"Makeup Blog"
10/27/2008 | Author: RCW
Okay, so I feel somewhat bad for "blogging" a cartoon. Perhaps it can be turned into a spiritual thought though...

If you clicked on the link to go to the cartoon of "How to Make Church Brilliant," I am sure that you found it quite hilarious (as did I).

I figured that if we were to turn it to a more serious note, I might simply ask the question: What sort of church do you attend?

The question assumes that you are in one (since this website's very purpose is to help Christians grow in their faith, that seems fair I trust). Nearly every Christian attends a church (for those that don't or do not sense the need, we'd need a whole different entry to address the very real dangers that come with such an opinion or practice), BUT what sort of church do you attend? There are certainly tons of denominations to choose from in the Protestant spectrum. I am not so much asking about the denominational affiliation (though that is a big decision and an important one). The question really is just encouraging you to think about a few things:

What is the environment like at your church? Is it super serious or super casual? Is it vibrant or dead? Is it full of people walking with God whom you know and love? Or is it full of hypocrites and backstabbers who are divisive and selfish? Is your church active or passive? Is your church relevant? Is your church modern or traditional? These can seem trivial or superficial, but can really mark a church as a place where you feel comfortable to worship and live out your faith. A spiritually healthy church with be a spiritually healthy environment. An spiritually unhealthy church will be of course a spiritually unhealthy environment. If you were to make some simple observations about your own church, would it seem spiritually healthy or spiritually unhealthy? (By this time, you should be realizing that the "church" has more to do with the people than the building, institution, or events.)

An even more important question for a Christian to ask his or her self goes beyond the environment and cuts to the actual purpose of the church. The major question to ask yourself is if the church is being faithful to the Bible. Is the pastor preaching God's word? Is he drawing meaning out of the Scriptures and showing both what it meant and what it means for us today? Or are the messages simply using the Bible as a tool for preaching an agenda? Interesting discussions abound about what is the best approach to "doing church" these days, but the Bible never says you have to have the latest technology or best music...in my estimation, it simply mandates that the church be devoted to making disciples and to the faithful teaching of the Scriptures. Some people might add some requirements, but I think these are the some of the simplest Biblically-mandated conditions.

Finally, one last thing to ask is: "Do you sense the Holy Spirit at your church?" And by that I do NOT mean, "Does it make your hair stand on end?" I am not for a minute getting into a charismatic or pentecostal endorsement (I really am quite the opposite theologically... In fact, those types of churches that repeatedly have to tell you and proclaim to you that the Holy Spirit is there and that the Holy Spirit is doing this or doing that, saying this or saying that, etc. make themselves immediately suspect in my own mind.) What I really mean by the question is, "Do you see God at work in your church? Does your church push you and encourage you, stir you and compel you, teach you and move you, direct you and correct you, to be more and more like Jesus Christ?" If so, wonderful! If not, you'd better visit a new one!

One Small Disclaimer:
These are just a few questions. There are many many factors that go into choosing a church. These are just some very simplified suggestions. These days, people treat churches like a consumer product...like a shop in the mall that is there to offer a service to the customer. If at any point the service is lacking or product less than pleasing, then it is time to head to the church down the street that "costs less" or "offers a fancier, shinier product". This is far from the type of fickle behavior I am endorsing. Ceaseless "church-hopping" is for the spiritually immature.

Below is a picture of a former church of ours that is still very dear to my wife and me. Taken 1-1-08.


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