“Flesh display in the sanctuary”
By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith
“And said unto them, It is written My house shall be called the house of prayer…” (St. Matthew 21:13 )
The mission of the Body of Christ, as given by Jesus Christ, is to convert the world to and by the Gospel. The mission is not to have the world convert the Church. But it appears more and more that the way of the world has not only entered the church but has been accepted by the church.
In many of our churches on any given Sunday you will find as much flesh on display as at one of the night clubs. Breasts, thighs, calves of the sisterhood are everywhere one looks; the brothers have shirts unbuttoned almost to the navel and pants tight enough to outline their personal selves. It not only is inappropriate, it is disgraceful and an affront to the God we claim to worship.
How can we expect to usher in the Holy Spirit when every thought is on what one of the sisters has or does not have on or how much one of the brothers appears to have on exhibition?
And what makes us believe that the Presence of a Holy LORD and Savior will be felt in an atmosphere so obviously carnal? It is the ultimate demonstration of selfishness and of an unconverted spirit.
Our churches are spiritual hospitals. We have people attending that are in a daily battle with their past sins. A battle that is fought by many of them in their every waking moment. Some are recovering from past lives that include homosexuality, lesbianism, pornography, adultery and fornication. Most are saved but not delivered from these past lives; we all know the power of memory.
So they come to church looking for a place where the battle has ceased, at least temporarily, a place we call the Sanctuary. By its very name, it implies somewhere that is safe and secure from what will harm us – including our very thoughts. But it is not somewhere safe for those struggling with flesh and carnality; it has become in some churches, a place of titillation and carnal excitement.
Instead of flesh sins being held at bay, flesh is flaunted in every corner of the room. Every high thought is brought down by every deliberately exposed piece of skin. And here is where the selfishness comes in: when we get dressed, whether we are male or female, we know exactly how our clothes fit.
We know what shows when we move and what will shake when we walk. When we decide to walk in a spirit of carnality, we are only thinking of ourselves; we want all eyes on us. My wife said it very well: “they are not thinking about those of our brothers and sisters who are constantly on their knees asking the Father to use the Holy Spirit to help them control their carnal desires.” We are too busy pleasing our own carnal desire to think of anybody else.
In the end, it is of course a question of Pastoral leadership. Too many of our Pastors are worried about who will leave and who will stay if they demand a Biblically base moral standard, wanting to please people more than they desire to please God. As a result, churches are looking like Jesus taught an “anything goes” theology.
God cannot use weak or cowardly Pastoral leadership, only Satan can. If we follow weak church leadership, we will live a weak faith. Strong church leadership will do one of two things: it will either push us to Biblical living or inspire us to leave that church. If our people leave because they do not want to live Biblical lives, we should be prepared to let them go.
Christ taught that who we presently are is not what we were created to be. We were created for worship. Worship demands certain realities be met by the worshipper; foremost is an attitude of worship.
That attitude is internally woven but is externally seen. It is most clearly seen by what we are willing to let the world see if how we do or do not cover our personal temples.
Only you can decide.