30 December, 2005

Church or church?

Alan, over at the Thinklings has posted on George Barna's book, Revolution. I have not read Revolution, but I was stirred by one of Alan's questions in the comments to the post.

Do you have some idea why you don’t attend church? What is it?

I am now attending a church, but I have lived without attending any church for years at a stretch - intentionally.


The body of Christ is the most beautiful thing on earth. The people with whom I fellowship now are wonderful. Scriptural teaching is edifying. The Lord's day might even be an implied day of worship in the New Testament. None of those things are why I attend a steeple church.

I attend because I love the Lord and they do too. I wish there were somewhere a little more natural to be with His people, but I'll take what I can get.

My top 10 reasons that I did not attend a steeple church:
  • 10) The liturgy is not listed in Romans
  • 9) Driving from all over the city and racing back home again after the meeting is not praised in Corinthians
  • 8) Meeting exclusively with people with whom you agree is not found in Phillipians
  • 7) An emphasis on right belief over faith and love is not found in Thessalonians
  • 6) The thought that every single week, week in and week out, come flood, fire or storm, the Holy Spirit will always inspire the same man to bring exactly 45 minutes of wisdom is not found in Ephesians
  • 5) Hoping that the love of the saints for each other can be most perfectly expressed while looking at the back of each other's heads is not found in James
  • 4) The holy priesthood offering up the sacrifice of sitting quietly and listening is not found in 1 Peter
  • 3) "Feasts of charity" consisting of a wafer and a thimble of grape juice are not found in Jude or 1 Corithians
  • 2) The main thing one brother knows about another being his attendance record is not found in Galations

    And finally, the number 1 reason I spent so much time outside of "the church," and just may again someday....
  • 1) The thought that in a congregation there is only one person who has anything of value to share with the entire church is explicitly contradicted all over the New Testament.

Yeah, I know why I didn't attend a church for so long.

I thank the Lord that this little body of believers has accepted me. Getting to know them is wonderful, and I am happy to be gathering with them every week. Couldn't we just try something a little more scriptural, though?


rabbi-philosopher said...

I've attended church ALL of my 57 years. I've suffered through thousands of bad sermons. Being the naturally restless type; it's often been semi-agonizing.

In the early 70's I surely believed we had to burn down the traditional church and start over. Some friends of ours decided we should meet regularly for teaching, prayer and fellowship. But we didn't have stucture, church debt, a plan, a program or an agenda. Out little church foundered very quickly.
My fam. has now been at the same church for the last 20 years. (EV Free) I teach senior adult Sunday School; I try to keep it short and interesting.
Our church is going through a hard time; lost a lot of people and the pastor, who is a good man, would seem to be the issue for many of them leaving. I don't know what to do. I like the pastor and his wife (but not his messages) and I like the people in leadership who believe we need another pastor.

I'd like to visit a sister church but my teaching responsibilities impact choices; God certainly hasn't told me to leave but I think about it a lot.

Church is certainly the home to sinners; just like me

codepoke said...

I went through a couple of those foundered attempts, too. If only it weren't so painful when they end! It's not a little thing to invest your life in brothers and sisters, and have to part ways.

I'm sorry about your pastor. It's rough when a good man is in the system, and lacks the key gift the system requires. I will bet there's someone in your church who could rock the congregation, if that that were allowed. Then your pastor could do what he is best at - pastoring (as opposed to preaching).

Barb Orlowski, D.Min. said...

Hi Kevin,

I loved your list! I may borrow it sometime. How are things going for you.

Thought that I'd drop in and say Hi.

I have a website and have recently been writing some new articles for it.

My website is: www.ChurchExiters.com.

My book is: Spiritual Abuse Recovery.

Drop by and say Hi. My email address is: info@churchexiters.com.

All the best!

Kevin Knox said...

Hahaha, Barb. Feel free to liberate the list from this ancient post.

Amusingly, I've been happily attending a steeple church for the last three years now. It seems there's room for growth wherever there's life.

May the Lord bless you in your work for His people.

Barb Orlowski, D.Min. said...

Hi Kevin,

Hahaha, Nice to hear from you too.

Thanks for the use of your list.

Yes, I would agree, where there is life, you can just about join anyone. We know what the opposite is.

I happened to go to a big church last night to hear a preacher from a big city in Canada. After that, I was motivated to write a short article entitled: What Do I Need to Hear?

It will get on my website eventually when my techie gets to it. If you want to read it now, just email me and I'll attach it. :)

Chat later. Keep at the blogging!