"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30
It's not my intention to criticize the church this morning, but make an honest observation. As a whole we have gotten away from what Christ intended for us to be. We have become a religious organization that looks more like a social club than a living organism that reflects Christ and demonstrates His power to the world. For the most part is it hard to tell the difference between us and the world.
I want to share one reason that I believe has caused this. When people come into the church- either through salvation or through joining the organization- they bring a lot of "baggage" with them. (We all have baggage- ideologies, experiences, culture, upbringing, etc.) Often, when people bring in their "worldly, old life baggage" they are allowed to keep it. If they are allowed to keep any baggage that is contrary to Jesus' teachings and will, they will continue in it's influence, and not only will they continue in it, pretty soon it will begin to influence others and become engrafted into the church.
This is what happened in our church history. The Emperor Constantine became a Christian and ordered everyone else to become one or face death; so everyone for fear of death joined the church, but they brought in all their "baggage" from false religions and so on with them. (This is why we have a mixture of Christ's teachings and other things today.)
We do people an injustice when we don't help them get rid of the baggage. It's one thing to bring the baggage in with you, it's another thing to keep it. Jesus is in the business of taking that old baggage away and replacing it with His peace, righteousness, purity and holiness. We should be in that same business- the business of seeing them free from carrying around any weight that would beset them- and not in the business of letting them hang on to that which will only pull them and others down.
Have a great day. We must help people get rid of the baggage that they bring with them instead of assimilating it into the church.