The church: it’s not Hollywood. And this post isn’t about hollywoodjesus.com or a church in Hollywood. But it is is about the Hollywood we’ve created in the church.
On a visit to the “world’s largest Christian university” to be a patient for someone in the nursing program (one of the three A rate programs there), I noticed a large photoboard of sorts boasting of how the founder had trained many champions who are movie stars of sort in the Church.
We seem to focus on size and names. Size matters because it’s proof that something is right. Names matter because it attracts the masses and they are needed to successfully reach others. Right?
Of course not. My life is many moons from perfection. I have my faults but current “Christianity” is something I tend to want to steer an association away from rather than with it. The church isn’t a production. The church is people. They hurt, cry, have joy, laugh, desire love, etc. And we are hurting and thirsting after something real. Proverbs 20:6 says that many people claim to be loyal but finding this trustworthy person is hard. Big names, awesome stage sets and props, and famous bands don’t build genuine relationships. Discipleship does. It’s our core. It’s about relationships from within the church and outward into the world through evangelism. Christianity is not about feeling good. It’s about doing good [according to the Bible] and sometimes doing good hurts. At times doing the right thing seems like it costs everything. But in the end you will gain something more valuable.
We recently talked about whether Mattias of Paul was the 12th apostle in Sunday school and it was mentioned that Matthias really doesn’t have anything recorded of him in Scripture but Paul does. This was an example of that Hollywood mentality. We don’t know what Mattias did or didn’t do. You don’t have to write books, tour the country, or have buildings named in your honor to be that effective servant of Christ. Love God and obey, while loving others.
We rejoice with those that rejoice and cry with those that cry (Romans 12:15). Christianity isn’t the glorious life we would want to think but it is the most rewarding. Entertainment placed over the Truth of Scripture is destructive. The physical church is not a place to attract sinners and we are not salespeople. The church is a place for the redeemed of Christ to grow in doctrine. “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching (1 Timothy 4:13).