Legalism

December 28, 2008

I was recently discussing children with a friend of mine and he mentioned that even though he brought his kids to every function and service that the church held, they still drifted away from the church easily once they finished high school…then it hit me. The parents bring their child to everything and the children get little more than the idea that they supposed to attend everything no matter if it’s good or not. Like the idea that a college degree confers intelligence, the mere act of attending church magically strengthens their relationship with God.

The hard truth is that attending church, when it isn’t for a purpose, will likely hurt your relationship with Christ more than it will help. I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but take a moment to digest this thought. It is a standard, a rule, that a person must attend as much as possible. Only in that way can you stay on the straight and narrow.

But, why go to that Wednesday night service when the topic is off-the-cuff and not well researched? It is the equivalent of day care for adults. It is the extension of American schooling. Come in, sit down, shut up and listen for the next hour. You’re not expected to do much except sing a couple of songs, clap your hands, and read along when required. It easy is to see why church leadership can get away with such mediocrity. It is modern schooling for adults.

This kind of church attendance has become legalism. Attending church for attendance sake.

I understand that we typically attend on Sundays to reverence and worship God and we should gather together with other Christians. I’m not necessarily talking about that. I’m speaking of all the extra services, programs, projects and other events that can take up every moment of our time. Time which would be better spent focusing directly on our children, family and friends.

For example, our church has a fireworks stand. Why do need one? Because we purchased too much building. Who is we? The church leadership. Why is this the fault of the laity who had little say? It’s not and you shouldn’t waste your time. (Anyway, it’s important that leadership learn that people will not bailout their poorly thought out decisions.)

It is good to question. I find that regretful fools say otherwise. How does this event benefit you and your family? This is not a selfish question. This is following a direct order from God. You and your family come before the church building, the pastor, and anyone else…or you are no better than a heretic.

Choose the way you spend your time carefully. Just because there is a cross on the door doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to go every chance you get.

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