Monday, December 26, 2011

How about you stop dating the Church? Part 2

Hello bloggers hope you all had an amazing Christmas celebrations. I apologize for the long wait in between this series but here we go with part 2 of church...Enjoy and be bless.

Praise God Christmas this year fell on a Sunday. To me every Sunday is pretty much exciting  because I always know I am going in for something. As a person who tend to be overly attentive to details around me I was expecting the church to be overfilled today since it was a Christmas Sunday morning and was a little disappointed when I found myself running late. I was piss that the church was going to be packed with church daters, you know the ones who attend services at most 3/4 times a year meaning Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New year service. Its amazing how many people fall in that categories in this era.

I had a friend, lets call her Jane. Jane and I have been friend for a very long time and for the last year she has been attending two churches. One in the morning and another in the afternoon. She love church one because of the people although she does not understand the language they spoke. Church two she also love because in there she can actually understand the sermon and see areas in which she can apply them. This is what we call church dating because ms. Jane was not committed to any particular local church. Today there are many Jane roaming about and the most common excuse I hear is "Oh I love their praise sessions but the sermons are so dry so I go to Church #2 when I really want to hear a good sermon."  According to Joshua Harris, it is very easy to spot church daters in three manner.

1.  The individual's attitude toward the church is me-centered. What can I gain/get from this church? I'm a really broke college student and have no money to pay for school, can the church pay for me? I really need this miracle/deliverance do they have that there? What activities/social events do they have? Everything about this individual's motive is what will I really get out of my waking up on a lovely Sunday morning when I could be sleeping indoor like others. 

2. This individual is very Independent. You know the "I'm riding solo ones." They come to church because they probably grew up doing the same every Sunday and it has become a ritual. Going to church on Sunday morning becomes one of the things that Christians are "suppose" to do and so the individual just flow with the motion. They are the last set to come in just right when the praise session is over and first set to leave before the Pastor makes the alter call.  They do not want anything to do with been committed to the church or being a part of the church service unit. connecting to people/members of the church is definitely a NO NO after all "I don't need people checking up on everything that I do."

3.  This individual is Critical. This individual basically comes in with the mindset that their must be fault in the church. They are very quick to find fault in a Church and will not be satisfy until they find something wrong with the church. You know the mentality of this is too good to be true so I'm not getting out of this until I find what is wrong.  They are always on the look out for the next church and they sit not too far from the exit door at all.

I am sure you have met at least one of this individual before. If this might be you I beg of you that you reconsidered your decisions before going to church next time. If you do not fall in this categories of "Church daters" Praise God for that, and I would suppose my next question for you would be how committed are you to your local church?

 what is a local church? While I was thinking about this thought and the right definition to use I came across Mark Driscoll's definition where he said "The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the great commandment and the great commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and their joy."
Now there is the local church and the  universal church which is the entire body of Christ all over the world. The local church is within our community and it is definitely important to Identify your local church and be committed to it.

Now let's do a little rewind back to church dating. The first time I heard about Church dating I was almost confuse because I thought I was in that situation. When I was in school I was as committed to my church as well as my campus ministry, bible study group and prayer group.  At the time I thought was I church dating? This brings me back to the categories of people who claim not to go to church because they are part of other group like campus ministry/prayer groups. Certainly there are different protocols in a Church than the other group.  A Church is much more than your campus ministries,  It is more than a group of Christians coming together for words of encouragement, it is more than listening to preachings  online or tv, it is much more than praying/studying the bible with a couple of people over a conference call. Yes you find fellowship in those gatherings but none of those groups can substitute for that local church.  

This post have grown quite long so I shall rest my fingers here for now, however check back soon to find out How to choose/what to look for in a local church.

Do have a lovely week guys and Happy New Year in advance


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How about you stop dating the Church? Part 1

Jack and Grace met through a mutual friend. From day one they seemed to be the perfect match. Grace was everything Jack had always wanted. She was beautiful, outgoing, and caring - always there when Jack needed her. For the first five months they were inseparable. Jack could hardly think of anything but grace. He didn't want to look further, he told friends. "She's the one."
            Now almost three years have passed. Jack still enjoys the comfort and familiarity of being with grace, but the spark is gone. Grace's Flaws seem more obvious. He's not sure he finds her as attractive as he once did. And he's beginning to resent all the time she want to spend with him.
        One night, when she asks if they can define the nature of their relationship, Jack blows up "We're together, aren't we?" he asks angrily. " Why isn't that enough for you?" Obviously, Jack isn't ready for commitment. And it's unclear if he ever will be..."
The excerpt above is from Joshua Harris book "Why Church Matters"
     Have you ever been in a relationship like that of Grace and Jack? Its breaks my heart to say that there are millions upon millions of Jacks all around the word. And no Grace is not a girl she is the Church. Many people today can accept and say that they are "believers" but how many people can we really classify as "bellongers"?
       Paul in Ephisians 3:10 makes us understand that the church was an Intention of God. "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms."  
What exactly is the Church? we may ask. So many times we think of the building when we hear the word church and forget what it really mean. To me the Church is a fellowship where men and women of all background can come together as one body and worship God. It is a body of Christ that grow day after day. For example if you were to cut off one leg off your body today will it function on it own? The answer is No and this is the same for the Church/the body of Christ. Once one member of the Church break away it is very hard for it to function alone because we do need that fellowship with one another. An iron sharpens and iron and if as much as salvation is an individual pursuit we still need one another to make the journey smooth.

    So to the ones who think/say "Oh I don't need to belong to any church I can worship God and pray on my own and at my house" I'm sorry to break it to you "No you CAN'T and it is NOT OK." It is hard to do most things alone and certainly Christianity is not an exception.  "God manifest His presence in different ways to the "living stones" of His temple when they are gathered than He does to them when they are apart" - Joshua Harris

     When we are members of the church according to Ephesian 2:19-22 " you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."

 This is the beginning of the Church series that I shall be writing on in the next few post. Now this post post took me a little longer than I normally would take to write a post simply because this is a topic that is very dear to my heart and I can get very brutally emotional about it. I don't know if you can tell in some sentences but I had to rewrite every sentence a few times because I thought "oh snap that was too harsh and mean." My point is these next few post might sound harsh because I will no longer edit it to please my readers but rather say it as raw as it is because I believe Christ would love us to all share even the bitter truth as bitter as it is.  I pray that you all bear with me in these post. In the mean time check back for part 2 which shall be "Connecting to a Local Church."


"If you refuse to take on spiritual responsibility you will becomes a liability"