You may be wondering, “Now what? You’ve effectively said the current organization is ineffective and that other organizations outside of the COG are better equipped than we are. What are we to do?”
The answer is, “That depends.”
Are you a member of the PCG or other destructive cult? Is your particular organization so lacking in Godly characteristics that you or your family are harmed physically, mentally or spiritually? Then leave! In fact, if you stay in a destructive cult, then you are part of the problem. If you make your family stay in an abusive situation, then you yourself are an abuser.
If, on the other hand, you are in a church organization that is just simply is not perfect, well, join the club! None of them are! If it is truly preaching the Gospel (and the whole Gospel), if it is preaching the truth from the Bible (and not MOA or some other book that is not inspired), if there truly is love between the brethren (I mean, they actually take care of each other, both at and outside of services), then carefully weigh the pros as well as the cons before hitting the door.
There is one thing that is striking to me about Revelation 2 and 3 that seems to get lost in all of the cacophony of eras and lukewarmness. Jesus gives many warnings to the churches as a whole. However, He also speaks to individuals in those churches with phrases like “He [singular] that hath an ear”, “To him”, “give to every one of you”, “as many as”, “he that overcometh”, “I will give him”, “a few names”, etc.
I believe that every generation, including in the Church, is going to have its own challenges. Those of older generations will die off and a new generation will take the reins. However, at the end of the day, each and every man and woman is responsible for their own standing before their Savior.
What should you do when you are told to do the wrong thing? Obviously, you don’t do it anyhow. What should you do when you are told to not do the right thing? Obviously, you do it anyhow.
Careful! You’ll be labeled as “rebellious”!
29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29, King James Version)
However, I’m not talking about a revolt, a revolution or an uprising. I’m not even talking about a church split. I’m talking about something unthinkable in some COGs: I am talking about grassroots change. After all, isn’t that how God is going to transform the world? Think about it.
I have no control over what “HQ” does. I have no control over what my minister does. I have no control over you, nor you over me. I can only control myself.
So, what should I do? I should do what I’m supposed to do! Hopefully, enough people will catch on, and we will:
1. Help out in a soup kitchen, especially on Thanksgiving.
2. Not be so afraid to tell our peers why we go off to strange places once a year.
3. Not be so shy about letting people know there is a spiritual basis for our integrity.
4. Visit people in prison, nursing homes, and the like.
5. Donate money to build a hospital in a deprived area of the state, country or world.
6. Donate money to causes outside of the church as long as they are specific and don’t besmirch our beliefs (hard to do, I know!).
7. Take a poor brother and sister out to lunch after Sabbath services.
8. Offer free babysitting, computer repair, whatever, to brethren and others that are not doing so well financially.
You know what? Many of us do many of these things! We need to do more!
I envision a time when entire COG congregations will help out a community, not just church members. I envision a time when a COG congregation will sponsor building a school in some far-flung area of the world so that a community of children can learn to read and write. I envision a time when COG websites will not be afraid to put up badges and widgets for charitable organizations.
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Well, how Protestant of you!” That’s fine. I may need to apologize to my God for not doing more when I stand before Him, but I guarantee I won’t be apologizing for not doing anything at all except sitting on my can.