Position, Power, but NO People..!

He was the Bishop of the local churches and also Chairman of a charitable organization of which I was a board member. Pompous and plump, he quite enjoyed chairing the meeting, especially after the general secretary had fallen sick and he had the attention of everybody. We discussed matters at hand, then broke for lunch. “Bishop,“ I asked, as I sat at his table. “How many churches do you have under you?”
“Hundreds!” he said.
“And how many people attend those churches?”
He looked at me uneasily, then looked away.
I had seen this in Europe in all my trips there: Empty churches as a generation of youngsters shied away from the ritualistic worship offered. The churches were like museums, were you went round silently looking at all the statues of ancient priests and saints, as dead as the church.
I remember once when a statue moved, I nearly screamed then realized it wasn’t a statue it was a priest standing silently, looking dismally at his empty church. “Not much of your flock here father?” I asked, but he didn’t reply and continued staring at me silently.
Why are our churches empty?
Many reasons, but the chief among them; the youngsters of today are fed up with the hypocrisy of rituals with no meaning. Not for them just the ringing of bells, lighting of candles and heavy smell of incense; they want more! And that more is simplicity!
It’s time we made God simple! Because God is simple. So simple we can’t believe in that simplicity and prefer the very pomp and trappings Jesus came down to throw out.
He doesn’t want huge lofty churches, he wants your hearts, dirty as they are so He can make it clean. It’s that simple, but unfortunately there’s a part of us which keeps making the simple unnecessarily difficult, because then and only then is it believable, we think.
When I see the palaces and castles of old, I realize how important it was for kings and emperors to show their power through huge stone statues, exotic wood carvings, high ceilings and lofty ramparts.
This was to make people feel small before the king.
God doesn’t need you to feel small.
One should feel His awesomeness but should know that this is not to frighten us into submission. That same awesome God loved us enough to have sent His son to die, so he could live in us.
In other words, God became simple to a simple man by becoming a man himself.
I looked at the Bishop. He had got what he wanted on earth; position and power, but unfortunately both had nothing to do with the God he was supposed to serve..!


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16 thoughts on “Position, Power, but NO People..!”

  1. That’s the same sad story in all our CNI English Churches. There was a time when we had to reach early so as to get a seat, sadly that’s not anymore. I blame the clergy who seem to be stuck in the past. Greed for power and wealth has taken over the bliss of being in the presence of the Master.

  2. Agree Bob People are looking at being able to relate to the word of God Keeping it simple will help them connect to it and also make it relevant to their daily lives Only when things make sense will it make people want to accept and explore it Let’s not wait for others to do it and begin doing it in our own small way Little is much when God is in it

  3. Very much true Bob even in our country. May the God of small things teach us simplicity and open our hearts to this God who lies hidden in the ordinary people we meet.

  4. A simple prayer, Father, baptize me with your Holy Spirit n fire in Jesus name, amen… Will bring New Life n the Gifts (talents) of the Holy Spirit for The advancement of God’s kingdom n His glory making all things new n everything ALIVE IN HIM

  5. Well, this is true, more or less of all faiths. The desire for power and pelf has almost overtaken the genuine longing for the realisation and sevice of the Creator God. He is immanent in all His creations, more so in the simple and innocent looking poor and the lowly! The mere rituals are pointless red herrings while the selfless service and ‘Naam Simmran’ – meditating on His Name (whatever name one may call Him by) is the essence. The ever-existng God, the Creator, has no father, no mother, yet He is father and mother to all without exception! 🙏

  6. Thank you Bob for this thoughtful message. Today I was watching the elections in a Church. The results will be declared close to midnight. The number of contestants and the canvassing will put a seasoned politician to shame. Power, position and money play a prominent role. No wonder people are disillusioned with the Church. Jesus referred to the empty worship as white washed tombs. The Churches lack the Holy Spirit. Churches have become white washed tombs.

  7. When the Holy Spirit lives in the church leaders and worshippers, the numbers increase as when Peter preached and 3000 we’re added to the church and 5000 another time. Even persecution can’t stop it.

  8. at His first coming Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the Jewish authorities, who observed the Law in word but not in Spirit ; they failed to recognize the very God, the Scriptures foretold, when He was incarnated as Jesus Christ, but chose to oppose Him and condemn hI’m and finally crucify Him, again as foretold in the Scriptures.
    At His second coming, he will find the Church Re-enacting similar rituals, hypocrisy, prescribing rigid Rules and Judging the poor and needy as sinners!
    ‘it is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices’! ….says the Lord.

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