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).
Taking a shower in the bathtub was normal for many people, but some had through this routine passed on by accidents that happened in the tub. Millions are still using the tub till date. Is bathing in the tub death trap, no but a confirmation of one of the appointments reiterated in the last blog? As a reminder appointments are part and parcel of our lives. We all have appointments to keep. There are, however, two inescapable appointments in the life of every one of us. The one is the hour of our birth, and the other is the hour of our death. Birth ushers us into time, while death ushers us into eternity. God oversees the one and overrules the other.
We discover that birth is shrouded in mystery. As for death we can say it is shrouded with certainty. The emphasis we are learning here is that every one will die. While it is impossible to predict with final accuracy the birth of a child, it is possible to say without any reservation that every one of us will eventually die. The only exception to the inevitability of death is the rapture of all living believers at the Second Coming of Christ; otherwise, humanity moves on inexorably to the grave.
Certainty of death was signed at the fall in the Garden of Eden. The certainty of death has caused agony in the entire human race. Job described death as the king of terrors (Job 18:14), while the Psalmist speaks of the terror in its entirety (Psalm 55:4).
There are three types of anxieties from the fear death (the solemn certainty). They are normal anxiety, neurotic anxiety and existential anxiety. Normal anxiety is apprehension of a coming danger. This is why majority of people that are diagnosed with terminal disease are depressed. Neurotic anxiety is apprehension where there is no cause of danger but the thought of the approaching day of death can generate this fear. Existential anxiety is the fear of no way man can escape death.
Man since ‘Adam’ has not stopped in postponing death. We do exercise, watch diet, we rest, work and even pray so as to escape death. Surprisingly in the fear of death psychologists said that many even commit suicide to escape the continuous postponement of death.
The happiness I am trying to project in this blog is that there is cure for the fear of death. The only cure for such agony is a child-like faith in God and the redemptive use of such anxiety in the winning of other men and women to Jesus Christ. It is the certainty of death that assures the saints that as believers that we have conquered death. God has given us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The first step to victory over death is accepting the spiritual route created by Jesus on the cross. No believer who have been saved from spiritual death need fear physical death. David knew this experience when he sang in Psalm 23:4; though I walk through the shadows of death I will fear no evil. The death of a Christian is only a tunnel for him to be with the Lord.
The Psalmist spoke about the shadow of death, it therefore means where there is shadow it means the sun is shining somewhere. And the sun is always shining in Emmanuel’s land. For the Christian it is just a release from the limitations and restrictions of this body to be present or “at home” with the Lord, which is a state infinitely better than what we enjoy here. We are enjoying a good life here, but it will be a much better life then. And when Jesus comes to give us our immortal bodies, we will have the best life.
For the genuine Christian, then, the sting, the fear, and the power of death are forever gone. What is more, he can employ the very laws of death to conquer Satan, sin, and self in his everyday experience. Every Christian can overcome Satan and death by “the blood of the Lamb according to Rev. 12:11. No fear, no fret or failure when Christ is in control.