5 Reasons Not to Attend Church This Sunday
1. The church is full of hypocrites!
You are right! The church is choked with hypocrites. Jesus blasted hypocrites for focusing on minor issues and ignoring important matters of love and mercy. I admit I am a hypocrite, which means a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion, who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. Abraham Lincoln famously said, “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” Well, we have all been two-faced at one time or another. If I want to learn how to “practice what I preach,” then I must first admit that I am a hypocrite and learn to re-connect what I say with what I do. How about you? Are you a hypocrite? Why not join your fellow hypocrites at a church that wants to help people stop being hypocrites?
2. The church will judge me.
You are right! One mantra in our society today is “Don’t judge me!” So, why attend a church that judges you!? Some churches will judge you as God’s child, created in the image of God, and worthy of love. How’s that for judgment? Jesus has taught us, “judge not that you be not judged,” so we avoid first impression judgment. But the act of judging right and wrong is not ruled out by Jesus. I think Jesus is talking about harsh, unfair judgment. So we avoid harsh judgments and believe this leads us to a practice of walking with people instead of judging them. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, God wants a relationship with you. Central to Christian belief is that we humans are made for relationships of love with God and one another.
There are churches that do not rank sins but believe all people have sinned and fall short of God’s way. There are churches that do not judge outsiders or guests in their church but walk together as we take next steps with Jesus daily.
3. The church is a business that wants my money.
You are right! Some churches actually do mainly want your money and your involvement to build their little fiefdoms of power and control. Because this is true for some churches does not mean it’s true of all churches. Churches do exist that care about important things other than money. Those churches also necessarily function with money in the equation. You know who really wants your money? The cell phone companies, retailers, and online sellers to whom we regularly give money! Most churches are in the “business” of worshiping God and not money. Are you willing to search for such a church? Are you willing to search for a church that cares less about money and cares more about God, you, your neighbors, love, mercy, justice, and truth?
4. The church is too political for me.
You are right! Churches all have political bias. Politics is defined as our public actions as individuals or groups. Don’t trust churches who say they are not biased in political, religious, and cultural ways. We all have individual or group biases. Some churches promote national holidays. That is political. Some churches have pacifist views while others honor the military on Veterans day or Independence day. These are all political acts based in particular political world views.
Following Jesus and giving allegiance first to Jesus as Lord is a political act because we are saying, “the president, the nation, anyone or anything else is not lord, but Jesus is Lord.” Yes, churches are political, but are you willing to search for a church that admits we have biases and tries to act in the community in just, merciful, and loving ways, whatever the issue?
5. The church does not allow my questions.
You are right! Some churches have “services” where guests and members are not invited to speak, question, or give feedback. There are many churches, however, where you may read the Bible, participate in worship, ask any question you want about the Bible, God, and life. There are churches where you can talk directly to the church leaders and bring your concerns. There are churches that allow sciences, philosophy, and spirituality to inform study of the Bible. There are churches that give you a voice, allow questions, walk with you through addressing your questions. Are you willing to search and find a church like this?
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