WHEN A CHEVY WAS A CHEVY
This letter may seem harsh to some, but this is what apostles do because they care for the condition of the Church and are always watching out for the welfare of the sheep. We no longer have time to write letters that coddle or tickle ears, but simply tell the truth.
I can remember when I was a young man that when you spoke of a Chevy, you were talking about one kind of car. Today, there are nine different kinds of Chevys and there are six different kinds of Fords. So when someone talks about owning a Chevy, you have to ask, “What kind of Chevy? What model is it”?
You may think this is a strange apostolic letter, but it was birthed out of a telephone conversation that I was having with a customer service representative. I was asked if I was calling from a private residence and I said, “I am calling from a church”. The response to me was, “What kind of church?” I immediately said that it is a christian church and then I was asked, “What kind?” My response was, “There is only one kind of christian if you believe the bible and not a man-made doctrine”. This did not set well with my customer representative and he changed the subject.
Why is it that we have to ask, “What kind?” when we meet someone who says they are a christian? What is wrong with us that so totally divides us and causes us to reject any attempt at total unity? Oh yes, we do come together on great occasions in an attempt to appear as one, but we never see the results that should come because we don’t like to discuss doctrinal differences and dismiss them with excuses we call grace.
When we receive Christ, we become new creatures. We now live and celebrate a new kind of culture. It is called “kingdom culture”. We are children of the King of Kings and celebrate His goodness together following only one doctrine...KINGDOM DOCTRINE. This is the doctrine of the Bible, this is the doctrine of the early apostles and this is the doctrine of Christ!
We just can’t seem to agree that the Bible is for today and that it is given to us as a pattern for our life. Jesus said in Matthew 16, “I will build MY church” and taught His disciples what He meant by “church”. Today we are split by disagreements as to whether the gifts are still for today, we argue about whether there can ever be more than twelve apostles, we argue as to whether a woman can speak or hold authority in the Church.
What kind of Chevy are you? “I’m the stripped-down compact kind, the kind that operates on three-fold ministry and believes in the 5% tithe and 10 minute sermonettes.” We don’t preach about sin because it makes people uncomfortable and the last thing we want to do is offend anyone. We don’t say anything that could get us in trouble with the government because the ACLU might take us to court. We don’t have apostles and prophets in our church because our denomination says that they are not for today.
I have noticed that the largest churches do not believe in the five-fold ministries of Christ. Many of them are large because they require no accountability and none of them are training and equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Nothing is required of them. Jesus said, “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me”. Notice that He did not say, “See yourself as gods, confess into being anything you want”.
Is it possible that we have created a religious monster? If you take time to read through the New Testament, you can only find one kind of church. Is it possible that we no longer believe the Bible is the Word of God? Is it possible that scripture means nothing to us when we are seeking a church?
How dare we call ourselves the Church if we are not structured according to the Word of God? How can we take liberty with God’s Word and randomly state that something we do not like is no longer for our day when scripture does not say that it is to cease? On a weekly basis, thousands upon thousands of people attend religious services and pack huge auditoriums where there is no presence of God. Bible verses are preached, but many verses are conveniently omitted. We say that we are a Bible-believing church because we quote some scripture.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos, are you not mere men?”
He also says in 1 Corinthians 1:12-15, “Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.”
If we can never agree on the Word of God, then we should stop pretending we believe in the unity of believers. All unity comes from the Word and Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. Jesus said simply, “Follow Me” and sets the pattern for us to follow. He is our example, not man or man’s doctrine.
One major thing will definitely divide us and that is the issue of righteousness. Many today are beginning to give in to the secular “progressive” thinking such as ordaining homosexual ministers and performing homosexual marriages. Some are even changing their thinking on abortion. The sad thing is that some are preaching righteousness but practicing and voting for unrighteousness. Righteousness is and should be something that divides us. Light and darkness have no fellowship.
Christianity is how we live our life in Christ before others. Christianity is not simply saying, “I’m a christian”.
If there were only one kind of Chevy today, I guarantee that it would be of greater quality and endure much longer. It would be proud to be called “Chevy” and would do all it could to maintain the integrity required to keep calling itself a Chevy.
According to the Word of God, the Church could be powerful and glorious and leaves it up to us.
In Romans 9:27, Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED...”
THERE IS ONLY ONE KIND OF CHURCH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT!
The Bible is a recipe book and you must have all the ingredients of the recipe book to be called a “church”.
The Church is not a buffet, but a gourmet restaurant, so let’s use the Bible recipe and cook up a church together that makes God smile. Remember, the Church is not “Hell’s Kitchen”, but the “Kitchen of the Saints”.