Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Too Good a Christian for the Church

I have to admit I was a little worried about the title of this post. I don't want people to get the wrong idea and decide not to read it before they even begin to read. And please, don't think that this is my thoughts. When you see it written out or hear the phrase "I am too good a Christian for the church" it sounds kind of ludicrous. How can someone be too good a Christian for the church?

No one would really say that or think that would they?

God has really been talking to me about this a lot lately. I don't think that any of us would say it so bluntly but, I hear it said in more subtly ways. However, the subtlety says the same thing. And it is ludicrous. We need the church. We can't be followers of Jesus without the church. Following Jesus require us to be in community with others worshiping, growing, serving, and loving. "Good Christians" can't be "good Christians" on there own. Where is the accountability? Where is the nurture? Where are the one anothers? Where is the mutual building up? Where is the community of followers?

Yet, we say things like, "I read my bible everyday and pray at home, so, it is okay that I don't go to church on Sunday." We say things like, "I would go to church, but they aren't as mission minded as me so I don't go." We say things like, "I believe in Jesus but I don't go to church because they are too hypocritical." We say things like, "I watch that one guy, or listen to that one guy, oh what is his name, every week and read my bible so I still get church each week." We say things like, "if they just did things the way I want them to be done than I would go there."

It is said a lot of ways and it all sounds a lot like, "I am too good a Christian for the church."

One of the problems that has happened as people have sought a more real expression of their faith is that they have become judgmental of the church. In some instances, become anti-church because they just see the flaws in the church. When we do this we separate ourselves from the very thing that God has given us, and created us for, to live out our faith.
I believe that it is impossible to follow Jesus in isolation.
I believe that I can not do on my own what God created me to do in community.
The church, with all it's flaws and defects, is still the bride of Christ. It is God's people connected together by the power of his Spirit that is draws us together.

The only person that we fool, when we convince ourselves that our own personal devotion and piety is enough, is the person in the mirror. And Satan wins. If Satan can keep us from the church he wins. He doesn't care if it is subtle deceptions disguised as being a "good Christian" or just busyness. "A house divided can not stand."

You need the church. I need the church. We are never too good a Christians for the church.

Find a community of followers to do life with. Find a community of followers that you can worship with, serve with, grow in relationship to God with. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can do this without the church. If you are looking for a church home and you live in or around Grundy County, Missouri. I want to personally invite you to come be a part of the Dockery Chapel family. If you have been away for a while I want you to know you are loved and you are always welcome.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

2 comments:

kathy madden said...

tHE CHURCH IS A PLACE TO BELONG AND FEEL WELCOME. IT IS A PLACE OF SERVICE. wHEN WE DISCOVER AND USE OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS WE BUILD UP THE BODY OF CHRIST. IT IS A PLACE TO PRAY AND WORSHIP THROUGH WHICH WE CAN SEE REVIVAL IN OUR OWN LIVES. I BELIEVE WE ARE ONLY ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD AND THROUGH WORSHIP WE CAN BECOME A FORCE THAT IGNITES AND CHANGES THE WORLD AROUND US.

Doug Franklin said...

The mutual accountability that I am talking about is helping each other to be accountable to God. We need other people that we can ask to help us to live out our relationship with God. That will pray for us and at times say to us "you don't want to do that because that doesn't help you in your relationship with God.

Here is the caution and often the problem. Accountability in the church is a takes to people agreeing to hold one another accountable. Without a covenant or mutual commitment to one another it is not accountability it is judgment.

This happens too often in the church because we think we can just tell people what they are doing is wrong yet they have never asked us to help them be accountable to their relationship with God.

But, this being said, I need somebody to help me stay true to my commitment to God. When we ask for that from another follower of Christ and we have accountable relationships we see church happening. People helping each pother grow to be more like Jesus.

Also, I think that the church is the training ground for love. Maybe, the the things that we don't like about the church are there so that we can live out the sermon on the mount understanding of love. Maybe, the church has all of it's imperfections so that we can recognize our own and we can love, and life together for Christ.

Sorry about the long response but this is something that is continued conversation and important for us to talk about. I am sure that I will have more post. Each time I say something I leave out other stuff that can be said about our need for the church.