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Bad times are good for evangelical churches.

“It’s a wonderful time, a great evangelistic opportunity for us,” said the Rev. A. R. Bernard, founder and senior pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York’s largest evangelical congregation, where regulars are arriving earlier to get a seat. “When people are shaken to the core, it can open doors.”

Read the entire article.

I am writing this post for the second time. The first time was cynical and dripping with sarcasm. So this time, I’m going to be nice and non-hypocritical.

Now is a great opportunity to share the love of Christ with someone. It is during these times of need and uncertainty that people are searching for answers to their problems. We are not to judge them, but to love them. Too often my perception of someone coming into the church, after their experience with a difficult time, (whether it be the loss of a job, home, loved one or the diagnosis of some illness or disease) is to judge them and harbor feelings of contention against them because “They’re only going to be here until their situation is over!”

Excuse me while I remove this mighty oak from my eye. How many times have I called on God in my time of need, only to return to what I wanted to do when situations perked up? How many times have I went to the altar and left “it” before the Lord, only to walk out the door and struggle with “it” for the thirteenth hundred time.

Are all who are coming into the church coming because they made a deal with God? Or is their desire to grow closer to Him legitimate? Who cares! It is not our concern to wonder if the people who come into our church are there legitimately or out of selfish desire. We need to concern ourselves with the faithful teaching and preaching of God’s word and His gospel message. God is actively working in the hearts of men and women regardless of what you and I think. Thankfully, while he is working on them, He is actively working on mine as well.

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About Chuck Mullis

I am the husband of Valerie and the father of Russell & Hannah. I am a self-employed contractor living in rural North Carolina as well as an ordained Southern Baptist Minister serving Living Water Baptist Church.

4 responses »

  1. Richard Hill says:

    Oh how easy it is to judge, and yet so hard at times to look on others with love and compassion. Only through the eyes of Christ can we get beyond our assumptions and misplaced judgments. Thankfully He is still working in me.
    Man, talk about a work in progress.

  2. NotthePest says:

    Ummm, one of the things you risk when you take a snippet out of an article is the person who is quoting someone, in this case A.R. Bernard, has an agenda and a point of view that may be self-centered.

    You may want to find out the date of the message this quote came from and get the CD or download the mp3.

    The message was to folks sitting in the seats, not to get more folks in the church. Admittedly I am a member and have been one for a long time, but I have this bad habit of seeking truth and not innuendo and presumption. What we hear and see is ALWAYS colored by what is going on in our heart and no matter what someone says or how it is stated, a person will always find what they are looking for.

    The directive was for the members of CCC to be aware, alert and sensitive to those around us who are hurting, confused and those who feel abandoned by God because of the Financial Climate. CCC as a mega church, and any other mega church did not just pop-up over night. Nor was it the intent of A.R. Bernard to build a mega-church when he began ministering.

    I am @ CCC because it is a place that focuses on the Word of God and applying it to the lives of people in a dead and dying world. How do you live effectively and as an example in a world that denies Jesus and God? CCC is a place to learn how to live life from God’s Point of View.
    http://cccinfo.org/

  3. Chuck Mullis says:

    I understand the agenda of the writer of the article, especially since it comes from a secular source, and in know way do I condemn or make light of what your church is doing. If anything I am agreeing with it because, it is what we are to do as Christians. However my cynical nature gets the best of me and I may not make what I am trying to say, clear. So if I have offended you and your church, I apologize. The intent was to agree with what you were doing and not insult it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  4. NotthePest says:

    No offense taken because I am the one responsible for taking offense, or not. I just wanted to interject some clarity and context since the quote you used keeps popping up all over the WEB.

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