Monday, April 21, 2008

Church

I was reading an article over at Christianity Today about the 20-somethings generation being disillusioned with the church.

You can read it here.

I am no 20 something, but I have been disillusioned lately. So instead of posting a response on their website, I wanted to post here.

I have been guilty of throwing the baby out with the bath water. I have written off the church in frustration more times than I care to remember. Each time though, God reminds me that if it's good enough for Him, it should be good enough for me.

Of course, then I tell Him it's too messy and people can be so hard to deal with. Funny thing though, I haven't really had that many negative interactions with the church if I am being totally honest. My problem is seeing what others have gone through and thinking to myself, "I am not even going to put myself in that position so I don't have to deal with that pain and anger and frustration." So I throw stones at the church. Calling it irrelevant, pointless and a waste of time. Seems like nothing more than a place where people can gain power to build their own little kingdoms and create messes that split apart not only churches, but the very soul of those involved.

As I read the article though, a thought came to mind: "How about focusing less on the institution (though it may be a necessary evil) and more on what does God want from me in regards to the church? What does that look like? I have found myself focusing on what the church does wrong so often that I gave up and began to look for other avenues of serving and worshipping and being in God's will. One problem though, God keeps tweaking me about my relationship with the local church - really my church FAMILY. He won't let me get away with just finding some likeminded people and creating a community with them wherein we can worship and serve God in the ways we want to (without having to deal with that silly church and it's traditions, hangups, etc.). He wants me in church, amongst those that maybe don't always agree with me (and vice versa), where I can see what He's doing and be a part of it. It is sure to be messy, but then again, name one part of life that isn't? Life is always messy. So why expect it to be any different at church?

So I have purposed to become more involved in church, allow the messiness to enter my life, and we'll see what God has in mind for me.

Hopefully He has a huge quantity of patience, strength and perseverance in mind for me.

1 comment:

Levi said...

I like your post Alan! I think you hit something there. Just like the Catholic Church we were talking about, any church is messy. The physical church is composed of sinner-saints. What can we do? I think as long as we agree on the big one (Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life) then we can work through the rest until He comes to get us.