What is your church equipping you to pursue?
Prosperity churches equip parishioners to pursue worldly wealth and comfort. Pastors are materially enriched; people are materially impoverished; all are spiritually bankrupt. Liberal churches equip congregants to pursue cultural respect. Pastors languish in unbelief; people go through altruistic motions; all are spiritually bankrupt. Evangelical churches equip members to pursue political and cultural influence. Pastors shill a political party; people feed on conservatism and American Civil Religion; all become spiritually bankrupt.
What is your church equipping you to pursue? What should your church be equipping you to pursue?
According to Hebrews 11:10, Abraham lived as a sojourner on earth for “he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” In fact, verse 16 reveals his heart when it says that he desired “a better country, that is, a heavenly one.” Are you pursuing that city in that country? Moreover, is your church equipping you to pursue it?
Find a church in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed, in which the Kingdom of God is not conflated with a political party, in which personal holiness within the walls of the church preoccupies the congregation more than does the act of morally policing society outside those walls, and in which God’s people are self-consciously sojourning together toward the city with foundations. Your church should be equipping you to pursue that.
Not societal transformation. Not moral reform. Not political control. Not material prosperity. Not a place at the cultural table. Not any of these. Pursue the city that has foundations, sojourning in community with others who love Christ, calling upon all people everywhere to leave the darkness and to join our merry band of pilgrims in the marvelous light of our God.
The journey is not easy, but in the end we will arrive at the “better country,” where the saints have gone before us, and where Christ awaits to welcome us home.
Russell St. John is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is pastor Twin Oaks PCA in St. Louis, Mo