“Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them, is a dry-as-dust religion.” – MLKJR
In the days we live in, the world celebrates Martin Luther King Jr, even the church is apt to identify with him and with what he stood for, but it was not so in the days that he lived in. When I listen to people refer to great men like this, I’m often ashamed when I discover that those that speak know little more than their listeners about the life of the people they speak about. Many are shallow, from not reading in depth enough, to not engaging their minds when they read, to having insufficient experience to draw from to connect with the lives of these great people. Read this slowly and understand it clearly – “The “Organized” Church Opposed Martin Luther King Jr, in his days!” If you need to read more about this, find articles like the Letter from Birmingham Jail or his book “why we can’t wait”. I daresay, that anybody interested in change in any nation must read the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.
“But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.” – MLKJR.
The question today, is simple and straight forward – “Is your Church relevant, or are you gradually becoming an irrelevant social club?”. I must warn you that NOW requires urgency. Our nation is in on an auto-cruise that is collision bound with annihilation. We are failing as a state, with all our metrics and indexes for measuring progress plummeting, in a few years we may well be history and the last hope of this nation is currently rubbing shoulders with those who may enthrone it as the headquarters of cowardice and complacency. So answer the question, “Is your Church relevant, or are you an irrelevant social club?”
Before you are quick to make this about them and not us, please understand that by Church, I mean the Organized Church and I also mean the internal Church – the called out ones – the Ekklesia – the hope of the world -You and I! Are we relevant collectively or individually? As a nation are we not too full of organized churches for this country to be the way it is? Have we assigned God the responsibility of coming down to earth to set things right on His own? Or are we God’s arm and the people he seeks for change to happen? Isn’t there too much light in this country for us to be the darkest nation on earth? Are we not fast becoming irrelevant social clubs?
“Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.” – MLKJR
Are our organized churches bound to status quo? Are they afraid of biting the arms that waiver them? Have we exchanged our birth rights to be the conscience of the nation for the messy pottage of unprincipled alignment? Where are those noble souls in Nigeria who would break out of satanic conformity and join us to herald and birth a New Nigeria? Rather than weep the deplorable state of our nation, and secure our one hand with swords and the other with bricks, we spend our resources on spiritual jamborees! We are in subtle competition, slyly moving the coliseum into the organized church – Our churches are ranked by their numbers, by who organizes the biggest concerts, who has the biggest cathedral, who has the largest assembly in one sitting and many more. Our numbers are not converting into voting in righteousness, into upholding justice or annihilating poverty. The helpless die in our watch, our negligence equates us to murderers. There is a conspiracy of the prophets – Let he/she who reads be guided by the words of Ezekiel in Chapter 22: 23-31. Prophets, Priests and Princes gone bad! We are in perilous times. About our times however and about where we are positioned, God is not silent! If we are irrelevant in the days of battle, we will be irrelevant in the days of victory! A stationary bird is an easy target! Hear God’s views crystallized before our times.
“I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice–oceans of it.
I want fairness–rivers of it.
That’s what I want. That’s all I want.” – Amos 5:21-14 (Message Translation)
When I read this again some months ago, my heart trembled, today it still does… I have moved to action. Even New Nigeria Club has left being an irrelevant social club. We need to engage the highest offices, and move our nation into better than it is, simply because we are better than this, and there is a lot we can salvage! What about you? Even if the organized church you attend is fast embracing irrelevance, what about you? What are you doing about it? Can you print this for your pastor? Can you influence change?