The church has lost it

We have said it a billion times!
Our churches have lost it!
Both the “sane” and “insane” churches
Our people both literate and illiterate have lost it too!
In the name of spirituality…we have all lost it!
We have argued many times
How far church discipline should go
We have argued a billion times
Where the Churches assumed role of “parenting” ends
We have raised it a million times
How church “membership” ought to be defined
And where the church’s “authority” over its “members” ends
We have voiced out a thousand times
How non-ethical our church leaders are operating
How manipulative and cunning they have become
How the main purpose of the Church has shifted
How “secular” our churches have become
How we can no longer differentiate
Church from a Business or Secular Organization, etc
But for fear of being labelled “carnal”
And put in some particular stereotypes
And for how wrongly we have been brainwashed
In interpreting the “touch not my anointed…” scriptures
The “it is God speaking through me” gimmicks
That makes us take every message/direction from the pulpit
Hook, line and sinker!
We ourselves have become unwise and “stupid” followers
How brainwashed we have become
How undiscerning we have become
How dead in our spirits we have become
Because we do not know the Bible for ourselves
Because we fail to realize
Our lives are not sold out to churches to do as they please
Our lives are to be led by Christ and not the Church
Church leading you and Christ leading you…
There’s a whole lot of difference!
The day you know…you will be liberated!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

The shoe man

My alarm went off
It was Sunday again.
I was sleepy and tired
My one day to sleep in.
But the guilt I would feel
The rest of the day
Would have been too much
So I’d go and I’d pray.
I showered and shaved
I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat
In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer
As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me
Touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side
I thought, “Why must our soles touch?”
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine
But it didn’t bother him much.
A prayer began: “Our Father”…
I thought, “This man with the shoes
has no pride.
They’re dusty, worn, and scratched
Even worse, there are holes on the side!”
“Thank You for blessings,” the prayer went on.
The shoe man said
a quiet “Amen.”
I tried to focus on the prayer
But my thoughts were on his shoes again.
Aren’t we supposed to look our best
When walking through that door?
“Well, this certainly isn’t it,” I thought,
Glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended
And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud
Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters
His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear
The shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering
And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached
Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out
What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft “clink”
as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me
To tears, and that’s no lie
It was the same for the shoe man
For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service
As is the custom here
We must greet new visitors
And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow
And wanted to meet the shoe man
So after the closing prayer
I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark
And his hair was truly a mess
But I thanked him for coming
For being our guest.
He said, “My names’ Charlie
I’m glad to meet you, my friend.”
There were tears in his eyes
But he had a large, wide grin
“Let me explain,” he said
Wiping tears from his eyes.
“I’ve been coming here for months
And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.'”
“I know that my appearance
Is not like all the rest
“But I really do try
To always look my best.
“I always clean and polish my shoes
Before my very long walk.
“But by the time I get here
They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.”
My heart filled with pain
and I swallowed to hide my tears
As he continued to apologize
For daring to sit so near.
He said, “When I get here
I know I must look a sight.
“But I thought if I could touch you
Then maybe our souls might unite.”
I was silent for a moment
Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison
I spoke from my heart, not my head.
“Oh, you’ve touched me,” I said,
“And taught me, in part;
“That the best of any man
Is what is found in his heart.”
The rest, I thought,
This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am
That his dirty old shoe touched my soul……

~From the book “Just an Average Joe” by Joe Gonzalez (2005)

 

Found it interesting when I read it years ago. Touched my heart. Hope it touches everyone’s heart.

Cheers!

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)