The Church is not a hospital for sinners. It’s not an outreach or a place for evangelism.
(Evangelism has it’s place and Christian outreaches ministering to the unsaved are good things and in God’s will, but not intended to be in the assembly of believers, as the scriptures clearly show. )
As I was web surfing for grist for the blog mill tonight my eyes fastened on this heading, “Is the Church a Hospital?” I instantly recognized this cliche from way back in my own churchianity days, when the blinders were still on. It was another one of those many cliches the church had to cover up their own failures, sins and the reason nothing ever changed. The church had become home to those who had “bloomed where they were planted”, and faded there, and kept there for fear of leaving due to various threats such as the accusation of being a “church hopper”, if you dared to check out other local churches in the area because just maybe you were sick of the one you were in. Well, except for the all too frequent new comer, dysfunctional sinner, someone had invited to church,(the hospital), where they were supposed to get fixed, but usually didn’t.
Anyways, I was thrilled when I saw this heading because I just knew it was right up my alley. I’ve been saying for a long time now, the church is NOT the place for sinners, but yet, as you drive down the streets and highways, you will often see billboards inviting sinners into the church with an advertisement saying, “Sinners Welcome”, or something similar.
Folks, this is one of the biggies why I left the church. I was literally attacked by the church leadership for not being more “accepting”, “loving” and “tolerant” of downright sin and perversion going on in the church, right under their nose. I had become the problem, not the grinning sinners waving bye bye to me from the front door of the church as I beat my final exit.
The most blatant and cruel form of spiritual abuse goes on inside the church walls. The church is “supposed to be” by all scriptural accounts the spotless, holy BODY OF CHRIST, Jesus Christ’s representatives in a sinful world, the Bride of Christ without spot, wrinkle or blemish. If you are presently going to a church, can you honestly say this describes your church?
Friends, most mainstream churches bear no resemblance whatever to the early church, the church Jesus set up in the book of Acts. What’s more, please….if you are struggling with the inward feeling that you are in one of these pseudo-churches, pray for guidance that Jesus would help you leave this Babylonian harlot and find a godly fellowship.
I hope Evelyn, of http://exitchurchianity.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/the-church-is-a-hospital/won’t mind my copy and pasting this to the blog. Click on the Title, (above) to go directly to her wordpress blog. Awesome stuff!
ALL credit goes to her and Jesus for her brilliant and insightful writing. I hope to lean on her often for more of her genius and experience in warning innocent travelers about the pitfalls of “doing church”.
“There’s this cliche (popular saying) in the organized church that “the church is a hospital”, but I’ve been thinking about this cliche lately. I wonder if it’s true. Is it Biblical? God symbolizes His ppl in many ways in Scripture, such as a flock of sheep, a Body, a Temple, a House, a Bride, a Vineyard, & an army. But did He ever symbolize us as a hospital??
People in the organized church say that “the church is a hospital” because it’s a place where the sick can come & be healed. Well…sorry to say, but I don’t see sick ppl coming into the organized church & being healed of sin. I see sick ppl TAKING OVER the pews & the pulpit, & spreading their sickness everywhere. I see sheep trying to get well, only to be led BACK INTO their sickness by sick shepherds & sick goats. I see ppl getting sicker than they were when they came. Is the church a hospital?? If so…I would have to liken the organized church to a hospital that practices conventional medicine, & here is why…
The ‘conventional’ medicine industry is controlled by the ruling elites. Therefore, it is the predominant (most popular) medical industry. Many ppl assume that conventional medicine is the best option because it’s popular…but it’s only popular because it has a powerful propaganda machine behind it that is fueled by the richest families in the world. Their goal is to use human beings as cash cows, encourage sickness, KEEP ppl sick, & reduce the population (especially unwanted groups such as minorities, poor whites, the mentally ill, the elderly, & the disabled) thru sickness & poisonous ‘treatments’ that create additional health problems.
Most hospitals practice ‘conventional’ medicine. Not because it’s the most effective, but because many years ago, the Rockefellers punked Western medical schools & hospitals from teaching & practicing natural medicine. The Rockefellers threatened to take away their license, fine them, shut them down, & imprison them if need be. So medical schools & hospitals quickly succumbed to the Rockefellers, who controlled the ‘conventional’ medicine industry at that time, & did not want any sort of competition.
