I hear you and appreciate your thoughts and in many ways I agree with you. To tell you the truth, I would feel strange if every agreed with me.Im going to voice my opinion on something that was posted. I do love my church, and attend irregularly because Im not getting what I need. As my search for another congregation more suitable to me needs continues, I am finding more of the same. Churches in my area are filled with married couples even older than myself. At 55 Im not finding any singles my age, singles groups, or singles events at any church within a two hour drive. The groups I am finding with singles are Celebrate Recovery, AA, and NA which are not for me. As a more than 20 year recovered alcoholic I know NOT to put myself in a place with those whom still continue to fall. I know that the temptation for me is too great, so I avoid situations that might cause me personally to sin. That in itself says a lot about the communities in which I live. Where are young Christian adults going (I see so few in church)? Where are all the saved singles? The middle aged couples? Unless I attend a huge church with a concert like show complete with lights, smoke, and a full band, Im not finding them. What does that say to the world around us?
Now for my opinion. I will disagree; going to church today does not always show the world we are saved anymore than going to a doctor shows we are healthy. What shows we are a member of the body of Christ is how we live our lives, how we treat others, and the love we choose to share freely. Ive been to a lot of churches that would rather dissect me apart into pieces highlighting my sins, than show me the love and fellowship I seek. Without charity, love, and hope what are we? An empty church is still an empty building if it cannot be filled with love to glorify our Father in heaven. Its like church has become a business. That is a very sad fact being Ive lived in 11 states, and have visited far too many than any one person ever should. Its really skewed my views on church, and what was intended in our holy scriptures.
I am disagreeing with the love of Christ in me, as brother Major posted. We don't always have to agree, but we are commanded to love one another.
From my personal perspectives I have witnessed a great deal of support from the body of Christ on these very boards. The moderators here are awesome! I have found internet fellowship, a place to ask for prayer, a place where I can find those in need of prayer, a place to study the word of God, a place to discuss it, all within the comfort of my own home. I think in todays world accurate Christian sites are showing others what the body of Christ is all about, just as much as the churches around that actually get it.
Peace, and love to all reading...
I would also say that Church today IS a business on two levels that feed off of each other.
#1. The business of the church is to preach/teach the Word of God so as to reach out and save the lost.
#2. It is a business in that it has bills that must be paid. Bills such as electricity, water, taxes, insurance payroll.
IF the first business of the church is done properly and correctly then the second thing will be taken care us by the giving of those who get saved and support the church.
Now how we live our lives is of course the Christian thing to do but not attending a church does not correspond to the Scriptures that tell us to "NOT forsake the assembly of believers".
I would also say at this point that a church that does not project LOVE as its method of operation is then NOT a Christian church but simply a religious organization which we need to run away from and not to.
" going to church today does not always show the world we are saved anymore than going to a doctor shows we are healthy."
That actually proves my point. We go to a doctor because we are SICK. Speaking only for me, I do not go to the doctor because I feel good. His job is to make us feel better through the medicine he administered to us because we are sick.
We should go to church because we are SIN SICK. The job of the Pastor/Church is to make us feel better through the medicine of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as it is taught and preached. NOW......if the Lord Jesus Christ is not preached, then that church will certainly become a refrigerator that does nothing but house the "Frozen Chosen".
"Is There No Balm in Gilead?"
Balm, of course, is a medicinal salve. The people were wounded from their sins and idolatries and needed to be resorted. This brokenness is compared to physical maladies and physical cures to illustrate how unnecessarily tragic it was. People had sought the balm of Gilead to help their illnesses for centuries.
So we see various figures used, but the problem's the same - people steeped in sin though the cure is so near which is the blood of Christ!
Allow me to share something with all of you today.
Revelation 3:17-18 is speaking of one of the 7 churches and says...…….
"you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see."
Notice especially the part about them being "blind" and needing to get "eye salve" from the Lord. In great parallel to ancient Israel and the balm of Gilead, and the CHURCH in Laodicea as that church was only 13 miles away from a school famous for its medical knowledge, particularly its eyesalve.