I don’t have the time to do a full overview of this topic, but I had some good thoughts and wanted to share. As I’ve been growing in my faith and trying to continually understand this whole Christianity thing, the church services I attend (my background is evangelical protestantism) have felt less and less like church to me. It’s started to feel more like going to a concert and then a lecture, an event of propaganda attempting to make you feel one way and believe certain things. Maybe my problem has to do with that the church service seems so disconnected from life. I feel that I have been trying to integrate all of my life together, so that I am undivided or whole in whatever time or place I find myself in.
Saturday I helped some friends of mine move. Luckily for us all, they have lots of friends who showed up to help. It was a long day and a lot of work. Of the group of people there, not everyone knew each other and not everyone got along. Some people like certain people less than others, other people became frustrated with another for various reasons. I’m sure we probably didn’t agree on how everything should be moved, packed, unpacked, etc. But everyone was civil, and we came together and got the job done. Afterwards, those of us who were left kicked back for a while, talked, and had pizza and some drinks. To me, that felt a lot more like church than what I usually do on Sunday.
I was thinking the other day about how we need unity in the church. Currently, the church is quite divided by denomination, race, age, class, sub-culture, etc. I have considered in the past the difficulty in bringing people together in church due to the differences people have in tastes in praise music and theology. But I put this together with some of the other things I’ve been thinking and thought, What if we take the focus off of praise music and preaching? What if those aren’t really supposed to be the center of the church? What if we made the focus of the church Christ, his kingdom, and loving all people as he taught? Might we have a lot easier time having fellowship across all of these cultural barriers? Is this perhaps a key to uniting the church? We don’t all have to have a service together, we don’t all have to think the same, belong to the same denomination, live in the same place, etc. But could we come together as needed? Could we start supporting one another? O.K. I think you get the idea.
I’m not saying we ditch church as we know it. I’m not against planting churches, in fact I think that’s vital. What we need however is not another new church or fellowship, breaking away and touting how we think we’re more on top of the gospel than most everyone else. What we need is for Christians everywhere to start making the primary things important, and to work together to seek each other’s good.