And I am not talking about the Hokey Pokey my friends (though that is quite a worthy subject). I was inspired about some of the things my new friends were saying on the previous post about grace, and really wanted to touch on, well, a very touchy subject.
How many of you have been hurt by The Church? (I use its proper noun form when I mean the people who make up what we call The Church, not the building itself of course. Unless a church fell on you, or you tripped over an old rug and bumped your head and got a concussion...ok I digress...) Anyway, I'm being serious here. Who is mad at The Church?
Ok I'll start. I am.
Can I vent for a second? I hate it when churches invest millions of dollars in fancy chairs and a fancy stage and other things that don't seem too important WHEN THERE ARE STARVING PEOPLE OUTSIDE THEIR DOOR. Now I do understand wanting the House of God to be warm and welcoming, and even beautiful (I mean, ancient Jewish temples were immaculate, but in a good way usually. They lived in reverence to God and wanted His House to be the most beautiful place they entered...but of course there is a fine line between revering God and merely trying to please Him [remember grace?] but that's a whole different story.)
So that's part I do hate. The selfish, striving, "I'm right and you're wrong" kind of attitude.
But that isn't why I go to church every Sunday.
Yesterday I went to this great little church in East Harlem. The worship team might not have made it too far on American Idol, but they loved the Lord, and they sang to Him. Everyone was dancing and shouting and praying out loud. And smiling.
I looked over to my right and saw a woman leaning against the wall. She was obviously not feeling too good, and kept rubbing her neck - it looked like she had some back pain. I saw a woman in the row in front of me get up and go over to her and start rubbing her shoulders and talking to her. She kept rubbing her shoulders for a while. That other woman started smiling.
That's what it's all about my friends.
Like I've said many times before, people screw up. And unfortunately, people have given The Church, and Christ himself, a bad name. But you don't go to church because of those people. You go to church to worship the one who made you, and to love those whom He made.
I encourage you to find a place where these people are - people who love the Lord and people you can relate to. People you can find fellowship and friendship with. I promise they are out there. And it has made all the difference in the world to me.