Hey Jeff! I am having an argument with someone close to me. Here is the argument, “I think going to church is important and my friend says that church is full of whackos and not necessary for Christians?”
Help me out!
Hey Help me out!
What are you asking me for? I am one of those whackos that goes to church! Actually I like church! Really, seriously, I do.. and here is why.
Scripture reinforces and teaches from beginning to end that the life of a Follower of Jesus Christ is to be lived out in the context of the family of faith. (Ephesians 3:4-15 and Acts 2)
This whole idea of being an island alone in the sea and still being an actively engaged and growing follower collide with what the Bible teaches. Usually when one argues against being a part of a church it has more to do with the individual and their own set of issues and baggage against the church than it does some type of deep cored conviction.
We are not to be rugged individualists but instead we are born into a body of which Jesus is the head. That is why we read in Hebrews 10:25, “let us know give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing.” Even from the verse we realize this is not a new phenomenon.
I also believe that transformational growth is impossible if not connected to a healthy well balanced church body. This connection comes from our need for community and it is a part of the spiritual wiring God has placed within each of us. But culturally we have a generation of church consumers who shop for the church that meets their needs as opposed to finding the place God has called them to connect, grow, and build up the body of Christ in a particular place. Our less than Biblical approach to church involvement has helped to fuel this lackadaisical attitude toward the importance of church ministry.
Is the church perfect? No, I haven’t found the perfect one yet!
Is the church full of hypocrites? Sure it is, so is your workplace, your team, your club, etc…because the world is full of tragically flawed and broken people. (Think sinners at this point) However, you are not a hypocrite if you admit you are a sick sinner who is trying to get just a little bit better through your relationship with Jesus.
Once again, usually the ol’ hypocrite argument is lofted by someone who thinks mistakenly that church people actually believe they are perfect. I’m sure some do…but that is ego, which is just sin. (See the paragraph above)
Now, that being said…yes it is important to be a part of a church because transformational growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The church is an important part of that growth…BUT…church membership and involvement does not “save” you. You know the old phrase…walking into a church does not make you a Christian any more than walking into a garage makes you a car!
Salvation comes from the work of Jesus and it is in Him alone that we find eternal and abundant life.