Elder Henry Wright makes the profound claim, “Many ministers are ONLY called into ministry because God could save them by no other means.” I know this to be true. Without some connection to ministry whether by preaching, writing or researching, I would be lost. My first love is researching, then writing and when given opportunity to preach; however, I do not have a need to do that. Not anymore. I am more content to study to show my “self” approved, a workman (writer) needeth not be ashamed. However it seems many others have taken a different approach.
I’m reminded of the story of Simon in Acts 8. He noticed what the Disciples were doing, having this “power” which had such an effect upon people to change their lives and by such drew quite an attraction. He wanted this, now read carefully, for “him ‘self’”. Everything pointed “inward” while what the Disciples were doing pointed “outward” from them. The Disciples weren’t making any money but what they were doing certainly could be used to “make” money. People were “receiving” what they wanted therefore, Simon thought, how much would they be willing to “give” in order to receive the same? Not a bad way of thinking if you were a businessman looking to create an opportunity to bring wealth into one’s life. He already was using magical arts (gift of gab) to draw people but nothing like what these Disciples were doing.
How many “Simons” are there today? How many have their “gift of gab” (magical arts) drawing people to themselves in order to “sell” them the Holy Ghost? How many “prayer cloths”, “bottles filled with ‘holy water’ or ‘anointed oil’” is being offered? How many are assured of being “healed” of their “aches and pain” which a Tylenol would do nicely and within thirty minutes! How many are being charmed by the elaborate churches filled to capacity with well-dressed patrons, plush seating, air-conditioning, which you have paid for every time you plunk an envelope into their offering plate, no, platters? How many of you “think” you could stay long after the services are over when it’s time to make way for the “second” service for those gullible, oops, I meant worshipers. You see, you probably won’t be giving twice, so you’ve already bought your first service and that seat is needed for someone else. The arenas of the world are sold for performances and these magnificent churches are typically arenas and depending upon how money you have available will get you a seat closer to the front.
However, I don’t fault the “Simons” today. I have a problem with those filling the seats. Simon is already having his heaven because he won’t be getting nowhere close to the real one. But the sap who is sitting in the seats won’t even get a taste of the heaven, both here in this life or the life to come, and will sit later wondering, “what happened”!
No, I’m not against large churches or those who pastor them. I certainly cannot be against Jesus and His congregation of 5,000 who later enjoyed the “pot-luck” hate to use that word, “luck”, but it is what it is, after His message. His message was true because He said, “Follow Me”. He knew what He was doing and saying because He had somewhere to take us all, and we can stay, too. I’m told something about mansions where He wants to take those who will follow!
Where are those “Simons” taking you?
March 16, 2015