The Shepherd's Heart/Churches help create problems that drive Christians away
I have noticed that, though there are many denominations, sects and religions in this world, there are basically two kinds of Christians: Churchgoing Christians and non-church-going Christians. And I think I know why.
We don't talk about it much, but the church has a few problems. Problems with the way we treat each other; problems with the way we treat the servants of God; problems with egos in the pulpit; problems with pastors who try to drive their congregations rather than leading them. Yeah … we have problems.
There is a rather large number of Christians who looked into the Word of God and found that the dysfunctional behaviors they grew up with in the church are nowhere to be found in the historical New Testament church -- the Church of Acts. Yes, they had a few problems with lying and confusion about Spiritual giftings, and they lost their way a couple of times. But nowhere in the Scriptures do we find the kinds of problems we have within the church here in the United States.
That's why we find so many who call themselves Christians but would rather not be burdened with church membership. That's why we see so many so-called house-churches, especially in the west and northwest. That's why so many people open their homes for Bible studies and fellowships and worship and leave the churches to their own devices.
We have denominations that are splintered and almost in ruins. Instead of the "church of a city" like we see in the New Testament, we have a bunch of churches in each locale that point fingers at one another and say that their church is the only one teaching the truth.
Committees, meetings, rosters, and ecclesiastical organizations and relationships do not a church make. The church is the people who call themselves believers in Christ. The church is open to all who would call on the name of the Lord and those who would seek sanctuary within that fellowship. If we would learn how to gather together in worship and how to lift one another up in love and encouragement, we wouldn't have to ask why some people prefer to stay away from the buildings we call churches. The church is, simply put, the people of God.
"We're the people of God, called by His name, called from the dark and delivered from shame … One holy race, saints every one, because of the blood of Christ Jesus, the Son."
Let's just let the church be the church.