Thursday, July 3, 2008

Do we overemphasize church?

Years ago when we would do baptisms, people would spend a lot of time in their testimonies talking about how great this church was. While that is way cool, it always made me uncomfortable. Our faith is in Christ, not the church. Christ is our redeemer, not the church. He is risen, we merely point to Him.

It's not that the church is bad, or shouldn't be praised. Indeed Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for Her. But I think sometimes we get too hung up on church attendance and forget that attending church is not what is important, following Jesus is what is important.

As I get older I realize that people experience God in different ways. For some it is being at church, but for others it might be in serving the poor, or gazing upon a mountain vista, or leading a small group, or singing songs together as a family, or any other number of things. Church is important, yes, but do we focus so much on going to church that we create a belief that this is the only way to connect to God?

I'm not advocating that attending church is not important. It has been my experience in life that many of the people who claim that going to church is not important seem to use that as an excuse to not follow God. I believe that time together as a community of believers is extremely valuable to our spiritual walk. But when we become legalistic about it, I think we dilute it's impact and create a culture of obligation rather than worship.

Just something I'm pondering these days.


No comments: