For the past month or so, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 preparing for ministry in our church. In these chapters, Jesus addressed seven churches in Asia Minor and, by extension, His church in seven different ages since its inception.
In honesty, Christ outlines the positive attributes of each church, commending their love, patience, service, hatred of sin and so on. But He also pointedly and justly points out where they have gone wrong.
The church is not the plan or design of man and therefore it is not up to us to redefine or reinterpret it. Our “job” is to be obedient to what Christ ordained for His church: worship, teaching the Word, fellowship (propelled by love and fostering care and service), prayer and the Lord’s Supper. That hasn’t changed in 2000 years.
But in Revelation 2 and 3, Christ discusses the “falling away” of the church from its original intent and the downward plunge to compromise and worldliness. Two particular charges are given. To the first church (Ephesus), the church of the first century, Jesus, the Head of the church, says, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Revelation 2:4)
And to the seventh church (Laodicea), the church of today, Christ says, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot…so then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)
So many churches today, especially in the Western World, are performance enhanced, money and numbers driven, cold (or at least lukewarm) places where a few people (or a lot) go for a short devotion to feel good about themselves and leave having neither met with the Head of the Church, spoken to Him or heard Him speak to them. To this church Christ says, “Repent”.
But in keeping with the compromising stand of the church, we have developed a new hymnal to use in our “pseudo-worship” services in “The Lite Church” (The Lite Church “ad” in Leadership Magazine: 24 percent fewer commitments, home of the 5 percent tithe, 15-minute sermons, 45-minute worship services, we have only eight commandments – your choice, and we just follow three spiritual laws. Everything you’ve wanted in a church and less!” Some familiar songs include:
How Great We Are, Blessed Insurance, Snack Bar of Ages, Amazing Race (Nascar is on TV so we’ll skip today), Just As I Am (and not planning to change), Blest Be the Tithe (that pays for all this), A Mighty Fortress (is my team’s offensive line), All Creatures of Our God and King (it’s hunting season, so let’s skip and go kill a few of them), Softly and Tenderly (may the preacher speak so he doesn’t wake me up), His Eye is on the Ducks (I see from my duck blind this Sunday morning), I Surrender … Okay a little bit, It Is Well (with my bank account), and Have Mine Own Way.
And let’s not forget those who like more contemporary songs like These Are the Days of Eli…Manning, I Can Only Imagine…getting to the restaurant before the other churches, This Is the Day that the Lord has Made, we’ll stay home and sleep late, 10,000 Reasons (to stay home today), Word of God Speak (but say what I want you to say), Good Good Father (He lets me do what I want), and a favorite, Oceans (Myrtle Beach is calling me).
And let’s not forget that children’s favorite: Jesus Loves Me…And I Love Me Too.
The mission of the church is succinctly given: to be Christ’s “ambassador” to a lost and dying world and to carry the gospel to all the earth. It’s time the church picks up the torch, looses the glitz and glitter, and does that. The results of disobedience are judgment for the church and the eternal damnation of the souls we should be reaching!
“Remember from where thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works…” (Revelation 2:5) “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)
By the time this week’s issues get to the readers, the movie Unplanned will probably be off most or all local movie screens. If not, please plan to see it.
Planned Parenthood, Hollywood, the abortion lobby and others have tried desperately to shut down the message of the film. They have been unsuccessful in doing so.
A number of our church folks went to see it and from talking with many, I think we all were touched. I was in tears within the first five minutes and my emotions ranged from disbelief to anger, to frustration, to sympathy for those who have fallen prey to this billion-dollar industry, to rejoicing that God is able and willing to give grace, love and forgiveness to those who repent from the evil.
I think everyone in America, from those beginning to experiment with their sexuality to the senior citizens, should see the movie. And I think every member of Congress and every state legislator and every judge should be locked in a room and required to see the film!
I’m sure it’ll soon be out on DVD. Get a copy and help spread the word that abortion kills children!
Celebrate the Joy
Operation Christmas Child will have a celebration event Saturday at 10 a.m. in Ocean View Baptist Church, 7300 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. The event is to celebrate all of the joy that the packed shoeboxes from Christmas 2018 are and will continue to bring to boys and girls the world over.
Do you have a “joy moment” about OCC you’d like to share? Contact Jennifer Roberts if you do. Email email@example.com.
Help 4 Kids
Help 4 Kids is asking for your help. They need new clothing and shoes (all sizes for school-age kids). With Easter coming they would like to “treat” 2,500 children with baskets, candy and so on. Please pass along this request to your friends, neighbors and families as well as to your church, your Sunday school class or Bible study group or your club or organization. Your gifts are greatly appreciated!
■ Singing in the Sun is coming back to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center April 22-27, 6:30 p.m. nightly. Hear great music and great ministry. Tickets are on sale now. Phone 1-888-238-6858 or to online to abrahamproductions.net.
■ Get your team and prepare for the 11th Annual Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival in the Grand Park at Market Common. This will be held April 27 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (843) 945-9440.
