In the last post, we examined two misconceptions of the church today. The first was that the church is not an ATM machine and the second is that the church is not in the entertainment business. We will consider two more in this post.
Third, the church is not a social club. To some people, a local church is nothing more than a social organization. They use their membership as a status symbol, and they attend to see and be seen. Some people who are in sales are encouraged to use church membership as a means of making contacts with possible clients. Politicians are notorious for misusing churches in this manner. Several years ago, my sister heard a campaign speech by then presidential candidate Bill Clinton during morning worship services at a Baptist church that she attended. Most people can see through this hypocrisy. The church was bought with the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28). It is despicable for man to use the death of Jesus as a means of self-promotion and personal gain.
Fourth, the church is not a vehicle for social reform. Politicians misuse churches, not only for elections, but also as a platform to achieve their favorite social programs. The church is not a political institution. The church should have a positive influence upon society, but not because it has been instrumental in signing petitions or applying pressure upon officials or authorities. The church is to support the truth and sound forth the gospel (1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:8). As individual members exert their influence, others are won to the gospel (Matthew 5:13-16). As more people are truly converted to Christ, the world is made a better place.