A lot of things are going on in the church today. People are being coerced to do things for God. It is just so pathetic. The truth of the matter is that it’s not the Roman soldiers that are compelling the Simons of today to carry the cross for Jesus. Now, it is the pastors. They compel their congregation to carry the cross.
Back in the day, it was the soldiers with their swords and their spears that intimidated Simon of Cyrene. He didn’t want to carry the cross for Jesus.
“A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.” (Mark 15:21)
He simply carried out the Roman soldiers’ command because they would have killed him. All the beating and flogging in the world wasn’t going to get Jesus to carry that cross; so the soldiers quickly caught hold of Simon and forced him to carry the cross for Jesus.
The man didn’t want to do it; and I could imagine Jesus right there on the floor saying, “leave him, leave him, I am not interested.”
This is exactly what is going on today. It’s not with guns and swords anymore. Do you know what is being used today? Words! In some pulpits, you actually hear statements like, “If you don’t give to God, you’re going to die!” “All your enemies are going to come at you and kill you!”
People go to church today and they are forced, they are coerced, they are compelled, they are manipulated, they are arm-twisted into sacrificing for God. They are practically intimidated and terrorized. It’s so saddening because coerced worship is loathsome to God.
I pray that God will free you to worship Him. Because the truth is that if you’re manipulated into doing anything for God, your worship will not please Him.