I don’t wanna just go to Church.

January 29, 2010

Growing up were you forced to go to Church?

Yeah me too. And I am totally for that happening.

However now as an adult I don’t ever want to be obligated to go to church.  I would hate that times a million.

Because the service on Sunday should not be treated as what church is.

Sunday morning should be a time where a community of Disciples comes together, worships God, and hear something about God, from God, or have their hearts changed by God.

Too often though church is an obligatory event.

Too often its a check list and we as followers of Christ feel bad if we don’t go, or judge others as some kind of sinner for not going.

But here’s the deal, if you’re really a part of the Church like you should be then you’ll want to be there.  Being a part of the church really means being part of a community of believers that are moving towards God, and living out His will in their lives.

The reason I love my church and choose to be a part of it is because of the community I get to be a part of.  It’s not just an event.  Even when not everybody that goes to my church realizes that, it’s okay because I know that God wants that and is cultivating that into my church.

I think we all want church to look more like a community of believers that reaches the lost together.

But unfortunately some sick thing happened in the 80’s and 90’s that turned church into an event instead of a body of believers.

Instead of starting a million new Churches, let’s join Churches in our area and help be a part of making this idea of being a body, or a community of missional believers happen, instead of people attending an event.

And it’s gonna be hard.

Even I know that quite often the Pharisee rises up in me and tries to tell me that I need to go to church.

I don’t need to go to Church.

I need to be a part of the church.

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10 Responses to “I don’t wanna just go to Church.”

  1. Tim said

    I was only forced to church when I was a wee lad, but in my teens, it was optional. I experimented with many churches and youth groups and nothing seemed quite as thought inspiring as studying on my own. Of course I know and understand that all believers should be in a church, but when I am in a place where I’ll often disagree with the method, my heart, mind and spirit will not be there and it will become obligatory for me. This very much relates to your earlier blog about passion.

    Do you think TBN had anything to do with the transformation of the churches in the 80’s and 90’s?

    • anthonygee said

      I am sure they did. Too many gold chairs and telethons.

      • Tim said

        Haha, those were some awful chairs. Perhaps a lot of empty promises. Programs like Benny Hinn market to the sick and so many people have been left disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, TBN has made giant contributions, but some of its practices misconvey what Christianity is about in my opinion. I haven’t watched TBN in like 5 years though. Things may have changed.

  2. Brian H said

    Anthony,

    Thank you for sharing – as always.

    I have pondered this question, too. In a sense, the concept of “going to Church” seems quite cliche in modern times. But the issue, I feel, is much deeper:

    Going to church, participating in a community of believers, may seem admirable in appearance. We see today a growing number of such communities who, in a real sense, “create a world” for worship and fellowship. They are communities – “churches” – that seek to draw God down into their own world. God seems to become intangible, and so “Other”, that he needs to be “fetched” into a world and a climate of people who desire to know him.

    On the surface, this looks like acceptable worship; but looked at more deeply, it really isn’t worshiping God at all. It is a subtle form of using God, a sort of self-generated form of worship, that in reality becomes a circle of people closed in on themselves. It bears a striking resemblance to the “worship” of Aaron’s “cult”, so to say, when Moses seems to take too long on the Mountain top.

    People have such a hard time coping with a God they cannot see, a God who is mysterious, and remote. So people build “churches”, and conduct worship; but worship is no longer going up to God, but drawing God down into their own world which they have created from their own resources.

    A real problem arises here. It has been a problem that has faced all of humanity, in all of history. How are we to worship God? The truth is that humanity cannot know how to worship God, unless God himself reveals worship to humanity. We cannot simply “make” worship; God has to reveal it to us – and if God does not reveal it to us, we are simply “clutching empty space”. Moses says to Pharaoh: “We do not know with what we must serve the Lord” (Exodus 10:26). When God does not reveal himself, humanity cannot help but to build alters “to the unknown god” (Acts 17:23).

    If we try to “fetch” God, it can only spring from our own imagination, and our own creativity – in the end, it isn’t true worship at all; it is like a cry in the dark, or worse: it is mere self-affirmation.

    So, what should “going to Church” really mean? I think as Christians, we have lost the deeper meaning of ‘Covenant’. Throughout the Old Testament, God reveals – very specifically – how His People are to worship Him, and how they are to be in communion with him, through the covenants! The covenants of old are all God-initiated, not man-initiated; God reveals how they are to worship and be in relationship with Him. They are specific modes of being and living, and of participating in the worship of God as a Chosen People. If they chose to not follow the stipulations of God’s covenant with them, they would be choosing death for themselves (see Deuteronomy 28). It really was that serious.

    Going to Church means, I would say, knowing that we are a People of the New Covenant. It really is important.

    -Brian

  3. Brian said

    Hey Anthony,

    Just wondering if you got my reply? I was just checking back, and it looks like its gone?

    -Brian

  4. Brian said

    If I may, if it’s alright, I just wanted to share a couple of things about this post:

    It does seem to be cliche today, the whole concept of “going to Church”. Do we really need to “go to Church”? Are we not “the Church” without going to it? I feel pretty sure that the real issue here is much deeper:

    It seems to me that today, modern Christianity has all but completely lost the reality of ‘Covenant’ (if you want, you can see my series posts on God’s covenants with humanity at http://www.christiancatholicroots.blogspot.com). The Covenants in the Old Testament are those God-initiated bonds, all of them sworn by oaths, and marked and ratified by some ritual or act. The covenants were familial bonds between persons – that is, between the persons of Israel, of the Chosen People, and the Person of God. They had very strict stipulations, and breaking them were serious, even meriting death (see Deuteronomy 28).

    Today, we are all bound by the New Covenant in Jesus; in a very real sense, we are bound by that Covenant with God, and he asks us to participate in this Covenant in a unique way, much like he did with the covenants of old.

    What does this mean? At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). In this blood – which is reminiscent of the covenant in blood at Mount Sinai, where Moses says: “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you” (Exodus 24:8) – Jesus fulfills all the old covenants. We are now bound to the New Covenant.

    It is important that we participate in the blood of Christ. God ultimately is the only one who can reveal for us how to worship him; this is it, this is how we are to worship – this is truly what makes “going to Church” important!

    Thanks for listening!

    -Brian

  5. Brian said

    Thanks, Anthony.

    I am proud to know you. you write with a lot of emotion, a lot of heart. You write from your experiences. You remind me of C.S. Lewis, who I felt wrote in the same way.

    Peace be with you always, in Jesus’ name!

    -Brian

  6. Brian said

    P.S.

    Please forgive me if I have been uncharitable in any way with my choice of words. You all have, without any doubt, sincere desires to live and spread the Gospel. We are all brothers and sisters, and it is a comfort and a privilege to know this. God bless you all, in Jesus’ name.

    Sincerely,
    Brian

    P.S.S. I hope I can have as much heart for Jesus as you all have; and you, Anthony, who share your own heart so well. When your book comes out, let me know!

    • anthonygee said

      Haha man you have been more than charitable with your words. You just compared me to C.S. Lewis and said to let you know when my book comes out. Those are both great compliments far bigger than me. I love your input man. You’re thoughtful and polite, and often bring scripture into the matter. All of this is needed on this blog.

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