Church, One Lump or Two (by John Loy)

Unknown-4While serving in the Marine Corps, I drank my coffee black. There was nothing quite like the bold, full flavored taste. And the cooks at the chow hall were not afraid to make it STRONG. If you have ever watched an episode of MASH or other military themed show, you know the type of coffee I am talking about.

After being discharged many years later, I was served a cup of coffee at a friend’s house, and the norm there was to use sugar and cream in their coffee. Not wanting to offend them, I drank it this way too. Something happened to my coffee, while the cup still had a “bite” to it, the “blackness” of the taste was not there, and the color was now more clouded…not the deep black I was used to.

Fast forward to today, I had a chance to go into a “coffee house” and I was just amazed. What once used to be as simple as pouring a cup of coffee has turned out to be a science. I had no idea how you could take something as simple as a cup of coffee and turn it into something that looked, smelled and tasted anything but!

For that bold, rich flavor, nothing to this day beats a cup of coffee…black with nothing added to dilute the taste or the dark color.

Isn’t this exactly what we have done with religion? We have taken Christ’s bold, full-bodied, rich tasting command of Go and make disciples of all the Nations and did to it what we have done to coffee. We have sweetened religion and clouded the rich color of it. We have built churches for the saved – oh sure, there are the occasional outreach program that may or may not work, and yes, we do support the missionaries to go do the work we were once commanded to do – but do we, as individuals do this?

There are even some churches (and pastors) who do not preach anything from the Book of Revelations or from Daniel; because it scares the bejesus out of us. We want a New Testament kind of church (minus the scary stuff please because we don’t like to be told the truth).

It took a few cups of my old Marine Corps style coffee for me to get used to the black, bold, full-flavored coffee taste, but now that’s how I like it again. Shouldn’t we do the same thing with Christ’s command to take to the streets and proclaim God’s Word? Was Christ’s command to build pretty buildings with cool sounding outreach programs and “feel good” sermons or to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES of ALL the NATIONS? Even to that grumpy old man across the street. Who knows he might be grumpy because no one will come over to share a simple cup of coffee with him. Just sayin!

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