^ a book you should all read.
i could stop there, but i must go on because this book is so amazing so far. i got it today and am nearly halfway finished with it.
the book is basically about the american church and how it doesn’t necessarily always line up with the church God calls us to have in Acts. it’s not the church leaders fault, its not God’s fault, it’s not America’s fault, it’s our fault.
i say our very loosely.
the christians are the body of christ. the church is the body of christ. but has church become a place where we act like the body of christ or has it become a country club or other social arena?
too often i think it has become the latter and it angers me.
i’m not a bible scholar, i’m not an expert, and so i could be wrong in what i say but i don’t think that the american church is what it should be.
i’m sure i’ll write many more notes concerning this or have many conversations about this, but it’s an important subject to me.
crazy love, by francis chan as well as every time i’ve heard francis speak and pretty much every time i read anything related to christianity or the church or overhear a conversation about the church makes me realize that we are not what we were supposed to be.
we are not a place where the needy and the lost feel they can come to.
we are not a place where we can all be honest about our struggles.
we are not a place of refuge.
we are not a place that is ALWAYS working to improve our community and our world.
we are not a place full of radical christians on fire for the Lord who are willing to go to the ends of the earth if He wants us to.
we do not worry about the spiritual health of our members enough
we are selfish.
we are too comfortable.
we are showy.
we are arrogant.
we are judgemental.
we want everyone to act like things are fine because for some reason we try to make Jesus a ten step plan to a nice life.
we do not do nearly as much service as we should yet we have building plans out our asses
we worry about numbers not spiritual on fire-ness
and this angers me.
not all churches are all messed up or whatever and not all churches are the things i say we are, but too many are. i’m not claiming i have found a church with no problems. i don’t think there ever will be because the church is made of humans and humans have problems. period.
but i do think that we need to start looking at ourselves in the mirror for a bit longer and see where we are and how people view us and start working on changing that image to be the church of Acts that Francis talks about in his talks and his book.
we cannot be a church that is so worried about numbers and building projects that we neglect hte very community we live in until there is a service project that directly affects our members. we cannot treat our churches like businesses. we have got to stop acting like everyone has to dress up for church or else God disapproves. we have got to start making church a place where we can come with our struggles and openly and honestly discuss them without fear of the women of the PTO thinking less of us or our ‘friends’ talking about us to others. we have got to get out into the community and meet people where they are.
thats what jesus did. that’s what God does.
God doesn’t say ‘hey fix all your problems then come to me and we”ll talk about a relationship’ that would be ridiculous. He invites us with open arms and comforts us in our times of struggle. think of the ideal love a parent has for their child, unconditional love. no matter how many times the child messes up or strays away, the ideal parent loves their child and would do anything for him/her. that is how God loves us…..times infinity.
isn’t that crazy?
but it’s true.
and yet we try to act like God can fit in a box, or a building, or a 10 point sermon, or a sermon series.
we don’t tell God what to do or where to go or what to say to who, God tells us what to do, where to go, what to say, and how to live and we damn well better listen. He did kinda create the entire universe and everything in it and lets us continue to live in it despite all the times we mess up or leave Him or completely disregard his even existence.
how many people do you think would do that? i can’t think of many.
Francis calls us to look at the church, see where we are, and see where we should be, and work towards that. i haven’t finished the book yet, i’m sure i will soon, but i invite you to read it, or just think about these things.
why are churches this way?
i grew up southern baptist and southern baptists are some of the worst about soem of this stuff.
they seem to always be worried about numbers
and building projects
and having the best retreats with the best bands and the most students
what good does a fancy building full of fancy people in fancy clothes do if it doesn’t serve the Kingdom of God?