The word COMMIT means to give in trust or charge, to pledge oneself to a position, an issue or a question, and to bind or obligate. And what I have noticed is that the idea of commitment is no longer visible in the church. There is very little commitment to the church among its members.
Take what God says in Hebrews 13:17, “ Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
When we join a particular church we are COMMITTING ourselves to that particular place and those people. It is a COMMITMENT akin to the marriage COMMITMENT. We have pledged ourselves and we have bound ourselves to this church for better or worse. We have COMMITTED ourselves to do everything we can to make this place and these people better and more glorifying to God.
Sadly to say, you don’t see that kind of COMMTTMENT concerning the church anymore. Instead of obedience and submission to the leadership of the church, if we are dissatisfied we find another church. Instead of speaking to the leadership about what is dissatisfying, we stop showing up. Instead of being obedient in giving, we question the distribution of funds and we cease giving.
I understand that is what is commonly done in our culture and in these last times but it does not make it right. I have to admit that I have never seriously considered and studied this topic. I grew up in this non-COMMITAL environment as well. I have watched so many hop from church to church. I have seen churches deeply hurt by those who have grouped together to split from a church and go to other churches or start their own.
My question is where in the BIBLE do we see this happen. Where do we see anyone in the BIBLE change churches because they did not like something the church did or did not do? Where do we read the Paul saying that church is dependant on our likes and dislikes?
I do understand that there maybe times when heresy may enter into the church and exiting that church may a viable resort. But Biblically, it should be the last resort. We should confront and try to correct the heresy. The letters to the seven churches was a challenge to change the things that were amiss in the church not to abandon it. It was not an encouragement to leave Sardis and join Philadelphia.
The truth of the matter is that we do church according to our preferences. If things are done to our approval and the leadership caters to me then I’m happy but the moment that ceases to be the case then I start the church looking process. So there is no obedience or submission to those who are placed in positions of leadership. There is no COMMITMENT to the place or the people.
It does not matter how you slice it, moving from church to church is not Biblical. In fact, I would offer that it is outright disobedience. God saves us and then places us in a local assembly so that we can grow, serve, and glorify God. And apparently joining the church was after much prayer for the leading of the Lord. But then something happens and NOW God has changed his mind. He wants us to go over to this church NOW. It is hard for me to have much confidence in a God that is so confused. What we are really doing is doubting God’s sovereignty in our lives and we doubt his power to change the various situations in our lives. We think God could not want us to endure a difficult situation and that God does not have the power to change it. So we bail and we find another church to our liking but don’t bank on us because when we get dissatisfied at the new church, we will find another one.
It seems here that God has placed us in particular place with a particular people and the leadership of that place is going to be required to give an account for our souls. We are to be COMMITTED by obeying the leadership and by submitting to them. When we fail to do this we are saying that everything centers on US and not on GOD. It becomes about US and not about HIM.
So when someone wants to join the church what they are really saying is “Hey preacher, we would like to join your church until we get mad, tired, bored, dissatisfied, or until something better comes along.” And it is sad, selfish, and not Biblical! The Bible says be COMMITTED!