Saturday, July 30, 2016

This week's lesson (July 30 - August 5): Jesus mingled with people

Let us now praise Nominal Adventists.

You know who I mean.
  • They're the ones whom the Nominating Committee asked to be deacons "so that maybe they'll start showing up in church more often."
  • They're the ones who drop-off their kids at Sabbath School -- then head over to Starbucks for coffee and a donut.
  • Yes, they're the ones whose ties to your church are tenuous, sporadic, and superficial -- the same people we often write-off as "Laodecian."
But myself, I thank God for those Laodecian Adventists; they're the sign of a healthy church.

Show me a church with nothing but True Believers, after all, and I'll show you a church that nobody else wants to attend.
  • Not the people who drop by to see friends.
  • Not the people who hope it might do their children some good.
  • Not the people whose ties to the church may be tenuous, sporadic, and superficial . . . but whose ties still remain.
No, all these people have been weeded out. Cut off. Sent on their way with nobody left behind -- nobody but a few saints with nowhere else to go.

That's why healthy churches have fuzzy boundaries between Those Who Are Definitely Inside and Those Who Are Definitely Outside -- a sort of "grey area" made up of people who are "just looking," people who are "still not sure," and people who are "ready to buy . . . but not sure they can afford it."
  • You can call them "window shoppers."
  • You can call them "Transitional Christians."
  • You can call them "Nominal Adventists," or even "Laodecian."
But when they disappear, it's a sure sign that your church is dying -- that nobody else has even the slightest reason to attend.
In this week's Sabbath School lesson, after all, we're told the Church must mingle with the World. And that's good advice, but it works both ways.
You see, there's only one way to know your church is mingling with the world.
That's when you see the world mingling with your church.

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