Is the traditional church what God intended for it to be? I’m talking about the “institution” of the church. We know that the “church” in the Bible is the collective body of people that have put their faith alone in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, but what have we turned it into?
Typical Church Experience
Dislaimer: I know not all churches operate this way, but many do.
You dress differently (instead of comfortably) so you will fit in and people will think you are doing just fine. You then walk into a building past a door greeter that is too busy talking to his friend instead of smiling and greeting you or the people walking in the door behind you.
Then, you head over to the coffee bar and get a white chocolate mocha so you won’t fall asleep. If you are a man, you try to focus on either the floor or the ceiling because of the women at church that are dressed like they are auditioning for a rap music video.
You find a seat, not knowing a single person that is next to you or in the row in front or behind you. You stand up to enjoy the singing and laser light show with the rock band to spend 15-20 minutes singing about God instead of to God.
The singing is over, and it’s time to sit through 20 minutes of announcements and a 20 minute push for finances. Then you greet 2 or 3 people “in the Name of the Lord,” knowing that you’ll probably never see or talk to those people again.
Now comes the best part—the teaching of God’s Word—the anticipation of this moment is the one thing that helps most people get through the laser light show and babble. You watch a 3-minute video that was put together to illustrate the sermon—which you usually enjoy—and you wonder how many post-production hours were put into the motion graphics and how many people it took to put it together. You then sit through a 20-30 minute message that is generalized to appeal to hundreds—possibly thousands—of people (depending on the size of the church).
After the message, the minister might give an altar call where no one is asked to come forward in front of their peers; they just raise their hand and repeat a prayer right there in their seat. No accountability, no guilt, no open remorse, and worse of all, no change. It’s comfortable…it’s easy. I wonder how many people leave every Sunday still hurting, still empty, and unprepared to meet the life that is waiting for them when they leave service.
How Would the Apostle Paul React?
I believe that the Apostle Paul would have a field day with our churches today. Read his letters to the early churches (Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians). Much of what he wrote was correcting the errors and ridiculousness that they allowed into the church and into their services. I believe our churches, mainly in America, need a serious wake-up call.
It’s Time to be Authentic
It’s easy to just follow what everyone else is doing and never ask questions, but those days are quickly coming to an end. It’s time to know the Word of God for yourself and hold yourself responsible for being a doer of the Word (James 1:22) and not a hearer only. Stop relying on your Pastor to spoon-feed you! Become a student of the Word and start taking your spiritual growth seriously.