I visited a church and the pastor started off his sermon in the following way:
I want to make three points:
1 - The world is sin sick and is full of people going to hell.
2 - Most Christians don't give a damn!
3 - More Christians will be concerned about my use of the word "damn" then will care about the people going to hell.
and another point he made:
Many Christians will go to a movie this week, and with ticket and snacks, will probably spend at least $15 and see a movie full of violence, thus supporting the makers of these films, yet the same Christian will struggle over putting $1 in the offering plate when it is passed, even though the money goes to support what is good, and the kingdom of God.
When we easily give a food server a 15% tip, but consider a 10% tithe beyond reach, it is time to question our priorities.
When I lived in Atlanta, several years ago, I noticed in the Yellow Pages, in the listing of restaurants, an entry for a place called Church of God Grill. The peculiar name aroused my curiosity and I dialed the number.
A man answered with a cheery, "Hello! Church of God Grill!"
I asked how his restaurant had been given such an unusual name, and he told me: "Well, we had a little mission down here, and we started selling chicken dinners after church on Sunday to help pay the bills. Well, people liked the chicken, and we did such a good business, that eventually we cut back on the church service. After a while we just closed down the church altogether and kept on serving the chicken dinners. We kept the name we started with, and that's Church of God Grill."
This incident is not unlike many churches, denominations, and individuals who over time, have drifted away from their original purpose.
When form and protocol is more important than substance, we know we are in trouble.
When we can't call what is bad, bad, for fear of offending someone, we are in trouble.
We can approach the Father without going through channels, or getting anybody's approval.