Church Carpet and the Streets of Gold
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Recently I was on a discussion board, and we were chatting back and forth about churches in general. It seemed the consensus among most of the folks was that churches are beginning to fall away from our original calling--to glorify God with our lives and lead others to know the Savior, Jesus Christ. The discussion got very personal for some who have been disillusioned with their local body of believers and the silly things we find to argue about.
As a pastor's wife, I've been witness to the many ways we find to argue and the things we find to argue about. For instance, we had a family leave the church because we decided to paint the wall behind the choir loft from brown to white. We've had church folk leave because the vote went against them as to the color the new carpet would be in the sanctuary. We even had a fella leave the church--I am not lying here--because we moved classrooms around in our educational building! All the while, our unchurched neighbors failed to hear the gospel of Christ being told by us. My comment to the group was this--"What difference does it make what color our santuary carpet is? Someday we will walk on streets of pure gold. But if we don't get busy and start acting like true believers, our neighbors won't."
Not all things about church is bad. Some of the best times of worship for me have come while involved in corporate worship in our sanctuary. I get an opportunity every single week to be involved in the lives of a number of teenagers and hopefully to effect eternal changes in them. Some very fine people attend the local body of Christ (we are the Church; the building is where the Church meets). They are self-sacrificing, hard working, honest people. And I love them.
In every family there are problems--people who refuse to deny themselves for the good of the whole body; "eggshell" people who get upset if you look at them wrong/don't look at them at all/and on it goes. Those folks won't be pleased EVER, until they get their lives in line with what Jesus expects of us--stepping out of ourselves and forgetting what we want so that the good of the body can be accomplished. But that's no reason to stay away.
God made us to need each other. I find the best place for me to find like-minded believers is in my local church. The benefits of being involved in each other's lives so that we can lift each other up far outweigh any negatives that might occur. I'll take the church, faults and all.
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Amen and amen, here! These are things I've been thinking on recently, and are part of the reason I've returned to church. I can only hope to have your wisdom when I get to your age :)