Who really wants to go to church? To listen to some religious nut ramble on about whale survivors and an ark that stored enough food to sustain the entire animal kingdom for a year. To worship a false sense of hope amongst self-righteous, hypocritical, and judgmental Christians. Churches brainwash the feeble minds of the weak to give them hope with stories of heaven all while taking 10% of their money. These stereotypes did not form out of thin air, they have some truth to them, and the sad reality is that this is what some churches are like.
But you should still go. You may not believe me or the 2 billion other Christians but isn't it worth seeing what all the hype is about? Is it not worth further investigation into a place that claims an eternal suffering in hell and knowledge about the creation of the universe? Whether you are afraid of heaven and hell, ponder the origins of life, or seek purpose, the church is a place with answers you may want to know.
Let me clear up possible confusion from the introduction. I am not saying to attend a church full of hypocrites or a church corrupt with politics and money laundering. I am not even saying you should attend church. The sole purpose of church is to help us build a relationship with God. If the church you are attending is not doing this, then perhaps you should reconsider. Not reconsider the question of whether you should be attending church or not, but to reconsider which church you attend or why you attend it. Not all churches are the same. While they should be helping you build a relationship with God, that is not always the case.
1. A church claiming to be a church, is not in fact a church.
A hospital staffed with lawyers that prescribe sugar pills is no more a hospital, than a church staffed with men that preach false messages is no more a church. Messages that preach extreme views of anti-homosexuality would be one example of a non-Christian message.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."Matthew 7:15
2. We are not ready to commit.
The number one New Year's resolution is to lose weight. How many people are actually putting in the effort to do it. People who go to the gym for the first month and still order late night Chinese say one thing and do another. Meanwhile, those truly committed to their New Year's resolution will diet, give up the foods they love, and workout on a strict regiment to see results. Even for those people who claim that it is impossible for them to gain weight blows my mind. It is simple, if you eat enough, you gain weight. It is not impossible to gain weight, it is just hard.
Church is the same. Giving up our lives for God is not impossible, it is just hard. Until we become serious enough to make sacrifices for our faith, then we will not find God. If we just 'try' church we will find God no more than if we just 'try' going to the gym.
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it."
3. We have our own idea of what the church should be, and we won't settle for anything else.
Let me compare God to health and the gym to church.
Imagine a man who has this idea that health means having strong muscles. He is told to go to the gym but having never been to one he has very little idea of what to expect. Upon arrival at his first gym he finds it is full of treadmills. Knowing that running does not build muscle, he may stop going to the gym and claim the gym does not make him healthy. If he is persistent he will continue searching for gyms with the idea that another gym must suit his needs.
The man is a Christian who believes faith is all about the bible. He is unsatisfied with a church that evangelizes thinking it needs more bible study. If he does not find what he is looking for at church he has the option to quit and claim that the church is a lie. If he is persistent, he can continue hopping churches until he finds what he is looking for.
The problem with both of these people is that they have a small idea of what health is, they are not seeing the big picture. Health is not just one thing, it is many things. Health includes running, lifting weights, bible study, and evangelizing all together. In order to see the big picture of God we must surrender ourselves and our ideas of what God is.
We are like the kid at the dinner table who refuses to eat until the mother serves his favorite cheeseburger instead of vegetables. If the cheeseburger is bible study and the vegetable is evangelizing, then the food is God. No matter what we eat, we will be fed. If we waste time picking and choosing what we want out of church, then we may never find God. Be committed to your church. If the taste is too bad to swallow then find another church, but do not waste time wondering if you should spit or swallow or you will never be filled with God.
The church claims to know the answer to the creator of the universe. I say that is worth a further look into, a chance to meet our maker. If the church is not working for you it does not make God any less real. The church is not perfect.