Once again, the goal of the ‘conventional’ medicine industry is to use human beings as cash cows, encourage sickness, KEEP ppl sick, & reduce the population thru sickness & poisonous ‘treatments’ that create additional health problems or flat-out kill ppl. There are a # of ways that this is accomplished…
They do not treat the ROOT CAUSE of sickness, they only treat the symptoms. They claim that they do not know the root cause of sickness, in order to justify why they haven’t discovered or created a cure yet. This conditions the sick not to expect a cure…but to be a repeat patient. They keep coming back to the hospital for pills, surgery, chemotherapy, & radiology to treat their symptoms. For this reason, hospitals are not full of ppl who are healed. They are full of repeat patients that are not being healed. Their symptoms temporarily disappear then return, just like a weed temporarily disappears when its branches are trimmed…but eventually grows back because it wasn’t pulled up by its roots. Even many of the nurses & doctors are sick, but ppl trust them with their lives because they have been indoctrinated at “medical schools” to practice ‘conventional’ medicine. Their patients provide a residual income for the ‘conventional’ medicine industry.
This reminds me of the organized church. The root cause of sin (a sinful heart) is not being treated. People are only dealing with the symptoms. This is why there are so many books, tapes, & dvd’s on the 7-laws of this & the 5 steps to that. People want a quick fix that can trim the branches of their sins, but it’s only behavior modification. Behavior modification sounds & looks nice OUTWARDLY…but it’s only for a season. Since the sinful heart is not being dealt with by the Holy Spirit, ppl eventually return to their vomit. This reveals that they only had a FORM of godliness, but denied the power that could make them godly on the inside.
Just like ppl in hospitals say that they’re “waiting on a cure”, ppl in the organized church say “I’m waiting on God to deliver me from that” or “God hasn’t delivered me from that yet”, but the problem isn’t that God hasn’t arrived to deliver folks from sin yet. IF God is in you, then He is ever-present to deliver. The problem is a lack of repentance & a lack of perseverance/endurance. How dare we return to our vomit & then blame it on God by saying that He hasn’t delivered us from that yet. Freedom from sin is always available IF we abide in Christ’s Word…but do we want to??
The Word says that by Jesus’ stripes we are healed from our sins, but many ppl only misuse that verse to name & claim physical healing. They don’t apply it to being healed from sin (which is the proper context of it). The organized church is not full of ppl who are healed. It’s full of ppl who are groveling in their vomit & making up excuses why they commit adultery against God. Instead of abiding in God’s Word to be set free from sin, they misuse His Word as a sin-crutch…to coddle themselves in their sins & make themselves feel comfortable living in darkness. Are ppl profiting from misusing the Scriptures in that manner?? 2 Tim 3:16 says that the Scriptures are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” *reads it again* NOPE, I don’t see anything in this verse that says the Scriptures are profitable to coddle us in our sins.
There are SO many cliches in the organized church that condition ppl NOT to expect a cure for their sin. They are programmed to DIS-believe God’s promise to heal us & set us free from sin. They say “we’re all just sinners, no one’s perfect, we’ve all fallen short of God’s glory, God knows my heart, you can’t judge me, God looks past my faults & sees my need, etc.” All of these cliches that ppl use to condition themselves to REMAIN in sin & live below God’s New Covenant standard make me want to scream. I am tired of hearing them. I am tired of the “woe is me. I’ll never be set free from sin, so I might as well get comfortable in my vomit” mentality. I am tired of the “I’m glad that God’s grace covers my sins, because I’ll never overcome them” mindset. Is that what being a Christian is about? Being saved from hell, but not saved from sin??? Being forgiven, but not being delivered?? Being translated into the Kingdom of God, but not being transformed by the renewing of our mind?? Did Jesus call us out of the world, to add us to a so-called “hospital” that doesn’t heal folks?? I think I’m going to create some cliches about deliverance from sin & living holy! Will they catch on like wildfire?? Probably not…
People ignore the parts of the Bible that talk about deliverance from sin, then they cling to the parts of the Bible where God promised material prosperity to His Old Covenant ppl, even though that promise was NOT made to the New Covenant saints. Is that what being a Christian has been reduced to?? Getting rich, but not getting well??
False shepherds in the organized church have a lot of explaining to do, because they are not being healed either. They spread their sickness across the congregation by committing adultery, watching porno, financially soliciting the poor, lording it over the sheep, stealing, teaching doctrines of demons & false traditions, binding heavy requirements on men’s shoulders, making disciples that are twice the sons of hell as themselves, & doing everything else that Jesus forbid in Matthew 23. Peter wrote about these false shepherds in 2 Peter 2: ” 17 These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. 18 They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, THEY LURE BACK INTO SIN THOSE WHO HAVE BARELY ESCAPED FROM A LIFESTYLE OF DECEPTION. 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” Godly elders are supposed to train up the saints in righteousness…not lead them back to their vomit. It’s almost like ppl are being saved out of the world by Jesus, only for some false shepherd to lead them right back into the world.
