Veneer is a thin facing of “finishing material” such as a fine layer of quality wood, a fraction of an inch thick, that is adhered to the surface of a cheaper substrate, such as in furniture making. So, a much cheaper piece of wood is used for 99% of the project, and then it is covered with this veneer. It looks good for a time, but it will not last, eventually falling apart. On the other hand, a quality piece of furniture that is made from solid, quality wood lasts for decades, perhaps even centuries. It may be good to use veneer in our woodworking, but it must not be used in building a church. A church that has a faith made from veneer, without depth or meaning, is deceptive. It “covers” the bad or low quality, and it gives false hope and no substance to those who are in need and who want to be sincere in their faith. This can be a Mormon Church with all the hospitality, welcoming, friendship, and camaraderie, and where you feel at home. You are appreciated, feel at home and cared for, yet, beneath the picture of seeming health and vitality is emptiness and deception. There is no real purpose for such a church, no spiritual formation in Christ, no authentic faith or discipleship in the real precepts of the Lord. Rather, it disgorges false teaching that leads a person nowhere except further away from our Lord. We can expect this in a cult, but what about in your church? A church must be real. When we practice hospitality, it must come from a heart that wants people there and wants them to grow in Him. If not, it is veneer; it is fake, and it dishonors our Lord!
Questions to Ponder:
1. How does a church become a fake or a façade? What are some of the things that hinder our purity in our faith and devotion to Christ?
2. Why would a dead church refuse to repent and turn themselves back to Christ? What are some of the things that such a church would worship and/or focus on instead? How does Christ feel when He is neglected?
3. How does a church exhibit faithfulness and point to the reputation of Christ? How does yours? How should it? What can you do to make His reputation better in your work, school, and community?
4. What more can you do to show that you are devoted to Christ in sincerity and with authenticity? What can you do to better please Christ with persistent obedience regardless of the past or what you will face in the future?
5. Have you ever considered that you represent Christ, and your faith and obedience are your clothing? How is your “clothing?” What can you do to have better clothing? What can your church do to be more proactive with opportunities and collective faith? What specific things need to be put into action?
© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org