Tag Archives: stop playing church

10 Reasons Why People Don’t Attend Church – The unlit tree

As I drove through our small town yesterday the Christmas tree in the town square was flashing to the beat of Christmas music and the whole atmosphere in our normally economically depressed city was transformed to a happier place. The people in our quaint town are wonderful, the politics… not so much, but we’ll not park there. The population of our entire county is roughly 7600, depending upon how many people are out of town Christmas shopping, (I’m kidding). But we are rural America at its finest and sometimes worst. I would venture a guess at the number of those 7600 who attend church as less than 1,000. I actually believe it’s far less than that, but according to an article on churchleaders.com approximately 20% of Americans attend church regularly, which would make Calhoun’s estimate at 1500. I have to wonder what they define as regularly. If by annually, then maybe. Well, that’s not very nice is it? You’ll have to forgive my cynicism, perhaps I should go back to town and check my Christmas spirit, but church attendance is a biggy on my list of Christian do’s and don’ts.

It’s like having an unlit Christmas tree. Pointless.

I’ve heard most every argument on why you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, and while that’s true, because there are many who absolutely cannot get to church and they are indeed children of God; my argument is if you can go and don’t you’re the unlit tree.

Here’s the top 10 reason people don’t go to church from AmericanPreachers.com:

Reason 1 – The church is full of judgmental people.

Are there judgmental people in every church? Probably! And let me give you my theory on why. If they’re in a church that’s preaching the gospel of Christ as it should be preached, that preacher stands before them as the brightest Christmas tree in the building and what that does is illuminate wrong living. So rather than dealing with their own err it’s easier to point out someone else’s making their own sin seem less in their eyes. Go anyway.

Reason 2 – Church is boring

You’re either in the wrong the church, or you’re there with the wrong attitude. Go anyway. The church is not for your entertainment, it’s for your edification. If you don’t like the menu in a restaurant, you find a new place to eat, you don’t starve to death! Amen?

Reason 3 – The Church is “exclusive.”

Scratch off denominationalism here. When searching for the right church for you, regardless of what name brand it is, one thing better be there “A welcome sign.” A church is your Father’s house; and if you’re not made to feel welcome, there’s a good chance you’re not home.

Reason 4 – The Church is homophobic

The bible under no uncertain terms says that homosexuality is a sin. It also says that lying, coveting, stealing, idol worship, disrespect and adultery is a sin. And there are those in every church in America. Find a church that loves people, let God deliver the message. If you truly want a relationship with the Creator, you need to position yourself in a place where His message is delivered, and that’s church, and that’s Bible. Go anyway.

Reason 5 – I don’t like organized religion

I don’t either. I like structured freedom for the Holy Spirit. Huh? Let’s face reality, there has to be some sort of organization else there’s chaos. Someone has to be in charge. So, you find the right Pastor and follow him, and then let the Holy Spirit lead. If he’s a God lead Pastor there will be freedom to worship in that place and the experience will be awesome! Go!

Reason 6 – Churches are full of hypocrites

Truth. And you’ll be one too. There isn’t anyone I know that lives a life like Christ, therefore we all are hypocrites. When we call ourselves Christians, by definition we are saying we live like Christ. No, we don’t, but we do the best we can and love each other regardless. Go anyway.

Reason 7 – The church just wants your money

Not true. But it does take money to operate a church. You have to look at it from the survival aspect: you buy food because you need it to survive, you pay for a car because it transports you from one place to another, you buy clothing because it covers you and keeps you warm, you buy things you like because they bring you pleasure. That’s what church does, only in a way that lasts an eternity.

Reason 8 – Life is better without religion

Yes. But church attendance isn’t about religion, it’s about relationship. In the very core of our being is a desire to have a relationship with the Creator and family. Church provides you both. And even if your family is dysfunctional, messed up or nonexistent, God will fill the voids in your life through His people in His place. That’s church. Go anyway.

Reason 9 – Christians live on another planet and wear brown sweaters

I so laughed when I read that, because it’s so true, until you get saved. I used to think that people who went to church every Sunday, and prayed at the altar and talked about God were just people without anything else to do, and then I became one of them. I then realized I had been missing out on the greatest experience in life – Non circumstantial living. Regardless of circumstance, God is good, I am loved, and He understands.

Reason 10 – I don’t have time

Refer to reason 6 and Commandment 9 of the big 10. You lie. In the words of my former Pastor, “You do what you want to do.” If you want a relationship with God you’ll make the time. And then a funny thing happens, you’ll discover you had far more time than imagined because God will open up doors for you to  fellowship with Him that you could never have imagined.

John 1:4-5 says “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

If the light of Christ is not shining in you and through you, your tree’s not lit.

Get the point?

To save a nation…

There are times that I read the Old Testament and it’s more than my stomach can handle. As someone who has never been able to watch scary or gory movies without the image getting seared in my mind, the Bible stories are sometimes almost as vivid. And then there are other days that although I wouldn’t have the stomach for it, I get so fed up with the wickedness of this world that I can totally understand how God could wipe out half a nation.

We find one such case of God’s wrath in the book of Numbers. In the first verse it is said that “Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.” (vs. 1) They had begun to sacrifice and bow down to their gods, at which time God gives Moses the command to “Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel.(vs. 4). I think God is pretty serious about sin to say the least, but there was a hero in the story that stopped God’s wrath by the name of Phinehas.

One of the children of Israel had brought into the congregation of the Lord a Midianite woman while the children of Israel were weeping at the door of the tabernacle because of the state of affairs. God had just laid the charge to slay those who had sinned in this manner against God, and this guy brings a woman into the congregation of the Lord. When Phinehas sees what happened scripture says “And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. (Vss. 7-8)

That act alone stopped the wrath of God.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: (Vss. 10-12)

I’m not suggesting anyone go to this extreme, but oh that men would be so zealous as to stand up in the congregations of the Lord and say “Enough!” The church in so many ways has linked arms with the world, there is no longer a separation or a holiness. Sin is overlooked and embraced dependent upon “who” it is. Praise God we are now under grace, God no longer calls upon the destruction of a nation He doesn’t have too, we’re destroying ourselves.

This is a somber thought for Monday morning, but I just feel that I needed to remind myself as I go out into the world today that God expects more of me. Just because the world says it is okay does not make it so. I am a child of God, set aside for His purpose saved by His grace. If the Israelite and the Moabitish woman were cast before me today, I’m called to give them grace, not judgment. I want those I meet today to see the love and grace of almighty God in me, but I also want to remember the zealousness of Phinehas who called sin out and saved his people. I have to begin by examining my own life… The other children of Israel were weeping at the door of the church, but Phinehas zealously acted on it and saved his nation.

What can we do… stop “playing” church. Live it!