“Church” is Not Natural

I was reading an interesting article of a lay Christian who thinks outside the box, as most emergent churchgoers are wont to do. Dan Kimball brings up a few good points about what people expect from church and asks a few good questions about why we expect it. Who invented the “church” anyway? Jesus didn’t. Paul didn’t. They only preached and outdoors at that. Paul preached in the synagogue, but only to so he could find Jews to listen to him. Who decided that the church was going to be a comfy building that believers go to every week to sit in rows and receive teaching or communion? Why and when did one’s spiritual life become some kind of effort that we exert, some kind of race that we must expend massive amounts of time worrying about? Since when is life itself earned? We do not choose to come into this life and although we may feel chosen by God to believe in his son, we cannot be responsible for all those things that work against us as soon as we’re born; dysfunctional families, handicaps, genetic abnormalities, accidents, murders, rapes, you name it. Surely, God is not such a trickster that he heaps hurdle after hurdle upon us as soon as we believe? Surely God has made the way easy and the burden light.

The effort people go to to convince you that you HAVE to go to “church” or you cannot be a true Christian is laughable when you remember that no one “went” to church in the bible. They met for fellowship, but Jesus never advocated the synagogue as a GOOD thing. lightJesus never talked about it at all except to say we must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4). Why isn’t living a life focused on truth the only thing that is required of us? Living life with God-consciousness is enough to put anyone on the “right path” of spirituality. If one HAS to stay in the “church” movement, at least one can experiment with it and refine it for the 21st century. The past is not always the best way of doing things. Let’s not keep going backward, but forward.

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