Church Membership Matters By Dr. Francis Akin-John

Recently in Facebook and WhatsApp groups, what is trending is a post titled, ‘Pharisee in the church– It’s a description of the attitudes and traits of most modern church members.

So many pastors and church leaders seems to be gloating about these Pharisees in our churches by reposting it here and there, but no one is really looking deep into why we have them in large numbers in most of our independent and denominational churches today.

In Matthew 25, Our Lord Jesus talked about Goats and Sheep in the church and what He will do to them on judgement day. Today, goats are nominal Christians, Pharisees, sadducees and carnal Christians who are in church, but not in Christ. They have titles, but have never been transformed by Christ. They have material wealth, but lack the true riches of Christ, thereby constituting themselves to problems in the church.

But the big question is how do we come to have so many of these so-called Pharisee in our churches?

Poor gospel preaching – most of the gospel being Preached today by many popular preachers are not gospel of the Kingdom, but rather gospel of money, fame, material success and social works–that is why people are not being genuinely saved from sin, Satan and sicknesses. The gospel of the Kingdom is gospel of salvation, repentance, pertinence for sin and Lordship of Christ over every heart, life, territory, Satan and evil forces. Not preaching, teaching and emphasizing the true gospel of Christ is the foundational reason for many Pharisees in our churches.

Poor lifestyle by preachers – when preachers refuse to walk the gospel of Jesus in their daily lives, then you will have members who wants to be like their leaders. You cannot reproduce who you are not. Preachers will only lead by how far they have gone. People will be like their leaders. Worldly minded, materially focused and secular oriented preachers will only produce goats and Pharisees in their churches.

Poor Discipleship – when we only disciple Christians to blindly follow us and not to follow Jesus, then we will turn them to Pharisee in our churches. Just like John the Baptist, so many preachers have their own disciples, but not the disciple of Jesus. That is why many Christians can fight, abuse and kill for their pastors, but cannot stand, live and die for Jesus.

Positions and titles – yes, we turn many church members into goats when we bribe them with position and titles. In many churches, there is no training, no discipleship process, but we just give positions and titles to people.

We ordain them to what they don’t have the grace, capacity and spiritual depth to handle, thereby destroying them. There are too many positions people inside our churches who doesn’t know Christ intimately. They eventually turn to Pharisees that ruin the spiritual life of our churches.

No Bible Standard–there is too much bible illiteracy in modern churches. Secular management and leadership styles, politics and carnal tendencies, couched in pious miens are what is in, ascendancy by church leaders. The Bible way of leading, administering and managing the body of Christ is largely neglected, because it will not favour our anterior motives. Small wonder there are goatish tendencies in every strata of church today.

Poor Presence of Holy Spirit–He is the true vicar of the church, but we have taken over from Him today. The Holy Spirit has been grieved, rebelled against, spurned and cast aside by most church leaders today. Rather we use our education, connection and personal objective to blockade Him from working inside our churches.

There is no more emphasis on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Too many of today’s preachers have no relationship with the Holy Spirit. Many Christian workers have not heard, nor experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in their personal lives. Even though many pretend to be speaking in tongues, yet they are learned tongues–I have heard many myself in ministers conferences. Like – “okoko, ajangbadi, Kawasaki Suzuki”.

When the Holy Spirit presence is very low in our churches, due to the above, there will surely be no more heart and life transformations, which will in-turn produce many Pharisees with goatish tendencies inside our churches.

Poor discipline – there is no more discipline of sin and evil in our churches. Those who live in open and secret sins are being celebrated by church authorities. We preach giving, but silent on integrity and godly lifestyle. We use all manner of gimmicks to raise offerings, but never teach people how to make clean, godly money from clean businesses.
Even when we discover that the source of somebody’s donation of money to the church is not clean, we keep quiet and “use the money for the gospel”. With such open display of greed, avarice and silence about sin and concomitant evils in our churches, how can we not produce much more Pharisees than genuine Christians for the Lord?

Church membership is a serious issue to Christ, the health of the churches and impact of the gospel in our nation. Once we lower the scriptural standards by these means, then the church will be peopled by Pharisees and reel from conflicts to scandals all the time.

It’s time to reexamine our church membership policies, practice and procedures again.

My book, DISCIPLESHIFT TODAY will greatly help you in this membership matter. It’s on or BIBLE WONDERLAND Bookshops across the nation.

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