Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why Even Bother Going To Church?

Over at Parchment and Pen Michael Patton asks some interesting questions (not his own) with respect to actually going to church. I'd be interested in hearing your opinions on this issue as we have brought similar questions about church up in the past. I know at times I've struggled with "churches" and have asked some of these same questions.

Here is an excerpt:
Why go to church? Church stinks. People are either rude, looking down their self-righteous nose at you, or they are nice and in a hurry. I hardly ever have a significant conversation at the church service, it is just “Hi,” or “Good to see you,” or “How’s the family?” or something churchy and pithy like that.

Teaching? Yes, the sermon is great. But can’t I just listen to someone on the radio or download the podcast? Really. What is the difference?

1 comment:

Mastering Divinity said...

I read the post over on Parchment and Pen, and some of the comments, but, honestly, I have other things, such as, post this response:

As long as we retain this consumerist ideology of church we will be disappointed with church and how it is run. The church is not a building, just as Mr. Patton says, but neither is it believing friends spending time together, calling it "fellowship" and listening to a sermon online. If we merely go to church every Sunday, take what we can get, have an attitude that I am there to "get fed", speak to only our friends, and refuse to engage with anyone beyond those we are already comfortable with, we have missed the point of the church. Is the sermon the most important thing? We have made it so in our services and thereby contributed to the consumerism of American Christianity. The Body of Christ does not extend only so far as my friends, nor does it stop at the doors of my church, but spreads around the world to everyone to whom the Spirit has come. Church is an extension of our Christianity, not the sum of it, not the essence of it, but an extension of it; we will only gain as much from church as we put into it, for we are called to be served but to serve. By refusing to take part in the body of Christ at a broader level, we deprive not only ourselves of the fellowship, to our detriment, but we also harm the body itself, for what we supply is lacking (see Ephesians 4:16).

I could say more, but I'll refrain.