June 27, 2011

A Few Reasons I Shouldn't Attend Church... and A Few Reasons I Should Despite Those.

Ten reasons I shouldn't attend Church:

1)  Church is a human institution.  Maybe Christ had a design for it, but what exists today is the product of human beings, not God.  Most of them are manipulative, deceitful, market driven and business oriented.  I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't want me to be a part of that Church.

2)  I can worship God on my own.  He knows my heart.

3)  The church (little "c") is not the Church (big "c") that Jesus wants us to be a part of.  As long as I am a follower of Jesus, I am in the Church.  He simply wants me to have fellowship with other believers, not join an institution.

4)  I don't need someone to teach me the Bible.  After all, The Bible does say that the Spirit will guide me into all Truth.  I don't need to go to Church for that.  I'm fine just reading my Bible by myself.

5)  The Church hurts people more than it helps them.

6)  The Bible doesn't say you have to go to Church to be a Christian, all you have to do is believe.  I'm fine, thank you.

7)  Church just isn't my cup of tea.  It's not for everybody.

8)   I'm working on it.  I'm trying to get back to where I should be first.

9)  The People are all hypocrites.  They are too  judgmental.  They lie, cheat, steal, have adulteress affairs on their spouses,  gossip, drink and smoke just like my friends at the bar, So I go to the bar and have more fun with genuine sinners instead of fake saints.  I'm more accepted there anyway.

10)  Love Wins.  He loves all of us.  It doesn't matter is I go to church or not, it matters if I love other people the way He loves me.

Ten Reasons I should attend anyway:

1)  Church is a Christ ordained, Spirit-enabled organism that He designed for...broken Human beings.  I'm a human.  The only way for me to blame them with "humanness" is if I am something more.  I'm not, so I have to at least start by placing as much trust in others being discerning and led by God as I trust in myself being the same.
2)  I can worship God on my own.  He demands that of me all the time.  He also demands that I worship corporately as a testimony of His goodness, glory, faithfulness, and work.  If I claim the scriptural authority for one side of the coin, I must bend to the scriptural authority of the other side as well.  It's not either-or, it's both-and.  He wants me to worship in community.  It's precisely that He knows my heart that He demands I entrust the accountability of it's direction and devotion to others when I fail in strength and faith.

3)  Jesus desires us to have fellowship with other believers in a guarded structure of accountability, worship,  and mutual edification.  The New Testament scriptures are replete with instruction on submitting to authority or handling issues by the means of a structured accountability in the lives of believers.

4)  The Bible does not tell me that the Spirit will lead me to understand all the truth of Scripture.  It tells me that it will guide me into understanding the holistic Truth of the Gospel message.  Even Peter writes about Paul being hard to understand in his letters.  Many passages need more instructed and mature insight than I have.  No pastor is omniscient, but their is much I can learn in community if I am humble enough to admit it. and strong enough to handle the correction that often comes against my life practices in the preaching and teaching of the Word.

5)  People hurt people.  The entire Body of Christ has never hurt me.  In fact, only the Body of Christ can truly minister to me when I have been wounded by others from within or from without.

6)  The Bible doesn't say that I have to go to Church to be a Christian, it says that Christians are the Church, and they should submit to one another in a guarded and edifying structure of accountability and worship.

7)  Church is the Bride of Christ.  It isn't for everybody, it is for His redeemed.  He will return for His Bride, not for solitary religious vagabonds.  He loves His redeemed and it is only by being redeemed and Spirit indwelt that Church can become anyones cup of tea, because the Spirit desires it, not my flesh.

8)  It is impossible to get where you should be if you are not where you should be getting.

9)  Many people are hypocrites.  But Christ is not.  Our union is in Christ and it is only in the fellowship available through Christ, that we can be truly accepted and fulfilled.  The world will only tolerate it's own until it's ever changing standards are conflicted or upset by your intrusion on it's selfish desires.  Only in the Bride of Christ can genuine transparency be accepted and ministered to for His glory and our true fulfillment.

10)  Love does not win.  God wins.  All of God.  God is bigger than simply love.  In Him is perfect sovereign love and perfect loving justice, and perfect unchanging holiness.  I do not understand God.  A few people have questioned God directly on His standards and ways of dealing with humans.  Their stories are recorded in Scripture.  The answer is never even close to "Love wins."  It is always, "For My Name's sake; For My Glory; For My Fame."  It is not for me to understand, but I can hold on to this assurance:  As one of God's Children, my obedience to His standards and design for the sake of His Glory, will always result in good for me.

With you for His Glory

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