Thursday, June 22, 2006

Between You And Me

Cory left this comment regarding my last post:

"It seems to me that there are tons of people that just go to church to complete the jigsaw puzzle of an all-American life, as though church is a country club. You're a white man with a white wife, drive an SUV, conservatively colored and done up, own a ranch home in an upper-mid neighborhood, have two kids and a dog, and the kids are both athletes (the guy football, the girl soccer or field hockey)...blah blah blah, fill in the blanks as you see to. Church, and God, to some is a matter of keeping up with the Joneses."

You are right on the mark, Cory. How ironic that you should label church as a 'country club'. For years I quit going to church and when asked why by friends I would give that exact reason: I didn't want to be a member of a country club. If I wanted that I could join one and have the benefits of the pool and golf course and probably a more friendly, less judgmental class of people.

A wonderful worship leader from England named Matt Redman wrote a song A few years back titled "The Heart of Worship". The whole thing is a prayer where he apologizes to God for making worship something it wasn't supposed to be. He goes on to say that when all the fancy things we do in church are over, when the preaching is done, when all the music fades, it's just him and God. All he wants to do is bring something to God that's worth while, that will bless Him. The main thought is "I'm coming back to the heart of worship because it's all about you, all about you Jesus...I'm sorry, Lord for the thing I've made it when it's all about you".

That's what the problem comes down to with so many of today's christians. We want chruch to be like the rest of the world...we come wanting to know what we are going to get out of it...we come wanting our needs met...we come wanting to be 'fed' spiritually...we come wanting to see and be seen. We have it totally backwards. Worship and church is a very private thing between you and God even though you may be in a building with hundreds of others. We should come to church looking for what we can give back to God first, then look for how we can help and serve other people. We wind up receiving so much more back than we ever give out.

Cory: thanks, brother, for your point. You put it in words that had escaped me. I will be addressing another part of your comment later. Thanks again.



Anonymous russ said...

my church is life
and all the wonders and pain contained within

10:41 AM, June 23, 2006  
Anonymous Lauren R. said...

Interesting... love your funeral! I only read about 5 entries back, but here is my take:

I gotta tell ya, you sound just a tad bitter toward the church and Christianity in general. Don't get me wrong, I hate hypocrisy as much as anyone, I even wrote a song about it and called it "Plastic Christianity." I prize church leadership when they are "real." But never forget you have no more right to spit on them than they have to block you out. They might not be in the same place you are spiritually, and I know you know we are supposed to look out for the weaker brother, not bash him. God loves the "hater-Christians" and the immature spiritual babies as much as he loves the real and sincere followers. You cannot be the judge of other people's worship. I don't know what you have experienced to give you such a cynical view of church, although it is true that Christianity has often been invaded with popularity contests and fakeness in many ways, but there are a lot of wonderful things I love about our church. There are still a lot of great brothers and sisters who love the Lord and love each other, and we all just do the best we can.
I hope this message does not offend, but you certainly dish it out so I assume you can take a little back. I am glad to know what's on your mind, I've missed you in youth and noticed the change in you, and now I understand it better.

10:36 PM, June 25, 2006  

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