Friday, September 10, 2004

Where's your Church?

I read the following at Signpost:

Someone told me that someone said this about our church recently (is that vague enough to protect the guilty?) "They are not a Church. They do things in a cafe and in homes. They do it during the week too and not just on Sunday. At some of these things that they call 'worship' they have a meal together and they call that communion! Jesus told us to meet on Sunday and to go to Church. They are not a Church!"

The perception of church out there today has truly become skewed. These perceptions are particularly skewed, in my opinion, because there are so many now that claim to be Christian, without a basic understanding of the faith they claim to share and the responsibilities, as disciples of Christ, that come with it.

So let's pick this statement apart.

Not a Church.... in cafes and homes:

First of all, isn't a church a building where Christians worship? So doesn't that make any building where there are Christians worshipping and lifting God up high, by definition, a church? Let's turn this around. Therefore, a building without worshippers cannot be a church, right? I would dare to challenge some congregations. I would dare guess that there are several buildings called churches where there is very little, if any, true worshipping happening by it's visitors.

Second, I Cor 3:16 tells us "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
Each one of us takes our church with us wherever we go. Interesting isn't it? Did you ever consider how you would act, what you would say or where you would go if you knew that it would all be projected on a big screen before the church you attend? Or imagine, that Christ himself is physically with you wherever you go? Do you still feel comfortable watching that movie, talking the way you did, or taking him where you did?

It's not the building that makes a church, it's the people. Whether in a group or on your own, you are the church. Your acts, attitudes, and testimonies are what define the condition of your "church", not the building. I say don't invest your time and resources into buildings. Buildings will crumble and fall. Invest in the condition of your soul. Invest your time and resources into the people around you. You can't take your church or home with you to heaven. You can take your friends and family if you invest in them right now.

I've been to worship in the open air, in basements, in homes, and in hotel conference rooms. And I've found Mt 18:20 to be true each time:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Let's not forget that in Acts 2:42-47, this is how the apostles began. When did we get so lazy that we no longer want to take God's word to the people ? Didn't Christ commission us to GO? Mr 16:15:
And he said unto them, GO YE into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

During the week:

Many people like to argue about whether or not Sunday is the day that was assigned for worship or if Saturday is the true day. Jesus himself clears it up himself: Neither! In Mr. 2:27 he says: The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. In other words, it doesn't matter which day you chose as a day of rest and to meditate on God's word. The point is that you do it. The point is that in doing it you will receive renewed strength.

There are so many "Christians" today that are spiritually anorexic. They see Sunday's as a day that they splurge in partaking of God's word, fellowship with their brethren and sipping of God's holy spirit. The rest of the week, they starve themselves from the things of God.

Matthew 4:4: It is written, Man shall not live by BREAD ALONE, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
If one eats but once a week, how can you survive? Without water, we would die. Yet when you tell some Christians that you attend worship and bible studies during the week, they'll give you an incredulous stare! As if you could over indulge in the things of God!

Worship..... Communion:

Worship is the act of expressing respect, reverence and devotion to our divine God. It is an act that should not be reserved for times when we are in a church building. It is not only when one closes his eyes and raises his arms up to heaven that you are expressing the act of worship. We can demonstrate our devotion to God when we share His word over a cup of coffee. We show him reverence and respect when we remember his good works and greatness while we break bread over our dinners.

It's time we all reconsider the definition of a church.

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