Pastor Scott delivered a sobering, stern message to the saints this Sunday after being subjected to the lackluster number in attendance for the service. Attendance has been a problem at the church since Dr. Gene Scott was Pastor here, and of course, many humanistic reasons can be offered for this phenomenon. After all, we do live in Southern California where there are a myriad of distractions like:
- A lack of a church culture. In, Texas everybody goes to church — not so in California (unless you’re Catholic).
- Beaches, professional sports teams, mountain and desert resorts nearby.
- An aging Christian population with the youth being drawn away to secularism by their public education and an ever-present drug culture.
- Nearby marijuana collectives offering the Sunday alternative of “getting baked” and watching the Cartoon Network all day.
- A falling away of Dr. Scott groupies who ran off to start their own cults of mimicry where they co-mingle and hold seances to conjure up his spirit (ala Saul and Samuel) since they can’t come up with their own sermons.
- Competition with mega-churches and all their worldly accoutrements like Starbucks Coffee stations, free marriage counseling, Christian singles mixers (wow! how exciting), and other welfare programs for Jesus.
So what is Pastor Scott to do in the face of such odds? She runs a no-frills, word-based ministry that focuses solely on — you got it — God’s word. Is she to just lay down in defeatism and watch the congregation dwindle down to a passel of old geezers with ever graying and balding heads and an ever-growing number of empty seats?
I think you know our Pastor better than that. For this morning’s service she came out swinging with God’s word and His ever faithfulness to fulfilling His word, and even though sorely displeased with the disgrace and disdain people show for God’s word, she left us all with a message of hope. We will all become what we were created to become, not through sheer mental effort and willpower, but by God’s spirit if we tough it out in faith. And we will grow the church and fulfill our responsibility as “lights in the world” not with our own self-righteous works, but with our faith action igniting God’s spirit to flow through us to make us lights. We are after all HIS workmanship.
So what about holiness? If you come from a fundamentalist background I’m sure you will be surprised what the word “holy” actually means. When you first hear the word “holy” or “holiness” it can scare you into believing that you have to perform a certain way or act something out. But it’s time to get away from the stained-glass connotations of the word “holy” that have been passed down through errant traditions, and follow along with Pastor Melissa Scott as she digs into the etymological root of the word.
So, for an in-depth teaching on “holiness” and what it really means to be set apart for God’s use you’ll have to tune in Monday night, June 15, 2015 at 7pm when Pastor Scott goes live for Festival: Pastor Melissa Scott teaches on holiness.