Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Church of Up

Is this what church is all about?

Dress up

Show up

Shut up

Pay up

That is what the religious culture says to us, even if it does so in different words. You need to put on your "Sunday best" to prove you are serious about church. You need to go a church building somewhere where a properly "ordained" cleric is present. You need to sit respectfully and listen to the aforementioned cleric give you his interpretation of a passage of Scripture or a topic. You don't say anything because that is not your place. You of course need to "tithe" to show how serious you are, "giving back to God" by funding the organization that allows you to dress up, show up, shut up, pay up with as little disruption to your life as possible.

I have news for you. When the world looks at followers of Christ, they don't see people who are marked by love for one another, love for God and love for their neighbor. They see "dress up, show up, shut up, pay up". How do I know this? Because like every other Christian I used to be one of those who looked at the world and saw "dress up, show up, shut up, pay up" and now that I am a Christian it seems that the world is more often right about how we view church than the church is.

I have no interest in being part of "dress up, show up, shut up, pay up" and perpetuating that system. It is not being faithful, it is not worshiping or honoring God. It simply acquiescing to the religious culture and perpetuating a false vision to the world that confirms every negative stereotype and damages our witness.

4 comments:

Bean said...

Our family goes to church to have a time in the week where we are all together praying, praising, worshiping God and learning about the Word of God. We certainly NEVER have an attitude of dress up, show up, shut up, pay up. Our time of worship is important to us, important enough that we always make time for Mass.
In American society today there is no social obligation to attend church service, most people like Sundays to sleep in, go to breakfast, play a round of golf, catch up on chores, read the paper, and the majority spend Sundays in this way and they are free to do so.
Those that choose to go church, do just that they CHOOSE to, they do not go under a feeling of "what will the neighbors think", they go because they want to go.
We can of course, and do, worship God anywhere and at anytime, and we certainly pray, read scripture, and try to live our life according to God's plan 24/7 and we find that our time at church each week is a nice way for us as family to come together, and to come together with other believers.
Because there is no longer a social stigma for not going to church, I have to believe that those that attend truly want and desire to be there and they make the effort to be there week in and week out.
Praying that at some point in time you and your family find a church community that meets your expectations and I am sorry that you have experienced upset and discord with other believers.

Blessings to you,

Bean

Joseph said...

You can show up - or forsake. You can use the God ordained method of the church recognizing and calling qualified elders or shut up, You can keep your money, God loves a cheerful giver, and I think you look nice in a suit and tie but if you want to wear flip flops and a Harley T - that would be ok too. You need to be a part of a local body of believers bro. When have you done that? For how long? There is no pure church. Go throw yourself into the group of broken sinners and be a blessing. maybe that is why the "have love for one another" is so powerful - church people are hard to love.

Arthur Sido said...

Joseph, help me out here. Where in Scripture do you see us being required to be a part of a local body to the exclusion of other believers in the same locality?

I am also not talking about keeping my money, I am talking about refusing to give money to help perpetuate a system that is harmful to the church and instead giving my money and my time where it is needed.

You are right though, loving others is hard to do. Shouldn't we then do everything we can to remove barriers to getting to know one another, I mean really knowing one another, so that we can love them?

Anonymous said...

Bean said: "important enough that we always make time for Mass. "

Dear Bean, by mass, are you speaking of the unholy roman catholic mass which is an abomination to God and part of the mystery religion of babylon that Jesus is coming back to destroy?

If that is the case, and you truly love Jesus Christ with all of your heart, I would encourage you to hear the call of God to you in this late hour of time.

Revelation 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;

Catholicism is the unholy imposter bride of Christ headed by the antichrist pope, full of mary idolatry, witchcraft, and the death cookie*. The vatican itself calls herself mother church. So does God in His holy word:

Rev 17:4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations."

She is truly the mother of the counterfit bride of Jesus. Such a place promises heaven but only delivers death and hell. It totally corrupts those who refuse to come out and leads them to eternal damnation. May that not be the case with you dear one.

-Jim

*death cookie http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0074/0074_01.asp