What is behind the facade, part 1?

15th of February

Part 1

I will be philosophizing around this theme. The reason is that I have seen a lot of individuals, congregations and organizations using a lot of energy in order to keep a nice facade. The more dirt that is hidden behind the nice wall, the more energy is used to keep the facade. I have also met quite a few people with a lousy facade, but they cover up a lot of good qualities and possibilities.

Many people do not know that they spend so much energy to look nice and to keep up a good impression. Others do not know that they are hiding pearls under a dirty cover.

There are quite a few people who lack the will and the ability to see behind the frontage. These might save themselves some pain, but run the risk to be greatly deceived. That could cause pain later. Just think how easy it is to be deceived when one is in love and wishes to get married. The partner might look good and acts caring and is polite. You might be blinded and do not look for any signs of danger. If you are in this situation, I recommend you to contact a mature Christian. This person ought to ask some questions to clarify the situation. How would the two of you solve the problems of every day? How many children do you want? How do you deal with the question of parents in law? Where do you celebrate Christmas? What about the economy? How and where should you live? Which church should you go to? Can you pray together? How do you deal with disagreements? What kind of love-language do you have? These are some of the points that you should clarify before you enter marriage. I do presume that you are in love with the person, but look behind the shiny wall. There are other signals than the outward appearance.

What are you looking for when you apply for a job? Are you looking for an important position and a nice office? Maybe you are invited out to an fancy restaurant for an expensive meal. Everything seems so nice. Have you asked about your colleagues? Are they honest and pleasant to work with? Is the working place having a high moral standard? Do not hesitate to ask questions. If this is not tolerated, you might come under control. I am not saying that you should oppose every suggestion, but to ask questions is especially important when one is interviewed.

What are you looking for when you are going to enter a new church? Are you looking for a handsome and nice pastor who is easy-going? Is the building important? Are you looking for a church that can help you all the time and one that will give you as much as possible? Do you look for some important people among the attendants? Do you consider their doctrines and their teaching. Do they help the socially needed? Do they have some mission work? How do they use their money? I want my money to bear fruit. Is the church in growth? I am very good in asking questions to-day, but I want you to think about your own motives. I know what I am looking for when I apply for a membership. I want to be a place where I can both give and receive. I want to be in a church where the gifts of the Spirit can be used. I also want people to be inspired to enter their calling. They are created for a purpose and they need help to fulfill that purpose. I want to be in a church where all the gifts of the Spirit are used and the leadership should be open for the fivefold ministries that are mentioned in Eph.4.11+12. I also need to be in a church where the teaching is biblical and healthy. I have seen churches where the main goal is to help sick people. Some of these churches loose a healthy teaching. Others concentrate on building an army and people who are not well, get worse. They cannot enter the army before they are healed and delivered. I have the same vision as the church I am a member of, but I am a woman and as such I cannot fulfill my vision. God has sent me around the world, but He will send me to another church in due time. Do not leave a church in a spirit of rebellion, but in humility and with a forgiving heart.

God has given me a gift to see and that is very useful, but also very painful and I have several times asked God to take it away. He does not regret His gifts. I am constantly reminding myself that I should hate the sin, but love the sinner. That isn’t always so easy. It is easier to think that these things I would not have done. How can a Christian lift his or her hands on Sunday in church, but commit adultery or cheat on Monday? How can a pastor use the tithes of others for personal trips? How can the pastor’s wife go to the most expensive stores to buy clothes for money collected in the church. (I am not talking about due wages). I recently saw a pastor using his whole family in a Bible-school that was paid for by the government and they were not qualified. Others could not apply. In other congregations they lie in order to get money. They have an opening for the devil and use lies to get benefits for themselves or for the church. I have seen that this is more and more common even among pastors who were used mightily by God at an earlier stage. I was chocked when I was in India since I was refused to take pictures of some diligent workers. They made lots of food for the poor. They said that other organizations had been there and they had taken pictures and had used these pictures to collect money for themselves or for their own organization. These people did not want to be used. Another place they told me that a pastor had taken pictures from a baptism, but had placed in own hand over all these people and used the picture to collect money for his own church. The fact was that he had nothing to do with the baptism. We can easily manipulate pictures to-day.

Many pastors rule the church by using control. He does not function as a shepherd. The activities are made in order to fulfill the pastor’s calling. Maybe he evaluates people and looks for admiration. The pastor might have a strong calling, but he should be a servant and not an idol. We are all called to encourage each other.

Facades can be so many things. It could be fashionable clothes or hair styles. It could be very fancy cars or houses. Others are smiling all the time and saying that everything is fine even if everything is wrong as soon as they enter their own home. We should be positive, but not liars. I have been to churches where they proclaim that everything progresses, but the fact is that one third of the members have left and they reduce a lot of their activities since they lack recourses.

You will find a lot of families that are attending churches and they give a perfect impression, but maybe they are on the verge of divorce and maybe one of the parents is an alcoholic or one of the children a backslidden.

What will happen if the facade withers and we can see what is behind the wall? Then everything will come into the light. I refer to Eph.5:13 “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” One has to be sure that it is God Who exposes and not the devil with his accusations. Revelations can be painful, but it will be nice and clean afterwards.


Mother Else