Sunday, July 6, 2014

There is no perfect church, so why church?

Here's a little ditty, but not about Jack and Diane.  As I was waking up this morning, I was struck with an internal question; why go to church?  Couldn't I benefit from the extra sleep, more time with my family, an extra couple of hours to tackle chores?  What about the annoying concerns about how a church functions such as what they believe, what they do not?  What about the tithe, how do they use it?

I have pondered these questions for quite a bit of my adult life, approximately 20 years.  The questions that sift to the top are more often about the actual church, the governance, the tithe and use of it, their beliefs, etc.  A former pastor and mentor posted a jaw dropping post earlier this year that stated, "the church is a whore, but I still love her."  Yes, how could 1) a pastor post something like that and yet 2) be so true?

First off, let me establish my foundation... Jesus is my Rock.  He is my Savior.  God's Word has no error, it may be difficult to understand and interpret, but I still believe it to be without error.  Jesus has established the Holy Spirit to indwell in our bodies to guide us to where the Triune God wants.  Yes, I do believe in a Triune God; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, building upon that foundation is a constant construction site.  The orange cones and signs are not rubber, they are hardened cement with permanent paint because I am continuously learning and "evolving" in my walk with God.

Now the street view:  Being in the US military, I have been a part of many churches and have had my share of good and bad experiences.  I have met mentors and I have met show-boats.  I have met disciplinarians and I have met those that resolve.  I have met micro-managers and I have met leaders.  I have seen churches barely float and I have seen churches floating in yachts (not Yahtzee).  I have seen hidden finances and open finances.  I have heard gossip.  I have heard slander.  I have seen clicks.  I have seen the nappers/nodders and the Amen'ers.  I have seen favorites and shunned.  All of this and more in a church.  You may be saying, "yes and that is why I do not attend or go to a church."  Believe me, I have been there...for my friends that know me, yes, I have had this experience too.

One thing is for sure, the "church" comes in many flavors, menu options, and fads.  The one thing that has kept me grounded is what I believe the Bible says about churches.  There is no perfect church, but there are pretty darn close ones out there that actually believe in God's Word.  There may be differences and that is what happens when we do not have the luxury of the Apostles and the writers physically here to ask them what they actually meant.

Take the time to actually read and examine God's Word.  Understand what and how a church should function, then seek out those kinds of churches.  It is a daunting task I assure you.  What I can tell you is that once you have found that church, they will be a welcoming family of true believers.  Yes, there will be issues as we are still fault-full humans, but they will admit that they are human and constantly seeking forgiveness.

Why church?  We need a place to share our beliefs, joys, prayers, and sorrows as well as receive a message from God through the pastor as well as sing and praise Him in unison.