Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Church

Tonight I went to church.

That isn't what I'm blogging about. The pastor said many things, and some of them intrigued me.

*Disclaimer: This is in no way a slam against the church I attend or any other particular church, instead it is to refer to the "churched" body of believers in North America.

I'm done with a church that cares more about politics than people. Church and Christianity are NOT synonymous with Conversatives and anti-gay-marriage. While I have nothing against the Conservatives (I actually support them for their fiscal views), I'm tired of feeling like I have to support them in order to be a good Christian. The Church should be non-partisan, and while there is nothing wrong with working to preserve morality in the government, we need to focus on living out a faith that is not contingent on what the law or even popular thinking dictates.

I'm tired of a church that cares more about fancy sound systems than hunger. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with nice sound systems and good music. BUT, where is our focus? Do we invest more of our resources in equipment designed to make our services more "seeker-friendly" than we do in doing what Jesus did - feeding the hungry, healing the sick, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless and providing hope for the broken-hearted? Yes, Jesus was relevant to his culture - but not at the expense of those who really needed him.

I'm tired of a church that cares more about denominations and doctrine than Christ. Yes, truth and doctrine ARE important. But have we lost Jesus in the process of hammering out the pre-destination fiasco and pre-trib vs. post-tribe vs. amillenial vs. post-sydromatic-forganian discourse? (Yes, the last term was actually not a real, but the point is that all of the other words are just terms) It is important to study the Bible and to have a sense of where you stand, BUT, have we lost sight of the character of Christ and His message? The message we were clearly given?

For a while, I figured that at some point in time when I'm talking with God in heaven, I'm going to ask him if he created the world in seven days, or if he used evolution. And, being brought up with a good theological standing, I can say with confidence that I know how God is going to respond. "I created the world, that's all that matters," will be His response. If we could take a quick trip to heaven to chat with God and ask Him about end times theology and whether Christians are going to have to live through the "tribulation," he's going to say, "I'm coming back."

I don't want to minimize all of the study and theology that has gone into these issues, but have we lost sight of what Jesus was really saying? After all, he did tell us that if we wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven, we would have to become like little children. And I've done a lot of work with children, and I can honestly say that I have never once heard them arguing about whether God chooses us or we choose him. They simply pray, "Jesus, please forgive my sins and be my friend."

Anyway, these are just some thoughts. I need to start by living them out.

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