Friday, June 25, 2010

Stop going to church...

Did the title of this blog catch your attention? I am curious as to people's reaction when they read something like this. I ran across an article just the other day - that really got me thinking about how we do church. Not only here in the US but across the world. This article led me to a book that I began reading called So you don't want to go to church anymore. I came across the following quote:

"Scripture doesn’t use the language of need when talking about the vital connection God establishes between believers. Our dependency is in Jesus alone! He’s the one we need. He’s the one we follow. He’s the one God wants us to trust and rely on for everything. When we put the body of Christ in that place, we make an idol of it, and you end up wrapped up in knots over the situation you’re in. Religion survives by telling us we need to fall in line or some horrible fate will befall us. That thinking so distorts God’s working.

"We share body life together, not because we have to, but because we get to. Anyone who belongs to God will embrace the life he wants his children to share together. And that life isn’t fighting over control of the institution, but simply helping each other learn to live deeply in him. Whenever we let other factors get in the way of that we only use love to get our hooks into people. We reward them with affection and punish them by withholding it."

I have been chewing on this for the past several days. I am not sure what to do with it. I am on a journey right now. My wife and I have left our church of 20+ years due to poor leadership from our elders. Or at least that is why I thought we left. As I began reading this book I began to wonder if maybe God was using this series of events in our church to move me into an unstructured gathering of Believers who live the Christian life together. Are we making an idol of our church, of our pastor, of our children's program? Have we set up a person or a program to be more than it should be?

Colossians 1: 18 - And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

If we allow anyone or anything to take the place Christ rightfully has in the church we are making a huge mistake. I am not suggesting that everyone stop going to church but I do think we need to step back and look at how we do church and how the first century Believers did church. In the book of Acts it does not appear that the church was an organization meeting at regular times or a single place. As a matter of fact, if you read the New Testament I am not sure you will find any of the writers saying "Tell Pastor Joseph to keep up the good work at the church on main street" or "Tell Pastor Matt that his praise band rocks and is well known throughout the Mediterranean." Quite the opposite is found, in his letter to the church in Rome Paul wrote that their faith was being reported around the world.

Romans 1: 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

What if the Body of Christ began living in such a way that people were more captivated with our acts than our architecture, they were more attracted to our love than our liturgy and were transformed more by our message than our music.

1 comment:

  1. We've been going through the same thing! Sorry I forgot to tell you this was Donna U. on the Esther post, too! Of course we are going to church, but it is no longer about the 'show.' God is allowing this discontent among believers for a reason. It's a good thing, but it sure does topple our ideas about typical praise-bandin' church!