The poison of nostalgia…
The poison of nostalgia…
By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13)
There is at present an infection in the Body of Christ that has immobilized, discouraged and impeded the power of the Church. It has strangled church growth, while giving rise to a spirit of discouragement that has led many in the Church to doubt Christ. The poison is nostalgia.
So many of our church folk are so occupied with thinking about yesterday, we cannot receive the blessing of today. We are busy, as Pastor Anthony Burrell of Mt. Calvary put it, becoming “a people who would rather be nostalgic and rest on their laurels than be visionary and press forward to the great things that lie ahead.” A-men to that.
I heard someone say there is always a tension between what is and what we remember. We remember what we want to. We have never had a season in the Church that has been problem free and we never will. In every epoch of church history there has been great trials and deep theological challenges, there has always been schisms and divides. And as this age explodes to its conclusion these things will become more and more in evidence in the Church.
No, people don’t remain as loyal to their church as they once did, nor do they give the financial support they should, parents don’t come and don’t require their children to come like they once did, the pews are not as full and many of the pastors are not as true or unselfish as they once were. Yet, we were told these things would happen and must be but the end is not yet.
So what are we to do? We are to understand that many of the problems in the Church are problems within ourselves; we are to understand that instead of bemoaning every dark moment we should work toward a new spiritual light. That understanding requires we have work to do. If the pews are empty, go get somebody, if the coffers are empty, give more; if the parents are not bringing the children, then go get them. If you bring the young, the old will come out of shame. If there is immorality in the pulpit, stop making excuses for it. Because if it is in the pulpit, it’s in the pews.
The Church acts as if the Adversary has surrendered. He has not nor will he. We are supposed to have problems and great hindrances; there is supposed to be horrific evil in the world and there is supposed to be a great falling away from the body. And all of this is supposed to do two things: test our faith and then reaffirm our faith.
The Church is not in failure because it does not look like the church of 1960 or because many of the Pastors dress so casually or because the choirs don’t sing Gospel music or because the sisters wear clothes so tight it doesn’t look like they can breathe. On the contrary, the Church is in prophetic realization. There is nothing happening in today’s church that the Bible did not tell us was going to come to pass. Remember, prophecy is not about what is going to happen in time, it is what has already happened in eternity and has to materialize in our lives.
So are we going to complain and cry and moan about things being as they are or work and pray and sing our way to make our respective churches all Christ would have them be. In spite of what’s happening in the world. The Church needs to understand it’s in a war and we need to report for duty. We are supposed to be warriors in the Army of the LORD. You decide.