What's Up With Church?
Church Is A Drag
Anonymous wrote: “To our forefathers, faith was an experience. To our fathers, faith was an inheritance. To us, faith is a convenience. To our children, faith is a nuisance.”
For many people, faith is a throwaway feeling because church is a drag. Church has become nothing more than the place to jump through hoops that assuages guilt or soothes over the rough edges of life. Instead of being the dynamic organism that is to function as an instrument of God’s grace, more often than not, church is the organizational bulwark that preserves religious tradition.
Eternity In Our Hearts
Our inclination for ritual stems from an innate capacity for the eternal. We humans have a spiritual dimension; there is no doubt whatsoever that we are spiritual beings. Addiction has been defined as: “God-hunger directed to the wrong source of soul satisfaction.” Embedded deep within us is a passion to seek after God. King Solomon wrote that God “has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Paul of Tarsus proclaimed that the “truth about God is known to humanity instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts.”
That is the essence of spirituality in a nutshell. There is an intuitive hunger for the divine woven into the fabric of our soul, which serves as the catalyst for our journey to faith in Christ. It is this craving for the supernatural that compels us toward Calvary for we are formed with a God-sized hole in our hearts.
We have managed to really confuse the issue; religion, church, relationship or spirituality? In fact we’ve mixed up the principle badly because for ages we have been convinced that Christianity is a religion, but it is not. Religion is all about our attempts to be good enough, decent enough and honorable enough to reach God; religion is all about following rules, regulations or customs we think will make us acceptable to God.
Christianity is a relationship that emanates from God; it is our Creator reaching down to redeem us. On our own we can never fulfill God’s requirements because all our extensive efforts at righteousness are as “filthy rags” to him, yet he desires to connect with each one of us. Elohim, Yahweh, El Elyon, Adonai, Jehovah, El Shaddai - these are some of the sacred Hebraic names attributed to the God of Israel. No other Hebrew terms evoked such wonder or reverence. Jesus of Nazareth came that we might know Yahweh as Father.
For that to be realized our hearts need to be changed and brought into proper alignment. Only Jesus Christ can transform the human heart. The media shouts at us about every new spiritual gimmick, but those enlightened pundits with their tendency for social engineering only echo the spirit of our age which distills a vague spirituality that makes us feel good about ourselves. It’s a mix and match, pick and choose alternative to the life-changing gospel of Christ crucified.
New age gurus spout a philosophy and worldview that puts each individual at the center of the universe. It’s a lot of emotional fluff that has an appearance of wisdom, but its shallow veneer lacks substance or truth. Our culture urges us to design our very own do-it-yourself god kits, so we’ve developed a mushy spirituality that doesn’t require obedience or self-sacrifice or even acknowledging that we are created beings dependent on our Creator.
Christianity is all about God’s love and mercy being actively engaged in our day to day lives. God loves us with an everlasting love that found full expression in his Son’s death on a Roman instrument of torture. Christ’s sinless sacrifice paid the awesome penalty for our sin, opening the door of opportunity for us to be in relationship with Yahweh, our heavenly Father.
Talk about spirituality; talk about enhanced spirituality! The cross of Calvary elevates spirituality to the highest degree possible because the cross allows us to come into a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. To put our faith in anything less than Christ crucified is to be deceived by myth or idolatry.
Christianity is relationship not religion. Church is to be involved in accentuating that relational emphasis. Church is meant to be a collection of Christ-followers who support and “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
What’s up with church is that it is a ragtag outfit of deeply flawed misfits leaning on each other and pressing on together to know and experience God.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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