PSA: I'm DONE with the institutional Church, just give me Jesus!
Do you ever get sick and tired of just showing up to the institution we know today as Church? Many families wake up before they’re ready, rush to get their kids dressed, skip breakfast, interrupt nap time, feel disconnected with the worship, and fellowship with people who complain about every aspect of their lives. We pass people in the hallway who don’t say hello, who was out drinking the night before, who are having premarital sex, who spend Sunday School gossiping, and we hear bits and pieces of a mediocre sermon (as if it would apply to us anyway). These are the same people who preach the Gospel on social media and often pretend to be something they are not. We look around and we see nothing but hypocrites, fakes, and a shell of the Church we read about in the Bible. If we do have a conversation with someone it goes like this,
“Hi, how are you?”
“Great, how are you?”
Then we move on in silence. If we do go to Sunday School it seems like everyone’s favorite time to argue and demonstrate their intellect. Church just seems to lack a certain realness. I mean, come on, are we still saying, “Sunday School” and not “Bible and Coffee?”
Don’t even get started with what it’s like when a person has to volunteer on Sunday. The Check-in System isn’t working… again. People are rude. Some volunteers miss out on the Lord’s Supper and have to take it at home... alone. “Well, just add a separate Lord’s Supper service at the end of service for volunteers,” one well-intended person suggests. “Great,” the volunteer thinks, “Now who is going to watch my children while I spend even more time, in the quiet, with people I don’t really know while pretending to concentrate on Jesus.” Volunteers may deal with people who are thoughtless, careless, and over opinionated. Members come prepared to complain about the music, the building improvements, the sermon conclusion, the announcements, where coffee is served, who is wearing a hat, why others are not tucking in their shirts, and many other things. Sunday may become a mad rush of discouragement instead of a hopeful light of encouragement.
Is all this hassle really worth it? Do we really get that much out of it? Is this the kind of community Jesus was talking about? Can’t we simply have Jesus, and a personal relationship with him, and not put up with the fake Church culture that has lost touch with “Biblical” Christianity? Is “going” to Church really worth it? Would it be better to sit at home, listen to a sermon on YouTube, take the Lord’s Supper with the family, and actually enjoy Sunday? I hear this kind of stuff all the time, and if I’m honest, I’ve been guilty of asking some of the same questions. Those who’ve given up on the Church have concluded that the judgmental culture of the Church isn’t worth it, “I’m just going to raise decent human beings and be nice to people” or “I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not. I pray to God. If He accepts me, great. If not, o well.” It’s sad to hear.
The most important thing I’d like the reader to perceive is my one-sided negative approach to my evaluation, description, and judgment of the Church. I have an unbalanced scale, so it seems, and I’ve failed to take into account the good aspects of the modern Church culture. Recognizing this helps me realize that something is off and the enemy is at work. Seeds of dissension have been sown. After all, “A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight” (11:1). Jesus doesn’t fear an honest critique of His body, but he does detest a person who has a one-sided approach.
I want to encourage you to join me over the next several weeks as we wade through this conversation and take an honest look at answering the question, “Why should I go to the Church of today?”
Take some time to write a pro / con list of Church today.
Take some time to pray for wisdom in your evaluation.
Take some time for introspection.
Take some time to reflect on this, “As long as people (including me) are a part of the Church, it will be messy and imperfect.”
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