“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were been saved.” – Acts 2:44 to 47
A critical probe of churches today, reveals many findings; which are not of the way the body of Christ should be. Why am I saying this? Most of the 21st century churches and their various congregation seem to miss the mark; thus the benchmark laid down by our Lord and master Jesus for his flock to follow.
It is really indeed heartbreaking the way some Churches are tending to customize Christianity to suit their own interest thus to precisely say to strive for these changes to a level where it reconcile with their personal ideologies in life. For many congregation, in these present times, the prefect Christian personality is portrayed as one who is involved in social as well as financial activities of the church and how much one can logically deduce meaning from the Bible; which obviously can lead to formulation of theories which are way out of line and off the actual meaning and inspiration the message carries. Most churches in modern times seem to be more conscious of what is allowed or not in the church based on their doctrines rather than proclaiming the gospel. And these are continuously increasing the chances of unwanted behaviors finding its way to the church.
Christian communities have a vital role to play in terms of shaping the morality level of the world. And when it comes to influence, the Christian communities should have the upper hand on “the world” (as in the Biblical context ) but not the other way round. Is improper to see things as it is now; where for the sake of increasing a congregation’s number, some churches won’t mind turning a blind eye on certain critical issues in the church. Most Christians of late are sinning based on a popular saying, “Christianity is all a matter of heart not appearance.” Before I even precede let me hasten to state that “genuine” appearance counts in Christianity. An instance is the reason people convert to the Christian faith through a particular Christian’s lifestyle or one alienating him or herself from a Christian congregation based on the action or inaction of an individual.
Stakeholders of the Christian faith’s inability to address issues which concerns personalities such as high contributors to church confers is creating a bad image for the entire Christian community. This explains why people who are even shy to proclaim their faith as Christians outside the confinement of their church premises are made elders in their churches due to that individual’s financial, academic or social status. And no wonder certain conditions in a church make it hostile to poor people. There are so many people, who worship in a particular church for long period of years but are neglected, when they are in trouble, due to their poor financial status hence their genuine inability to contribute to church confers, as they are expected to by the church.
Due to these conditions in the body, people whom are not chastised for the sake of their social standing in the church feel untouchable in their churches. Some because of these have emerged as dictators of their various churches. And it is mostly some of these people that spearhead splitting up of churches. What hurts much about these split ups is that, these people who causes them because of their influence on the formal church they were in, create a band wagon effect in their church after the split in order to draw members from other churches instead of unbelievers of the faith.
To hit the nail on the head, all what Christians should remember is that many sacrifices have been made to bring the body of Christ this far. The growth of the Christian faith, which has strive this far is base on the watering by the blood of the holy lamb as well as that of the apostle of ancient time, need not be put into disrepute. We are not in any competition among ourselves neither are we in an exhibition of spiritual gifting to see who is the best nor is it our mission to pave another way other than the one of Christ but we rather have a cooperate responsibility to go into the world and reach out for the perishing and care for the dying. The timing is just right to reach out a helping hand to a neighbor and also let him know of the love of Christ for mankind without our personal interest attached.
This article was written by Dominic Osei Boakye in the Department of Economics in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.