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J. LaCour, publisher of Pageant Life, a Sacramento quarterly said and I quote. “The reason for the existence of Pageant is money. If the pageant makes a profit, it will continue. If not, it’s gone tomorrow.” Throughout the country, especially in California and the South, there exists a complex network of Children’s Beauty Pageants held in shopping malls and hotel ballrooms. There are about 3,000 pageants a year in the U.S., 500 of which cater to the preteen-and-under set. Children could compete every weekend, if they and their parents had the energy and resources. Organizers of the larger statewide contests clear at least $100,000 per pageant. The profits come from basic entrance fees, which can run as high as a few hundred dollars. Organizers also sell pageant jewelry and publish journals that earn money through advertising. This tells us the importance we placed on appearance.
Makeup as Webster dictionary states is the way in which parts or the ingredient of something are put together or arranged (composition). Secondly it is the physical, mental, and moral character of a person that makes him up (constitution). Makeups in another sense are the cosmetics used to color and beautify the face or other parts of the body. It includes wigs used in making up for special costumes for a play or part of dressing. It is something that makes up for what is previous omission, failure or deficiency.
Ecclesia makeup going by the definition above are the things introduced to the church for her lost or missing glory; that man’s intention is added as adjustment for the lost. Each church is having problem in keeping members in the church. This has caused many churches to dance between pleasing God and keeping the people.
In days like this many are leaving the church. The makeup is the thing done by church leadership to make the church attractive to the comers. Some resolve to make the church building more attractive, by focusing primarily on the infrastructure and the amenities in the building. Others focus on the mode of worship, singing, timing and even the preaching style. Others focus on ‘faith level’ of say it and have it, this affects the lifestyle of al the members in the public and private. Some even confuse denial for faith manifestation. Part of the makeup is the emphasis the church placed on praying and what they pray for as a church. The way of dressing and social interactions interaction of some of the churches is the resultant effect of Ecclesia Makeup in their church.
Websites, Internet, conferences, radio program, television and books have been good tools in the hands of few. Others depend on ‘spiritual fathers’, who advise them as to what they can do to retain members in the church. Some of the mentors lead astray by leading the mentored to go the makeup way. Other mentors lead the mentored in the right way. This right way is slow and hard, but rewarding.
This ecclesia makeup is not new anyway. In the eighteenth century Scottish theologian William Cunningham said that men, under the pretense of curing the defects and shortcomings in the church, the nakedness and bareness, attaching to ecclesiastical arrangements as set before us in the New Testament, have been constantly proposing innovations and improvements in government and worship. It is discovered then that none of this improvement has actually brought any change except for the negative influence it brought to the church.
The bible does not speak about the church attracting new members by any makeup method. The church is not built with the objective of attracting people but attract the Owner (Jesus Christ). The church from the origin is the holy bride of Christ. The true beauty of the church is in her conjugal chastity of holiness and innocence. Churches are made better by reforming and rebirth the church from all carnal methods that permeates it..
Those who claim to make the church more attractive by turning her away from true doctrine and pure worship are what we could call false beauticians. Under their hands, the church is robbed of her chastity. The current state of the church is alarming, as many have turned off from the foundation laid by the apostles and the prophets, which Christ the chief corner stone. The epidemic of pleasing men is the terrible cancerous disease affecting the 21th Century.
I like to conclude that the only solution the church is having now is go to meet the Lord outside the camp for purification (To continue next blog).
“Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:24.
Confidence implies full trust, belief in the power, authority, capability, trustworthiness, veracity or reliability of a person. To have confidence in God is to have faith in Him. Jesus commanded His disciples to “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22), because no matter how hopeless the circumstances may seem, no matter how impossible the case may look, God knows no impossibility (Matthew 19:26). God quickens the dead, calls those things which be not as though they were, and will perform whatever He promises (Romans 4: 17,21). He is the God that cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2), nor deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). His words and promises are forever settled (Psalm 119:89).
God is the Almighty (Genesis 17:1); He can do all things, and none of His purposes can be thwarted (Job 42:2). He is the everlasting God, the Lord, and Creator of the ends of the earth. He is neither tired nor weary (Isaiah 40:28), and His actions never contradict His holy, righteous nature (Revelations 15:4; Exodus 15:11).
Confidence in God is what qualifies us to be in constant fellowship with Him (Genesis 3:8). It manifests in full obedience to His laws (Genesis 2:16 – 17). Confidence in God is lost when sin comes in. Those influenced by sin will become confident in themselves, someone else, or something else. This is not God’s will for us. Lack of confidence in God is unbelief. Unbelief itself is sin (Hebrews 3:12); nay, it is the parent of every other iniquity (Charles Spurgeon, 1855). Show me a man possessed with the heart of unbelief and I will show you a man devoid of fellowship with God. Relationship with God is not about what we profess alone, it is more about our absolute trust in God. Unbelief means disobedience and distrust. It is the opposite of faith. Unbelief restraints our spiritual walk and impedes our progress. It is a spiritual cancer that only God can cure (Mark 9:24). It is the sin that so easily besets us (Hebrews 12:1).
The sin of unbelief led to the death of one aristocrat in 2 Kings 7:19. Through Elisha the prophet, God had promised plenty in the midst of Israel’s food crisis. Despite the fact that Elisha was well known to be God’s prophet; had divine credentials; and had all his past prophecies fulfilled, the noble did not believe his declaration. His doubt of the divine veracity and mistrust of God’s power had fatal consequence.
We are not to cast away our confidence because confidence in God is always rewarding (Hebrews 10:35 – 36). Yet when in need, danger or difficulty, we always forget the fact that it is in Him we have our being (Acts 17:28), and lose our confidence in God. This ought not to be so! This is the time to reconnect and renew our confidence in God. Let us do so solemnly and humbly, asking Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Only God can help us believe the way, manner and level we ought to. One of the paradoxes of our faith is that we must be weak to become strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). We must ask for His grace and mercy at this time of need. Faith, humility and patience will help us rediscover His tender mercies. Cast not away your confidence in God!