■ Deeply Rooted, the Women of Joy 2019 Tour will come to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center May 3-5 with music and ministry just for you! Register today at (256) 355-1554 or go online to womenofjoy.org.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ First United Methodist Church, 1001 Fifth Ave., will wrap up its Wednesday Lenten Organ Meditations April 10 at noon. Organists have included Arthur Ghere, Ashley Sosis, Bud Esper, Mary Moller and Billy Fallaw. All are welcome!
■ Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2105 US 501 E, will serve free dinners Friday and again April 26 at 5 p.m. The entire community is invited. Bring someone who lives alone, is elderly or having hard times. Everyone is welcome. Phone (843) 347-4914.
Simple Soup and Sandwich dinners are served on the Wednesdays in Lent at 5:30 p.m. A short devotional follows.
And the church invites you to Easter Morning Pancake Breakfast from 7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Church services are 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
■ Bayboro Baptist Church, 3901 Green Sea Road South, Aynor will have revival services Sunday through Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be Bill Thompson. You are also invited to special singing with Joyful Sound on Sunday at 11 a.m. Phone (843) 756-8132.
■ Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 4301 Red Bluff Road, Loris invites you to Spring Revival April 14-17. Services on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Monday-Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Speakers are: Sunday--Lanier Singleton, Monday--Brandon Jones, Tuesday--John Holmes and Wednesday-- Rick Weidman.
The church will also have an Easter Egg hunt April 20 at 11 a.m. Easter Services are Sonrise and Breakfast at 7 a.m. Go to www.mtvernonbaptist.org.
■ Good Hope Baptist Church, 6101 Privetts Road, invites you to a Children’s Egg Hunt April 20 at 11 a.m. Enjoy hot dogs, the “Big Egg” Hunt, fun and the Easter Story. (Please bring one dozen prepared eggs per child and invite your friends!)
Easter Services are: Sunrise at 7 a.m., Fellowship Breakfast at 8 a.m., Bible Study for all ages at 9 a.m. and Worship Service at 10 a.m. (No evening service)
■ On Easter Sunday, Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905, invites you to come out and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The celebration begins at 7:30 a.m. Phone (843) 365-5141.
■ Maple Baptist Church will hold a chili cook-off in the fellowship building at 4500 SC 65. This will be held on April 13 at 6 p.m. Come join in and pick your favorite chili -- mild, medium, hot or extra hot -- or sample them all! Cost is $10 per adult, $5 kids (kids under 5 are free) or $25 per family for chili and fixings.
The church is also hosting a Craft and Product Fair May 18 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Northside Plaza, 2910 SC 65 in Conway (intersection of US 701 N and SC 65). There will be a large variety of homemade crafts as well as many of your favorite products -- kitchen items, makeup, jewelry and more. Vendor space is still available. Contact Martha Ann Johnson at (843) 365-3685.
■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items, and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ St. Philip Lutheran Church and Episcopal Church of the Messiah (6200 Kings Highway) will hold Wednesday Lenten Services through April 10 at 12:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. The theme for Lent is “Jesus’ Dinner Table.”
Our 6 p.m. worship will be “dinner church”. We will gather in the Fellowship Hall for a simple service with worship, conversation and communion. Wednesday 12:15 p.m. Worship will be the same liturgy without the actual meal and will meet in the sanctuary. Phone (843) 449-5345.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Hwy., invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).
Also: Sunday and Hebrew School, 9:30 a.m.-noon. (Information? E-mail email@example.com.)
Adult Education on Wednesdays: Hebrew: 12:45 p.m.; Adult Education: 2 p.m.; Hebrew School: 4 p.m.
Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting individually-wrapped snacks and juice boxes to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated.
Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.
Camp Judaea: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Phone 1-404-634-7883.
Sisterhood Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at The Dunes Club, 9000 North Ocean Blvd.; $25 per person.
Passover Community Seder, also at the Dunes Club; April 19 at 6:30 p.m. Adults $50 (nonmember $60); Children 4-12 $25 (nonmember $35).
38th Ave. Book Club, Monday, 1 p.m. Discussing
The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib.
Hostess: Benay Brockman, (843) 902-2159.
■ The Carolina Master Chorale will have its Season Finale April 27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 28 at 4 p.m. in Ocean View Baptist Church, 7300 N. Kings Highway. Phone (843) 444-5774.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.
■ The annual Blessing of the Inlet at Belin United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet will take place May 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This is the 23rd anniversary of the event which is always much anticipated and well attended.
The free event, held rain or shine includes entertainment, more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, food from local restaurants, a children’s play area with inflatables, and other fun-filled events and games for all ages.
The highlight of the day is the Blessing of the Inlet ceremony at 11:30 a.m., which will be administered by the Rev. Dr. Mike Alexander and the Rev. Walter Cantwell. Following the blessing, visitors will be invited to “Stay and Pray” in the Belin sanctuary.
One of the important aspects of the day is that this event generates funds for many missions, charities and nonprofit organizations. The honored charity for 2019 is the Low Country Veterans Group of Georgetown, 2921 Highmarket St.
This group’s mission is to reach veterans affected by homelessness, physical and mental disabilities, unemployment and job retention. A key component and goal for the group’s mission is to provide peer support and veteran-to-veteran assistance. Its members also provide much-needed assistance to veteran family members and survivors.