Friday, August 17, 2012

What if we didn't have "church"?

Swanny over at Allergic to BS asks some provocative questions today in his post Oblivious Addictions. Like many of us, Swanny was addicted to religion. I know I was. I loved everything about "church" but looking back I don't think I loved it for any of the right reasons.

In his post Swanny asks a great question:

So, what would happen to your spiritual life if “church”, as I have defined it above, just ceased to exist?  

I know that will not happen, but let’s say it does for kicks and giggles.  Let’s say all “church” buildings are locked and banned from use, and then all “Christian” conferences, concerts, and seminars were no longer permitted, and all children’s youth groups are shut down, and all men and women ministries disbanded.

Also, all presentations, Easter pageants, Christmas plays become illegal, along with organized Christian counseling, food pantries, church-based homeless shelters, crisis hotlines, and church-run childcare & preschools.  Then finally, every ordained minister’s credentials are revoked under threat of imprisonment, and the vocation of a pastor providing formal paid instruction to other believers is no longer allowed.

So, would your “walk” with Jesus be serious disrupted if you did not have a “church” to attend this Sunday or ever?

Is your “Christian” life wrapped up in a building, programs, ministries, and meetings?

Mine was, and I got the heck out of that “organized religion”.  And you know who I finally found just sitting in the street, or laying in the gutter… Christ.

Those are great questions and probably a lot more pertinent than we think (and of course the post attracted the warning against "forsaking the gathering"!). The days when we don't have "church" might not be far off. Many Christians have lives so wrapped up in the weekly rituals of "church" that I wonder how they would react if they couldn't "go to church" anymore.

Ask yourself those questions. What would happen to your life if you had nowhere to go on Sunday. Would you still live your life following Christ? Or perhaps would you start to live your life that way?

Interesting food for thought.


Anonymous said...


I feel this is a huge problem among the Body that I had to deal with, and I am sure others do to.

Thanks for posting.

dle said...

Actually, I do not have a high view of how nobly we would act without "formalized" church. The people I know who boldly stated they were walking away from organized religion and institutional church usually end up severely diminished in their spiritual lives. I've seen it too many times.

I can't seem to find where the middle ground in this is. Suffer under the oppressive, compromised junk that so many institutional churches succumb to OR adopt "Lone Ranger" Christianity that ends up weak or wrecked altogether.

I'd say that organic house churches were the answer except the holier-than-thou attitude I've encountered in that movement is simply overwhelming and downright prideful.

Not a happy set of choices.

Arthur Sido said...

There is some validity to that concern re: the we have it all figured out attitude of some in the house church movement. It ironically reminds me of many of my fellow Reformed believers!

I haven't been to a scheduled church gathering in a number of weeks and I do ache for that fellowship but I am not interested in just "picking a church" and showing up. The real challenge is finding community with other believers without constraining that comminity to Sunday meetings.