We hope this site has gotten you at least thinking about your relationship with God. Are you finding help to grow spiritually and faith to know Jesus Christ? Perhaps you have even been thinking about going to church again. Has it been a while since you have been in church? Maybe you are one of the ones who wonder why people even go to church these days. Then again, you may not be out of church because you are skeptical about church--you just don't seem to have the time.
Why Not Go Back? How long has it been?
Think back. When was the last time you were in a church? Has it been more than six months? A year? Even more? Why did you go? Was it for a wedding or a funeral? If you have not been to church in a while, you may be surprised at all the changes. Perhaps the reason you have been away isn't even relevant anymore. Either because you have grown, or churches have made changes for the better. Is it really all that scary or bad? First, you may have to overcome the things that have been holding you back. Going back to the day you "left" the church--what was the issue that made you "leave"? If you want, God can help you heal that hurt. He can walk with you through the problem no matter what it is. If it was something you did--God can help you. He says, "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as crimson, they shall be as white as wool" (Isaiah 1:18)
Did someone hurt you?
Maybe someone hurt you, you are not to blame at all. You may have to forgive someone. This may be hard to take--but that's what Christ is all about. The whole story of Christ--the center of what he came to do, was forgive. You know, it isn't easy but it is what Jesus would have you do. Considering what is a stake, can forgiving really be all that scary or hard? Why should you let someone else keep you from enjoying what is rightfully yours?
Are church members really hypocrites?
This is a classic argument people make for not going to church. Rather than make a debate about it here. Let's just say it--there are some real phonies in church! There are people who think they are better than others are, etc. But there are phonies everywhere--at work, on the street where you live, in politics, and so on. You can spot them a mile a way! But fakes are no more populous in church--it just seems so much worse because church is supposed to be something else, right?
Can you imagine a church that said "We don't allow phonies and hypocrites to attend"? Imagine what kind of inspections they would have to do? It's comical to think about really! Would you want to be a part of such a church? Would you really pass muster, anyway? Let's be honest, we've all played the fake once or twice in life. Most times, if we will admit it, we aren't really talking about any one particular person when we say there are hypocrites in the church--we just use that as an excuse to tell others why we don't go. We feel we need an explanation of some kind. And the whole hypocrite reason leaves us looking good. As if we have never acted inconsistent with the things we say we believe and think.
You don't need an excuse here. You are alone reading this on the internet--be honest. You can overcome this one! Jesus was the biggest advocate of being true to God and real. Jesus said, "…true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks." (John 4:23)
Can you really worship God all alone?
Some people feel they have a special deal with God. One that means they are the kind of person who doesn't need to get together with other Christians and go to church. If you feel this way, you may be thinking, "Hey, I can worship God better on own my own." Think about this one, Jesus said, "…true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks." (John 4:23) Are you being honest about this? Is this the right spirit? What if God really wants you to experience something else? The image of the church is of a living body where members grow together. How can you do it alone?
Why can't I just watch religious TV?
You can watch Christian TV and learn a lot of things. You can also see some pretty strange things too! If you are living on a steady diet off Christian TV shows, you are still missing out on something. People, real live living people who will get to know you, hang around with you, eat with you, laugh with you, and so much more. Back up and take a look at this again--can TV really deliver what you need to grow as a believer?
Eventually, you will reach a point where you get tired of just watching things happen--and you want to get involved. Going to church will help you because you will interact with other Christians who are going through the same things you are. You could have an actual conversation about your life in Christ with another person! Contact with believers who are like you, and contact with others who are more mature in the faith, can help you become more discerning about matters of Christian faith. That will help you cut through the clutter of the sometimes flaky teaching now available on TV.
There's too much politics in church?
Some people ruin church for others because of their quest for control--you expect it in the work place and the marketplace--but at church? It seems so much worse when this happens in church. This is not a new problem. Even in the days of the New Testament, the apostles had to deal with people who sought power and control. Even Jesus had it happen in his own group of disciples. Sometime, read the story of how the disciples James and John had their mother make a play for them to sit on Jesus' right and left hand in his Kingdom. Politics will continue to be a part of anything that involves people. But Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36)
I am not so bad. I am not a skeptic, nor Anti-Christian.
Statistics show that the typical person who doesn't go to church in the United States considers himself /herself a born again believer. Does that describe you? Nobody has to convince you that Jesus is God, or the Bible is God's word. But still you are not part of the life of a local church? You may be surprised to know that you are not all alone in your lack of church attendance. There are people you know right now who are believers in Jesus--but you would never know it because of their lifestyle. Would people be surprised at you if you told them you were a Christian? You are just not all that hot on being out there as a Christian, right. Okay, but reflect on the words of Jesus when he said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!" (Revelation 4:15)
If you are thinking of getting back to church--let us help you!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about area churchs. Or log onto www.BGCO.org for more information about Oklahoma Baptist Churches.
Mon, February 22, 2010
by Chris Forbes