Don't go to church! - Just A Thought #35

I have to admit I have struggled with church. When I became a new born Christian I wanted to be in church all the time. I wanted to be there, EARLY, for every service. I wanted to participate in every activity. However the "newness" wore off after a season. I originally started going to church because I was trying to learn all I could about God. However after a bit I started looking around and wasn't really liking what I saw.

I think the word I am looking for is, oh yeah, hypocrisy. That would be the one. I noticed that some people did not live out what they said they believed. Later I saw even more stuff that frustrated and turned me off. Anger, bitterness, gossip...it was all there on display. Of course I became part of the problem as I let these same attributes come out in my own life.

We were burned quite a few times and the hurt came out as bitterness and gossip. I am saddened by this today.

I then took the opposite tack and started looking into the house church movement. I wanted to find an unchurchy church.

Of course I was looking in the wrong place. I was looking at the people and at the building, not at God. I wanted to find the "perfect" church... a place to worship and hang my hat. Yet as soon as I got there the church was no longer perfect. (I was the problem!) I was trying to "do" church.

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:24-25)

The locale is not the problem. The focus is. I was not going to encourage others and to stir one another to love. I was going to be "fed" and to watch a show.

I want to encourage you: Don't just go to church, be the church. Don't just embrace the establishment, practicing religion, live your faith!

Our faith should be evident to all. Not some flashy ostentatious showmanship but something real, vibrant, alive! There is nothing wrong with attending a service in a traditional structure, or in a home or in a car for that matter. The problem is not the building...it's us. We need to get over ourselves and quit putting people on pedestals. We need to live our faith!

When someone sits across from you and tells you they are dying are you going to tell them to go to church or are you going to get down and dirty and talk to them about their faith? When someone needs a helping hand will you toss some money their way or get into the trenches and help them dig their way out? We need to be the "hands and feet" of Christ to a dying world. It's not up to the ministers...we are all ministers. (1 Peter 2:9) It's up to each of us to throw off our spiritual lethargy and to LOVE!


Anonymous said...

Right on, Rick! I have tried to excise the phrase "go to church" from my vocabulary. You cannot go to something that you already are.

RDA said...

I try as well though it isn't easy as it is so ingrained in us!

wolf_rhino said...

Right on, sir!

Art Roy Remy said...

You hit the point. This is true even here in our country. And I can say, this is the reason why we don't grow in faith and attitude because all we do is "go" to church. Actually, it must be the reverse- not "go to church" but "the church goes to....." speaking of reaching to all kinds of people.

Same thing I am doing now, I have excised the words "going to church" in my vocabulary esp. when I teach. Thank you Rick. More power!

RDA said...

Thanks for the comments!