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Monday, October 11, 2010

On not going to church

Last week I met a nice couple down on their luck. They were struggling to make ends meet and needed help with gas money. Later in the conversation I learned that he needed tools so he could get a job and go to work at a local garage. After much prayer and discussion I decided that this was a hand up so we purchased hundreds of dollars of tools to help him on his way.

During the conversation I asked about his relationship with God. He inforned me that it was good but that he did not go to church. My guess is he is like many believers around the age of 30. They believe in God. They pray as needed. They try to be decent people. They do not go to church.

I know for a fact that the behavior of church going people drives many people out of the institution. I also know that people looking for a reason to quit can find plenty. Even so, there is one very practical concern which needs to be addressed. If no one goes to church where will people in a tight spot go for help? Why is it that the church is viewed as a place to get aid (and we are called daily for help with bills, mortgage and other needs) but not as a place to join? As our society rapidly de-churchifies we are creating a new situation with serious problems. Being right with God as an individual is not the Biblical model. We are called to be the people of God in community and faith and worship and service. Churches will be places to get help only as long as churches are communities that give help. We need more lovers and givers here. We have a steady supply of needers and receivers. For the sake of people like that nice young couple down on their luck I hope peole begin to commit in faith to God and His church.

1 comment:

  1. Your experience and thoughts on helping the couple in need brought to mind a conversation I had over the weekend. I was asked, "is morality man-made or God-made?" It seemed quite simple at first, God-made of course! But then I wondered, what about all the people who live very moral, ethical lives that do not believe in God? Of course, I finally came back to my original answer. Those same people who live moral lives and don't believe in God also breath the air He created! Doesn't seem to impact their ability to live. But not believing in God does impact the quality of their life -- how they live and love and help those down on their luck. In fact many of them are in need of help themselves. They may have much luck but also much emptiness. In that emptiness will eventually grow darkness. They will wander around unable to find their way. In Him we live and move and have our being. What a wonderful gift it is for us to worship together in community and yet how difficult it is for many of us to encourage others to join our family of faith. Yes, we are a beacon of hope for those desperate for money. Are we willing to let our light be equally as bright for those in need of spiritual healing and communion? I pray that we want to become holy beacons!