Friday, April 2, 2010

Sunday Morning: Time to go

A wise friend of mine reminded me to share the following thoughts with you before I share my blog post....with you.

Everything that I've written below slapped me around for a good long time before I had the courage to write about it. Please know I don't share it "looking down my nose", but rather "looking up to see the ground". you can read it.

The other day, I ran into an acquaintance of mine of whom I had not seen in quite a while. After the initial, "Hey, how ya been" stuff, he proceeded to ask me the one question I find to be most peculiar among Christians here in the good ole US of A. That of course being, "So, where you guys going to church these days?" Now, in the past I would have responded to that question with the expected response of, "Oh, we have been going to __________". But, over the last few months I have come to realize just how strange that question really is. I mean I just don't get how I can "go"….to what I "am".

Confused? Well, let me elaborate.

The bible clearly states that WE (that means all Christians together) are God's holy church, the body of Christ. Now I’m no genius, nor have I been to seminary, but I’m fairly sure that when the bible uses the term “church”, it is speaking of God’s kids. Yes people, not buildings. Therefore, it doesn’t seem to be all that difficult to assume that “going to church” is....well impossible! Yet for some reason, modern day Christians continue to spout this nonsense about “going” to something that in reality is simply....”themselves” (that may be grammatically improper, but true none the less)!

In fact, nowhere (at least as far as I can find) do you find anyone in the bible ever talking about "going to church". They might have visited “the church” in a certain city or province. It even speaks of “the church meeting at" so and so's house. But, nowhere have I found this idea of "going to church" in the bible. I mean it's not as if we don't understand what it means to "go" somewhere. We "go" places all the time. We "go" to Wal-Mart. We “go” to the movies. We even “go” to school. Yes "going" is a concept that even a young child can understand. We “go” to a “place” not to a “person”. Yet, why do we persist in using religious jargon that not only makes no sense, but more importantly has no biblical basis?

Here’s a thought for you (and me).

Could it be that somewhere along the way Christians have found that attending a “service” of some type a couple of times a week is far easier and far more convenient than actually having to "be" what God has called them to be?

You see folks, it’s a heck of a lot easier to commit to “going to church” a few times a week than actually having to embrace the idea that we are called to BE “the church” 24/7. I mean “going to church” is easy. Why? Well, if you “go” to church, the good news is that you eventually get to leave “the church”! Not so if you “ARE” ”the church”. Bottom line: Bigger commitment with far bigger responsibilities that you just can’t drive off and wave bye-bye to!

By the way, I'm still working on the 24/7 part. I'm up to about 1 1/2 hours twice a week!

Yes, we live in society that loves labels, traditions, and convenience. We live in a day in which the "status quo" rules and reigns supreme. It's true of the world and unfortunately very much true of the church of Jesus Christ. By the way, if you dare challenge that "status quo", be prepared for some angry looks and hostile words. People don't mind you "rocking the boat" as long as it's not the one their in!

So let’s end this, shall we?

If you're reading this, (you obviously must be bored out of your mind) you must certainly have an opinion on this particular subject one way or the other. Please allow me to state the obvious.

You either:

Agree with me that using the religious jargon such as "go to church" is foolishness and does nothing but confuse unbelievers and believers alike.

Disagree with me and believe that using the phrase "go to church" is not a problem whatsoever and think I'm being critical, cynical, and generally a pain in the butt.


You are a BIG pansy and just want to keep everyone happy (I have played this role many times myself). “Let’s all just hold hands, skip through the daisies, and be friendly”. "I mean what’s a few words between friends?” “Can't we all just agree to disagree even if it means clinging to unbiblical bologna?”

The answer by the way is no.

Yes my friends, join me won’t you? Let’s all quit “going to church”!

You’ll be much happier and happily I’ll have other folks out there to take some of the “heat” I get for being so very.....mean spirited and cynical”.

PS....I’m not.


Chris said...

Kenja -

I agree totally with your comment on "being the church"....I would say, that "going to church" sometimes is how we express the desire to be with other believers. "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I also."

So, I think it is "both/and"...We are indeed called on to be the church and Christ's hands & feet in the world. There is the priesthood of every believer as well. I would say that being with others that share this and love Him and love me is a powerful community. "Going to church" just is a way of those that "are the church" to come together and worship Him as a family.

So that's my point of view, brother! Hope you guys have a happy Easter...we are way overdue to get together!

Chris C

Tammy said...

I agree with is both. We are called to be the church. That's a verb...requires action. But God designed each one of to be a certain part of that body. Some of us are hands and fingers, others are feet and toes. Some are knees and elbows, etc.. In other words, we need each other. As fallible as the modern day church is, I still think we miss out if we aren't a part. I'm just sayin down here from the ground as well! :)