12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor [thy] rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Luke 14: 12-14 KJV
Thursday Parable: That Church
Corinthians Community Church decided to open their doors to the people of the town. Corinthians was formerly the fastest growing church in town, but over the years its membership began to dwindle.
One day, a few of the church leaders decided to have a campaign to increase their membership. Leaflets were circulated and road signs lined the main street with the message. “Come Meet Jesus and Get Fed.”
Now, residents were skeptical that perhaps this was a prank because Corinthians Community Church never seemed to be receptive to people who were sickly or poor.
That’s why people always called Corinthians Community Church, That Church.
On Sunday, that church bus went out and came back with a busload of people of all ages and races.
As they got out of the bus, there were several men dressed in tuxedos and wearing white gloves, loudly exclaiming, “This way. Stay in line. Follow the yellow arrows. ”
As the people approached the open doors to the church, there stood a tall woman wearing a dark uniform, white gloves, cap and she wore a whistle around her neck. She was intimidating as she blew the whistle and shouted to everyone approaching the entrance. “Women to the right; men to the left,” she shouted. “
Inside the entry hall of the church was a velvet blue rope that divided the men from the women. The women of all ages were inspected like meat. “Honey, you can’t just come up in here wearing that.” spoke the short stocky woman wearing a white uniform with all types of badges and a pin that read, “church security.”
The men were asked to hold their arms up as two elderly men crept around them, frisking each man. Young children and teens were escorted to an area with a sign declaring, “Holding Station.”
One gentleman was having a diabetic attack and was asking for a glass of juice. However, much to his disappointment, he was told that food and beverages were available to active members. He would have to pay for a bottle of juice.
When the town’s people were permitted to enter the sanctuary, the ushers escorted them to the left side of the church. “Please begin on the fourth row,” the usher said in a stern voice. “No one is permitted to get up when the service starts.”
In the Holding Station, young children and teens hands were stamped with a number and were strongly advised to follow one of the Tuxedo members into the balcony. “Listen up,” shouted the man in the tuxedo. “We don’t like any talking or laughing here. If I hear one sound from anyone of you…you will be sorry! ”
“All stand, as we greet our choir,” screamed a voice from the pulpit. The church choir entered the sanctuary singing and clapping their hands. Church members barely moved, but the visitors stood up and then were immediately told to sit back down.
The Church Clerk read the announcements followed by a member of the Church Greeting Committee. “Do we have any visitors?” roared the tiny petite woman adorn with a huge feather hat and a rhinestone suit.
There was a little bit of reluctance from the town’s people, but one by one they stood up. “Oh, no,” exclaimed the greeter to the people. “If you don’t attend any church, you can sit back down. We just want to welcome members of other churches. ”
The organist played off-key as the choir sang, Blessed Assurance. One of the town’s people began to sing along with the choir but an usher approached him and told him to remain quiet.
An elderly couple from the town arrived late. When they came into the sanctuary, they sat on the right side of the church. Before they could get settled into their seats, a couple who are regular members of Corinthians demanded that the aging couple move from where they were seated.
Several babies started crying and much to the surprise of their parents, they were asked to get out of the sanctuary.
When it was offering time the residents were informed that coins were unacceptable at giving. And the altar call was only for members with specific needs.
By the time the pastor came into the sanctuary, the residents were incensed. His sermon was titled, Come Meet Jesus and Get Fed.
Residents in the sanctuary belted out loud laughter as they got up and left the church. The pastor was bewildered.
He couldn’t imagine what could have made the town residents act the way they did.
Surely, it couldn’t be our church? He thought to himself.
No pastor. It was that church.
In Him Alone
The Counterfeit Christian