I must admit, I was in a bit of a mood last night. I was frustrated with some things and a bit annoyed. Yea I know I shouldn’t be, but it just really works me up at times. We make choices daily. Every time you choose one thing, you are inevitably saying no to another whether directly or indirectly. When we say no to church we are saying no to a huge part of Jesus.
Can you be a Christian and no go to church? Probably, but that decision is above my pay grade and I don’t get to decide who goes to heaven and hell. Does going to church save you? No. Yet it is still so vital for us as Christians to be connected to the body. We are to build each other up and care for one another. We were made as relational beings for a reason. Church does not save you, but it is a place for the saved to bring hope to the world and love each one another.
The New Testament is littered with statements to the church and the body. What does the Bible say about the church? We are the bride of Christ (Eph 5; Rev 7, 19, 21; 2 Cor 11) meaning that this is a serious commitment. Just as marriage is the a life commitment, so is faith. Christ has laid down his life for the church as a husband should for his wife and we should love him in return in the same way. A husband and wife do not see each other once a month, at least not for a healthy marriage usually.
We are also described as a building to which Christ is the cornerstone, or the foundation piece which the rest stands on (Rom 12; 1 Cor 10, 12; Eph 4, 5; Col 1). When you build a house and you begin removing the stones from the house, the foundation begins to crumble. For a house to be completely and structurally sound, every piece must be present and in place. How does this metaphor of the church go any different?
We are also called the body of Christ and he is the head (Rom 12; 1 Cor 12; Eph 3, 5; Col 1). If we are to be Christ’s body on earth, the vehicle to further the kingdom it is really hard to do without a fully functioning body. When we begin to cripple ourselves, we are making our mission here on earth far more difficult than it needs to be. And just like for a body to stand, it needs both legs present, the church needs all of its “body” to stand and be God’s light here on earth.
Finally, we are called family. God calls us children and we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Every family has dysfunction and has that one family member or two that is a bit out there or whatever the case might be, and the church is no different. Yet, just like a family (usually) will stick together through anything, our church must as well. We have to be committed to each other.
We as a church are really beginning to do a horrible job at this. Church attendance nationwide is declining practically across the board as a whole as well. We are in a day and age when we think that attending church once or twice a month is awesome. We go to church when there is not something which we see as “better” to do, or we do not have other “commitments” as if we are not committed to the church.
Do not take this rant as me condemning anyone, but rather pleading with and encouraging my brothers and sisters to make church a priority. Jesus says that a house divided cannot stand, and the same is true for the church.
We are a group of imperfect people and so we are going to mess up and stumble at times, but that should be all the more reason to meet together and grow. “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10:24-5 NRSV).
When church becomes a choice, Jesus becomes an option.
I love you guys, and so does Jesus. I hope you continue to long for this water, and continue to drink from it as well. Until next time, blessings to you and your family,