• David Osteen

The Parable of Variety - "Why So Many Churches?"

Once upon a time, there was an aged old man who was turning 100 years old. All of his family was coming for a huge celebration. At the end of the day, the patriarch was sitting in the grass alone by a small stream behind his house. A young 9-year-old boy came and gently sat down next to the aged man and gazed upon his sad face.

The boy said to the man, “You look sad. Are you sad because you are so old today?”. “No”, the man replied gently. “Are you sad because someone didn’t come to the party?” “No”, the man replied gently. “Are you sad because you didn’t get a puppy? I didn’t get a puppy for my birthday and I was sad.” “No”, the man replied gently. “Then why are you so sad?” inquired the little boy sympathetically. The old man replied, “I am sad because for all of my life I have given to my family all that they need, and most of what they wanted, so long as I could determine it was best for them. But now in my aged years, when they come to make this huge celebration for my life, they are really only here celebrating their own lives.” “What do you mean?”, asked the young boy with great interest and curiosity. “I mean, young one, that all I wanted was a small quiet gathering of family being together and visiting, us singing together, a piece of soft fluffy chocolate cake to enjoy, some vanilla Homemade Bluebell Ice-cream, the simple gift of sharing stories and memories, and some time to relax and take an afternoon nap. Instead, the family has organized this huge celebration with a variety of friends, people that I do not know, a variety of loud music playing all the time that is tough on my aged ears and that I do not like, a variety of this dancing and partying that they know I can’t stand, and they brought every cake under the sun for all of the people, but there is no soft chocolate cake for me, and worst of all, they brought a variety of ice-creams and flavors, but no Bluebell Vanilla.”

The boy sat there for a moment and thought before speaking, “If you wanted all of those things then why didn’t you tell them what you wanted?” “I did”, the man replied gently with a hint of sorrow in his voice. “Then why didn’t they give you any of those things?”, the boy said with frustration in his heart toward the family. The old man replied gently and thoughtfully, “Because people want what they want… and they all want different things… and in honoring themselves, their wants, they forget about honoring their father…” The boy leaned in and hugged the man, not fully understanding all that he had said, but knowing that he had been wronged, and said, “Well, I love you.” The man gently replied with a tear rolling down his cheek, “I know, my son.”

"Why So Many Churches?"

Why is there so much variety in life? It’s because “People want what they want”. Why are there so many churches in the world? Are there many different types of churches in the bible? (there are only two you will find – 1) Sound (faithful) and 2) Unsound (unfaithful)) Are there many different gospels in the bible? Are there many different Christs in the bible? Are there many different types of worship that are all true worship? The reason there is so much variety in “Christianity” today, why there’s a variety of churches all claiming Christ, is not because you find that variety in the bible, but because “People want what they want.” Because people want what THEY want, not what GOD wants. People are about honoring themselves and their desires, fulfilling their own wants, and forget about honoring the LORD in heaven. This is how Jesus was different.

Jesus was all about honoring the Father. He was all about what the Father wanted, “Not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42) “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38), “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me…” (John 4:34) Again and again, throughout the gospels you find that Jesus was all about; not the business of Himself, not the business of catering to the desires of every individual, but about doing His Father’s business. As Christians, followers of Christ; are we to be any different? To be any different, would mean that we are not following Christ! (Matthew 7:21)

In our society, as much as any time in history, you will find men and women “leading churches” with all sorts of different missions, ministries, and messages that are catering to the masses rather than submitting to the Master. This was prophesied about, and warned against, by the Holy Spirit, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth…” (2 Timothy 4:3-4), but Satan has blinded the masses to both knowing the scriptures or seeing that their actions are the fulfillment of them.

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6) In the Lord’s church, there is something that binds us together, and that is we all share the exact same one want – to do the will of the LORD. Yes, there are a variety of people (Galatians 3:27-29) in a variety of places in a variety of times, but those who follow the one Jesus all have one want – to do the will of the LORD. Are you one of them? Can you prove it by demonstrating how your actions are in line with the scriptures? If you don’t know and need help, please come to us and let us help you see from the Bible – the will of the LORD and the joy in doing His will.

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