I wasn’t going to write about the unholy trinity this week because I’ve been feeling kinda’ lazy. But then, just before I left for church this morning, I saw another “Why You Should Be in Church” post. This one posited that perhaps the reason “you” aren’t in church has to do with your sins.
Or the church’s sins, was my first thought.
And then, for the whole twenty minute ride, I kept thinking. Out loud. The hub didn’t mind.
So now I’m writing after all, but I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Revelation 13 opens with the defeated dragon standing on the sea shore, contemplating his recent failures. His failure to destroy the woman and his failure to destroy her offspring. He needs a new plan and he needs a couple of recruits.
A beast arises from the sea. A Jesus-wannabe. It has a fake fatal wound on one of its heads and that fake wound is fake healed. Everyone is in awe of it. People start to worship the dragon because of it. The beast imprisons some of God’s people, it kills others.
A second beast – another cheap imitation of Jesus – comes out of the earth looking like a lamb. It acts more like an unholy prophet.
These two beasts gain political power through intimidation and economic sanctions. One requires everyone to get a tattoo on his or her forehead or right hand in order to participate in commerce. They use spiritual deception.
And here’s the part I was telling the hub: The second beast – the unholy prophet – made the inhabitants of the earth worship the first beast – the one who faked a resurrection.
Forced worship. Spiritual intimidation. Guilt trips. That’s the m.o. of the beast.
It’s not God’s m.o.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,” Jesus said, “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Perhaps some aren’t going to church because they find no rest there.
To the experts in the law Jesus said, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.”
Perhaps some aren’t going to church because church just piles on. Or because it feels smug. Or because the Spirit just isn’t there.
I was not going to a church like that. To a church that was just playing church.
But I’ve found a new church. One where Jesus bids me to come and learn from Him. Gentle, humble-in-heart Him.