Friday, May 2, 2014


"Most of us would acknowledge that going to church is a positive thing, and yet very few of us can articulate why. We come, in the end, because we think we are supposed to. The problem is that 'supposed to' will only get you so far." (176)
Michael Kelley
Boring: Finding an extraordinary God in an ordinary life

Go to Church

This was another chapter that struck me in this book. (All the chapters are good, just these particular ones struck me uniquely enough to merit their own post.) People are leaving the church (by this I mean in attendance) at an astounding rate. They cite everything from spiritual reasons (I can worship by myself), to political reasons (that party failed me), to personal reasons (that lady is annoying). Toss in there a loss of faith (converted to X religion) and you have the whole picture.

At times, their rationale seems very convincing. What kind of argument do we have to keep professing Christians in the church anyways? How do we argue with someone who has valid, personal reasons for deserting the church and pursuing a personal relationship with God? Michael Kelley has this to say:
"When the Bible describes how we interact with Jesus, we don't find the term 'personal relationship with Christ' anywhere in its pages. Sure, the ideas are there, but the terminology is absent. Terminology like that is neither helpful nor biblical, for it increases our already present tendency to isolate our experiences with God." (177)
Michael Kelley
Boring: Finding an extraordinary God in an ordinary life

It is that simple. Particularly here in America (though I'm not sure Europe is doing all that hot either, maybe one of my readers can enlighten me in the comments section. I know you're out there!) we have a very personal outlook on life. This is my land, my home, my food, my fill-in-this-blank. It stems from the self-reliance and work ethic of puritanism (to simplify the argument for this blog post's sake) and permeates our current culture. But should these personal holdings affect our ability to contribute to society?

A friend of mine used to put it this way, "The problem is not with a personal relationship with Jesus. It's fine to have a personal relationship. But it was never meant to be a private relationship." Hence, the problem is we state that we have a personal relationship with Jesus and confuse it for a private one.

Private relationships require no social interaction...
...or correction...
...or instruction...
...or accountability...
...or contribution...

It is these elements and many more that are found in healthy, thriving churches. But healthy, thriving churches need committed members who are ready to take on the boring tasks of every day commitment—no matter how much we disagree with Brother X, or think Sister Y smells, or how tacky Brother Z's tie is, or whatever spiritual concept you are struggling with. We need each other, and Christ wants us to help each other.

Church is not for the lost. Church is for the redeemed. Doesn't scripture say something about iron sharpening iron?

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