These false shepherds are exact opposite of God’s standard for elders in Titus 1:6-9, yet ppl trust them with their soul. How can they teach anyone how to live holy, when they themselves are unholy? How can someone who is unclean teach others how to be clean??? Romans 2:21-24 – “Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” & in another place it says “Many will follow their evil teaching & shameful immorality. And BECAUSE OF THESE TEACHERS, THE WAY OF TRUTH WILL BE SLANDERED.” (2 Pet 2:2)
Jesus said that He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Those who are well do not need a doctor, but those who are sick. But no one who comes to Christ for healing/salvation from sin STAYS sick. The Gospels show that when ppl sought Jesus for healing, they were made every whit WHOLE, they were HEALED. The ppl that Peter shared the Gospel with in Acts 2 didn’t stay the same, they experienced a CONVERSION/CHANGE of heart. Their fellowship was truly unleavened (pure & healthy). This is the way that the Body of Christ should be. So how do we deal with those who are sick? We share the Gospel with them, we lovingly rebuke them, and correct them…but if they are unrepentant they do not belong in fellowship with the saints. “Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” (1 Cor 5:6-13)
Apparently, Paul didn’t view the Body of Christ as a hospital full of sick ppl. He viewed us as a fresh batch of dough made without yeast (unleavened bread). The Body of Christ should be an assembly of saints who are living in the experience of healing from sin…not dwelling in sickness. The nature of sin is that it spreads…it is unwise to let strangers in the sanctuary, or tolerate ppl who call themselves Believers that are living in sin. Their sins will spread like a plague among those who have just escaped from the pollutions of the world. They will lay stumbling blocks before those who are striving to walk upright in the Spirit. Jesus said “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
I truly believe that the organized church operates much like modern-day hospitals that practice ‘conventional’ medicine. They talk about deliverance, freedom, & healing, but they’re not really interested in ppl being set free from sin, because that’s not in their best interest. If ppl begin abiding in Christ’s Word, they will become HIS disciples, & then they will KNOW THE TRUTH, & the Truth WILL SET THEM FREE. The organized church wants ppl to be disciples of their organizations & false shepherds. They want ppl to abide in their word & false traditions. The organized church want ppl to stay bound in sin, so that they will continue seeking “a word from the Lord” thru the false shepherds who themselves are bound in sin. The more repeat patients the organized church has, the more ppl there are in the pews, putting their money in the collection plate to fund salaries & more buildings to house MORE repeat patients. & the vicious cycle continues…
The Pharisees operated the same way in the Gospels. They burdened ppl who were already in sin, by laying false traditions and man-made teachings on their shoulders. This kept the ppl bound in sin, so they had to keep coming to the Jewish Temple to buy expensive animal sacrifices which were offered up for their sins & ceremonial cleansing. These expensive sacrifices NEVER made them CLEAN/HEALED. It only put money in the pockets of those who sold the animal sacrifices, & the Pharisees who ran the Temple. Jesus messed up the Pharisee’s cash flow & corrupt religious system, because He taught the TRUE WORD of GOD with authority from the Father & told ppl to FOLLOW HIM. As ppl began following Christ, they were set free, & the Pharisees began to lose control of the ppl.
Today, I see the Bride of Christ waking up & beginning to follow her True Shepherd–Jesus Christ. She is leaving the false shepherds who tried to make merchandise of Her & burden her with man-made rules, & she is rejoicing in her blood-bought freedom & the healing hand of the Master’s touch. I believe that this passage is prophetic of the Church in this hour: “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity! & He laid His hands on her, & immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” (Luke 13:12-13). God is loosing us from our infirmities & making our crooked places straight. We are leaving the way that seems right to man, and following the way of Christ. Since the false shepherds did not have a heart to strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring back what was driven away, nor seek what was lost…God Himself is delivering His flock from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. He is breaking the bands of Babylon’s yoke from the necks of His sheep and delivering them from the hand of those who enslaved them. Modern-day John the Baptists see the Bride of Christ awakening & preparing to receive her Bridegroom, & rejoice: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:29-30) But the modern-day Pharisees are angry, embittered, & threatened: “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!” (John 12:19)
The Pharisee’s livelihood depended on sick, repeat patients…& so does the organized church. I don’t think this will change because of what I see in Revelations 17-18. Nor am I interested in trying to reform a Babylonian Harlot that is hell-bent on sleeping with every Tom, Dick, & Harry, & silencing anyone who speaks against her abominations. In Revelations 18, God said to come out of Babylon…He didn’t say to reform her. If you’re in a Babylonian ‘church’ where ppl are sick & folks aren’t being healed from sin, get out of there & follow Jesus. Fellowship with like-minded Christians who are being healed & set free from sin. You will know them by their good fruit (love). Beware of folks who say that “the church is a hospital” but they’re not getting well or being made whole. Paul warned us about these impostors in 2 Timothy 3:1-9.