None of us are perfect. Even after being Christians. Actually, let me correct myself… Especially, after becoming Christians. So I was naturally more and more disappointed to find out that we are even less and less tolerant of those that are not Christians, let alone being different. After all, that’s exactly the same groups that Jesus warned us NOT to be like – the Pharisees!
However, we become more and more reclusive people that only accept “clean” people. Today’s Sunday school was about how God accepts and loves EVERYTHING about us. Yet, we as church, seem to require that people change before we come to God’s church to grow and receive Him. Jesus often compared Himself as a doctor who came to heal the sick. That would imply that the people were still not saved. Yet, over 2000 years, we somehow changed to allowing “pre-requisites”. We want “decent” people only… if we lack any skills, be it social or intellectual, if we lack any riches or economic standing, we don’t seem as receptive.
I say the more screwed up we are, the more we need Christ in our lives! That can only happen if we receive all those that enter God’s doors just as they are! Is that too much to ask?! Is that too crazy to demand of?!
3 Replies to “Recent Thoughts on What a Church Should Be”
Couple of things and not to be contrary, but just some items to keep in mind:
1. I dont think God loves EVERYTHING about us, nor do I think God accepts everyone.
2. A church is a congregation. Never forget that the reason we gather is because we love Jesus. We come together to adore our Lord. It is not about us (‘us’ as in all humanity, whether in the church or outside).
3. We also come together because of those that came before us and so we need to respect that as well. I wish I had even half the faith, love and dedication that my parents or my grandparents have or had.
4. Yes, we, the congregation, should be open, welcoming as well as actively reaching out, but we also have to teach, to discipline, to rebuke and even at times to expell. I actually think that church membership is a bit too easy (especially in light of history) and we change them as easily as we change our shirts.
5. Never confuse the stated objection versus the inner motive for someone that does not come or has left – that person may not even know why they left or refuse to come. Sometimes it is much easier for Christians to cast aspersions on the congregation or other congregations for not doing enough – I mean, we can always do more.
6. Toleration is a good up to a point. There are things that a church should not tolerate. Change is good depending on the direction and speed. We can change in a way that makes us not a church or at a velocity that tears it apart (which would result in the same). Diversity is a chimera. I find people that call for it actually want people that think like them and agree with them.
Not sure what happened that made you compose this post, but I want to encourage you to be not so down on the church. Of course we can always do things better – to argue that is not really meaningful. However, I have faith that God will lead to where He wants it to be. Anyway, I think this is a strange comment but after I typed it out, I just felt bad deleting it. 🙂
I forgot that I actually have a person reading my blog! 😛 But so…
1. I half agree with you on that… I agree with you on the first half but not the 2nd half… perhaps it’s the wording/implication but I believe God would accept all of us if we all wanted Him to
But in overall, I am not addressing on the entirety of what a church should be but on one specific aspect, and that is in acceptance and having open arms.
And thanks for the last comment part Daniel. 🙂 Oh I know God is in control of all churches… I was merely hacking out my frustrations… it helps me when I vent… 😉 So always take my venting sessions at 2 cents of $1 face value…
Yep, I still read it every so often. 🙂
About the other point, the Bible in both the Old and New Testiment has God rejecting people and sometimes in quite disturbing tones.
I actually don’t even attribute me seeking God to myself. I believe that sin so taints me that if God did not move first and took hold of me, I would have never seeked Him out. I seek God since He first sought me. I love God because He first loved me. Now, why He chose such a sinner such as I and not another, I do not know. Perhaps it is just His love and mercy that He chose some. It is a mystery and the only thing I can do is be humble and accept it.