Sunday, December 29, 2013

Would Jesus Do That?


After leaving our much-loved little country church due to out-of-control gossip, we visited around for a while, hoping to find a church that would appeal to us. Surprisingly, it was a new large church at the edge of town where we liked the preacher the best. You could tell, that there were various social levels there who mostly associating with their own kind, but every church, like every person, has its flaws. Unfortunately, one sub-freezing evening, my wife chose to wear jeans to church and had some little old rich lady look at her and wrinkle up her nose. She never went back there, or to any other church since.

We look a little suspiciously on big churches for reasons understood by most, but the preacher seemed to continue preaching good sermons. We knew this because he managed to get his services broadcast on a local Christian network.

Recently, the church has purchase that particular network. Suddenly, the programming went from what might be termed eclectic Christian to nearly 24-hour-a-day tapes of services from that church. Also, the preacher is beginning to push his yearly tours to the Holy Land. They’ve done them for several years now; they’ve just never had such a “bully-pulpit” before. Also, the “commercials” for the church show an almost spa-like atmosphere.

I seem to remember that all of Judaism had only ONE temple, not one for every priest. There were many synagogues, but they usually weren’t all that large and doubled as schools. The only reference to Jesus meeting in a separate building was a rented room, and wherever He went, He usually walked. On a more modern note, Billy Graham, who has probably spoken to more people than anyone in history, has never sought to build a cathedral or organize Holy Land tours.

Understand that I see nothing wrong with those who can afford it taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Holy Land. However, I get a little suspicious when a church promotes it on a yearly basis. Obviously, only the rich members can go, for I have yet to hear of a church footing the bill for poorer members. Even if they did, would that be the proper use of the Lord’s money, when there are probably people going hungry within a mile of the church? It seems to me the practice is just a way for the upper-crust in the church to hobnob with the preacher and one another. Similar attitudes and/or practices, even in small churches, are part of the reason that I quit tithing to the church many years ago and try to give directly to those who need it. They’re also part of why we’re no longer in church.


I’m sure that Jesus would prefer us in church somewhere, and many of my fellow Christians are quick to condemn us because we’re not. But I have to wonder: where is a church of which HE would approve? © 2013
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10 comments:

Lady Locust said...

Something we have appreciated in the past is a cowboy church where the service rotated from one ranch to another. There was usually a donation box around somewhere, but you had to look for it. The services were genuine and meaningful. I like to think God created nature. Man creates buildings. Who's to say that a church has to have a special building. Worshiping together is what creates a congregation. You might ask around to see if there is such a service around there - if you think it would suit you. Just my little bit of input.

Gorges Smythe said...

I think home churches may be the way to go, LL!

Mamahen said...

I am not in a church at this time either....but I feel the Lord knows my heart, and I think that if he were not ok with my service he will let me know....

Gorges Smythe said...

I suspect you're right, Mh.

Pumice said...

LL, I like that term, "Cowboy Church."

Georges, Several years ago we left the church we had settled in when the pastor started offering communion to non-believers and no one in the church saw a problem with that. We drifted. We could not find a place that satisfied my wife and I both. I finally picked a little church that has solid preaching and music I could relate to. It is a long way from perfect. My wife will never get involved but will attend. I can at least have a place to use my gifts.

I understand the reluctance to settle into a church.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm glad you found a place where you're comfortable (if that's the right term), Pumice.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I went to my wife's church and my daughter asked me what "tacky" meant and I found out that they had labeled my clothes as tacky. So I had to explain all about snobs and tacky is a word they use to feel important. I never went back, what would be the point, I don't wear the right clothes. It really seems that western Christian religion has failed and that is the cause of a lot of our other problems.

Gorges Smythe said...

I think you're right, SF.

Scooney Adrift said...

Many church's have become religious country clubs, in that they have to build maga-church's to attract even more members, which equates to larger collection plates. The Message seems to take second fiddle, to what facilities do you have to offer?
I no longer attend church either, the hypocrisy is just too transparent in both ministers, and members. Just me and the Lord, is fine with me too!

Gorges Smythe said...

I see a lot of us folks that were raised right, drifting away from the church. I fear it says more about the church than about us, Scooney.