Does God Hate Church?

Jon Burgess


“I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” Amos‬ ‭5:21-24‬ ‭


God has made it clear through the prophet Amos that He doesn't want to be in their religious box. He doesn't go for the hypocrisy of a religious show on Sunday and a an idol worshipping self-preserving life on Monday. God isn't interested in style over substance. He isn't in to smoke and mirrors pretense. He tells us what He wants- justice and righteous living. Not just a trickle, but a raging river that has no end. Look at the powerful contrast here. We settle for God in a box which looks good to us and changes nothing around us. God wants a flowing river that starts with His heart for reaching others where they are at and flows through every area of society. When religion is in town it's a show reserved for those who already bought the tickets. When God is in town His river brings life to all who are thirsty.


God doesn't hate church, He hates hypocrisy. He wants to the river of life to flow free not bottled up and sold for $2.50! God loves music and songs born from ones who've been saved by grace. God loves the gathering of saints forgiven and free. Just like the river though, it can't stop here. Weekend services can't be the end game. We gather in Christ then we scatter in Christ. If church is a holy-huddle-bless-me-club where we pat each other on the backs and make ourselves feel justified in our daily compromise then we have missed the point completely. However, if church is not about the program of man, but the presence of God in His people then you have a world changing movement on your hands who have become the hands of God to the world around them! If we gather to celebrate what Christ has done where we wake and work throughout the week then we will find God soaking up those sounds of praise and releasing His blessing throughout our lives. This means we have become a conduit rather then a cul-de-sac of the justice and righteousness of God! Jesus didn't come to start a new religion but to establish a new relationship! The goodness of God is revealed when we live out what we believe beyond the hour and a half weekend service. When we love our enemies, serve our families, heal the broken, feed the hungry, and lead the lost home we are singing a song that God can't get enough of!


Thank You for the heart check this morning Lord. I pray that Your river of justice and righteousness would flow through me and your people throughout this week. I pray that Your life within me would intersect with the world around me. I pray that the songs and words that rise from my heart would not be a Sunday show FOR You, but a weekly flow FROM You! "If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:26-27

Devotions for June 29

Amos 4,5,6
Psalms 86,87
Titus 1

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