What is your perception about church?
Is it a building that you go to on a weekly basis, or perhaps twice a week? When Jesus speaks in His Word, when He says “you are the church”, does He mean you are the building, you are four walls, or does He mean you are the body of Christ?
Many live with the misconception that one has to go to a certain building on a regular basis, weekly, twice perhaps, but is this the case, what does God want? In this world we find ourselves in, many different doctrines exist, but many of it are not very helpful nor well thought through.
Lets take some time off and think about this, you are a middle age man who are somewhat caught in the middle of friends. You have two friends at work that speaks about their church every single day, they have these wonderful ideas of what they want to do and achieve with their church, both are working with the youth in their church, one is speaking about this trip after the other, youth camp after youth camp, he can hardly wait to get to the youth gatherings on a Thursday, he’s just so excited and cant wait to share all the ideas and creativity with the rest of the group. He’s buddy on the other hand have got all these various fundraisers lined up, it’s cake sales, raffles, game functions, he’s got all these wonderful fundraising schemes in mind for the “house of the Lord”. These two guys just love their church, they absolutely would do anything just to remain in contact with the pastor, from time to time; they make a call to their “shepherd” to ensure that he approves the plans and ideals which they have in their mind. To top it all of, these guys are both youth leaders in their gatherings, you should just see these guys on a Monday morning, they are overjoyed with the excitement about the previous day’s performance – they exceeded the expectations of the whole congregation, everyone in the pews were talking about them in their separable gatherings – they’ve outdone themselves once again, these youngsters are truly doing their churches well. Keep up the good work guys?
“Oh well good morning church”, when last did I hear that phrase said Tommy to his fellow colleague and brother in Christ, Marcus as they made their way to the kitchen to grab their first coffee of the day. All these two do all day long, everyday is searching for answers, they are constantly looking for scriptures, searching for opinions on what the Word of God teaches, these two are assisting each other in the walk with Christ, one brings up a question, and the other jumps in searching, digging, digging deeper, just how deep do they want to dig, one might ask, when you walk past their work stations, be sure to see the name of Jesus flashing somewhere in the documents that they have their heads and hearts in. What do they achieve by doing this, one might ask – closeness, the more answers the closer they become – it is important for these guys to get answers, you see, the answers these guys get are used in their daily lives, they always try and apply with the help of God Almighty to have the fundamental relationship that Jesus speaks of.
Now I pose the question: What is your perception about church?
Above, you have two scenarios, one scenario of two friends basically living their lives for the church, all they do all day long is preparing, planning, coordinating, church – their whole lives are dependant on the church, their whole beings revolves around what happens next – in church.
What we left out on purpose though, is some information on the second two friends, Marcus and Tommy – neither Marcus nor Tom are members of any church, any denomination, any congregation, any affiliation; I’m sure you get the picture now. They don’t go to church, neither of them can probably remember when last they were inside a church – yet they know what is more important.
Take church away from Marcus and Tom and they will not seize to follow God Almighty! – here comes the challenge though, take church away from many Christians, maybe we should call some of them churchians. Anyway, call them whatever you wish, God loves them all – but still, take the church away from them and something that’s also called nothing will be present in a lot of their lives. Some might be able to survive the drought, others will sink in the drought – a feeling of emptiness will take over, void will be present in their lives, it will feel to them as if a major part or their existence had been removed – and rightfully so, many live for their church and their church alone. I hate to say this but take their church away, and you take their most valuable, most important part of their lives away.
You see, with Tom and Marcus, and Christians like them it is different, Christ reigns in their life, they are well aware of the life outside church, takes church away from them (done already) and Christ is left – they know that living for Christ and having that close relationship with Christ is far more important than anything else.
Here’s the breakdown – they’ve also been part of congregation, denominations, and stuff before. They were part of some church before, and gradually it occurred, it didn’t just happen all out of the blue, it happened in moderation – see the thing is this, when you do not agree with doctrines being taught at church, you cant keep quiet, you should speak up, what happens after that is out of your hands…and so it happened, from church to church they went, and finally came to the conclusion that it was extremely difficult to find a group that believed the way they do (by the way, they are learning new things every day).
My friend, I am writing this to tell you that there is life outside of your church, no where in the bible does it say that you should be a member signed up to a specific church, to a specific congregation. Who said that one should attend church (building) to go to heaven, in this world today, various means and ways of communicating the Word of God, the Gospel exists, the bible declares that where two or more are gathered in my name, I am present – the bibles also says forsake not the gathering – meaning where Christians come together, what the bible does not do, is to restrict you to a building – just be there, wherever you find yourself, just be there, be it in a parking lot, in a bank, in a shopping mall, every opportunity counts, if you are willing and available, God can use you, someone once said God does not want your ability, God wants your availability. My friend, make yourself available today, you don’t have to wait for Sunday, Wednesday, or perhaps the youth on Friday, allow God to use you every second of the day, let Him be your friend, your Lord, your Saviour, let Him be your God. Speak about Him while you chat on your blog, make Him you status on the chat page you so love – many means are available today, why not use it. If someone should come to you today and ask whether you are a Christian, don’t answer by saying; ‘yes I’m a Methodist” or “yes, I’m a catholic” or “yes, I’m Pentecostal” or “yes, I’m Dutch reformed” or whatever denomination, I could go on and mention all I know, but what good will come through that? My whole point of saying this is simple, if Jesus were to be literally in this world today, what church, what denomination would He sign up for, what church would He belong to? Just a thought my friend – no harm intended. My friend, let me ask you this one thing, I’m sure many would love to believe Jesus would be part of their church, never mind denomination, or affiliation – do the bible speak of church membership, or denomination, or affiliation, or are they all just man made doctrine?
My friend, today I do not mean to challenge you, my intention is merely to bring all these mind bugging questions of mine under your attention – maybe you thought of this before, not wanting to challenge authority, well I’m not challenging you to challenge authority, I’m just bringing it up so that my hands can be clean.
Dearest Friend, if anything that you’ve read just now, feel free to act on it, seek God’s wisdom in prayer, speak to our Lord God Almighty, because He is Mighty to Save, and Mighty to show you the Way – and there is only One Way. God Bless.