then as an
Elder. I was involved with the youth, the Worship Team, the prison Ministry and
others. However, I saw the writing on the wall. “The day will come when all you will see will be an empty building; God
is not about buildings, God is about people
.” That word was not received
well, after all, we must have faith; speak that thing, claim that thing and it
will be yours, so they say.

            Some time later, the church
was divided and that was my cue to get out. For years, just as the Lord showed
me, that beautiful building stood empty with a “For Sale” sign right in the
city of Jacksonville. Recently, a local ministry in Jacksonville, Florida purchased
that property. They finish fixing the second building; the one that seats about
three hundred people and opened the doors to their new building. The main building
remains close. Prophesies are already coming in: “Very
soon, God is going to have you guys move to the main building,” they say. Is that truth? I don’t know, but I hear
the same sounds I heard when I was there.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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