Well big-girl, you went to a church recently. Why did you go? curiousity? Craving community? Somewhere to belong? Bored? Everyone has different reasons I suppose. Church... here's a thing for those of us who were hung onto 'speaking in tongues' to 'prove' our Christianity. The bible does not make going to church a requirement for being a christian either. The New testament church itself was not something people went to. It was something they were.
You don't need to go to church. You don't need to give up your Sunday morning to congregate with what you percieve to be the body of Christ or part thereof. Whether it is or it isn't doesn't mean you have to sit in rows with the sheep. It is usually something that burdens you with guilt if you attend it and burdens you with guilt if you miss it. Modern day christendom has held on tight to the law of the Sabbath. uh-huh... Sunday... the 'holy' day. Mostly because of convenience, but there it is.
The church service in all of its passivity itself is not bringing you a whole lot closer to god. What most people there call 'worship' is not really worshipful. Your body is not a living sacrifice whilst you hold your hands up to the lightbulbs (Newsflash! He's not up there, the bible god lives within). Guilt is layed on you by people who like to be seen at church and want you to sit in rows with them while either yawning through hymns or trying to compete in power-songs. Then cometh the sermons that have little to do with reality and how to deal with a needy world full of pain other than to pray for them in a magic group think tank.
Sure, there are multi-media light shows and powerpoint blahs but the declining numbers of church attending Christians are not getting spiritually satisfied by these stage shows and are leaving exponentially. This big hole in people's time on a sunday morning where your precious time is separated from your family while the kids are in sunday school lessons etc are driven mainly by their favourite verse...
Heb 10 :25 "Let's not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing".
This scripture is not demanding that you go to a church, or meeting for music, or praying in giant groups, or listening to lectures. It's not. Don't stop meeting together, do that as much as possible in the spirit of community and love as suggested over and over, buidling up in personal relationships and encouragement.
Go to a coffee shop with friends, talk online in a forum, 'Going to church' is a routine of program-driven attendance controlled by the handfull of know-it-alls up the front. A place for doctrines to be sold. It's all about bodies in buildings for a few hours, then herd 'em out after they've said the sinners prayer and fallen over or some stupid thing.
The real church of the bible is the one going on 'outside' of those expensively run money pits. You don't have to be a 'member' of a church, partaking in a formulaic ritualistic series of ceremonies to be a Christian. Do you have to accept the doctrine of 'said' church to fit in? Do you need to hear a weekly lecture from some dude who has opinions... learned though they may be in their particular brand?
It's impersonal and you have to convince yourself that the cheesy set up is actually fun. It's an educational environment without any of the real educational processes that we as modern teachers know don't actually send a message into the brain's schema and long term learning.
A vulnerable conversation with a close friend will be more godly and nourishing than a cold talk from one person to a several hundred nodders. Break the mold... these churches dont change from the way they are because the formula is tight and the leaders believe it's the way god wants it and it generates cash flow.
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