Have you ever heard a fellow believer say the following: “I love God but I hate church?” I have. In fact, those words have left my lips. Why? Why would a Christian hate the Bride of Christ?Here are some “reasons” I have heard:
I will never go back there until he leaves. Don’t you remember what he said about you?
I don’t worship that way.
God is everywhere. I don’t need a building to worship him.I can’t find a church like my old one.
I just don’t fit in.
Have you heard any of these before? I am sure you can add many more to the list. My heart breaks to think of how many believers miss out on the joy of a church home.
To start with, let me address the third “reason” on the list above. I agree that God is found everywhere on His planet and indeed, we do not need a building to worship him. In fact, the last church I attended in Wyoming did not even have a building. However, the Church is not a building. God refers to His Church as us, His children. We are compared more intimately in scripture to a bride, hence the term: Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). We may not need a building, but God is specific in His direction that we come together as believers to worship, learn, and go forth to spread the news of our Lord.
Now, I will stop my preaching. Let’s go back to the first excuse…oops, “reason.” I am sure that everyone has been there a time or two in some place in their life. Someone has said something derogatory about them or someone they love and look out! It hits the fan! Multiply that by about one hundred and that is the result you get in church. I believe it is the expectations that you place on a person the minute they walk through the door. Church is like shedding the reality of the outside world and being cloaked in a white robe. When the imperfections eventually surface, it hurts so much more. Jesus said a lot about forgiveness. Have you checked it out lately? (Matthew 6:15)
“I”…”I”…”I”… Have you noticed that all of these “reasons” have the same issue? When I took my eyes off myself and placed them on God, I realized my walk was missing something. Fellowship, worship, preaching, teaching, prayer… No, the church we attend now is not perfect. The music is a little loud at times. It is not like my old one and I don’t fit in as much as I would like but you know what? I love the Lord and I love His Bride. I will not forsake it or Him.
I hope every Christian has found a church home. If you haven’t, ask yourself why. You may be surprised with the answer you receive.
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