So many people that I haven’t even met, know, have known, or got to meet over time have had (and still do) so many problems with these concepts that I am about to write about and that you may be about to read. Some others may have graciously had a wonderful experience so far and have just seen some problems play out for others. Maybe, for some, it’s just been the flat out thought of it all; being around a bunch of people singing, raising their hands, and reading weird words. That can freak someone out if they don’t understand and they didn’t grow up like that. Maybe, it’s the word “church” that is just overwhelming for someone. More people than you know who have probably “went to church” a while ago but haven’t been in a while or have only gone one time and decided to not go back have most likely had an experience that hurt them or maybe even tore them apart in someway and partially or completely closed them off to the idea of going and being there again. Maybe, it’s the lack of meaning within the experience; some people walk in for their first time or with the intent of giving God a second chance, right? Do believers act intentionally about that? Do we act like someone could be ready to start a relationship with Jesus at any given time and are we ready to tell them how to start that and what to do after they start? Are we doing more than starting?
But, honestly, regardless of where you stand in all of that, no one can really deny that there aren’t problems within any kind of “church” (once again) = group of believers. We have a very serious problem in particular though, in today’s church here in America, in that people’s teaching and traditions have overcome and seem to go beyond the Word of God (which is really what we need) and God’s character and will for his people.
On the side of tradition though, I believe, is this idea that the church is a building and/or an organization or corporation that people make/made, and that when we enter some building, built by human hands, that we are somehow entering God’s perfect presence, and that we are to think of that building as holy ground and as “God’s house.” Tradition also says that we must meet in a building with a certain corporation, usually on Sunday mornings, or else we are considered as “unchurched” or sometimes even “lost”. So, what’s the problem with that though? We can forget that God doesn’t leave us. We can forget that we can worship anywhere at ANY time. We can rely too much on leaders and other people within our church group. Do we forget how to make it personal? Do we start to think certain things about God that we shouldn’t and aren’t even in His word?
I do not personally disagree with the idea of a church. But, I do disagree with some of what church groups can do and choose not to do. I think we all can to a certain extent, especially being a part of one for a while. That does NOT at all mean that you shouldn’t try to go to a place and be a part of a church or get involved with other believers. BUT something that you need to keep in mind is what’s important and what the Bible says and if you aren’t sure about what’s important or what the Bible says, there are ways to figure out what is and what the Bible actually says. If you’re a believer and you know Jesus; have experienced His love for you and you want to live for Him, what are you doing about it?! Are you growing with other people who want that same thing and actually getting into God’s word or are you just sitting in that spot on your couch day after day just reading? Faith should call us to action, regardless of the people around you.
Being by yourself for a while isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes, we just need a recharge from being around people who may be draining or we were just around people for too long and just can’t function properly. There were times when Jesus was actually here on the earth that he spent time alone with God. We should do that too. But we cannot and should not completely isolate ourselves from others when we know very well that we shouldn’t. By being a believer and desiring to follow Jesus, we’re not meant to live life alone; even if you’re not a believer, you’re still not created to live life alone. God created RELATIONSHIP for this very reason. Trust me, I’ve done it too. I’ve gone off on my own because I didn’t feel like I mattered. I’ve stayed home from being around other believers just because I didn’t feel like I could contribute or acted like it didn’t matter if I were there. I’ve wanted to isolate myself because I didn’t want to expose myself and where I was at the time. Multiple times. It gets you nowhere; it got me nowhere.
But, I do also understand that it hurts to feel lonely in a group of people. Sometimes, it can hurt worse than just actually being by yourself. But as a believer, God is very capable of bringing who you need into your life to show you that you’re not alone. Even not as a believer, God can still bring someone into your life to show you that you’re not alone. With GOD we’re never alone and constantly he’s proving to us, his existance. You are perfectly and wonderfully made regardless of who you know and who you think you are. That sunshine you maybe got to feel today, that person you got to hug today, that text that made you feel good, that lesson that you’re learning and is going to ultimately make you a better person, those rain drops that touched your skin and made you want to run inside for comfort or maybe made you want to dance and jump for absolute joy, those pretty flowers you saw the other day, your neighbor who seems kind of grumpy but you saw smile this week, the goal that you just set for yourself and you’re making some kind of progress with it. Slow progress is still progress. You are so loved throughout all your life and through the little things. No matter where you are in your walk with Jesus or maybe you feel like you’re nowhere, please know that he isn’t always what people make him out to be and he isn’t always what you’ve made him out to be. In John 14:6, he said that he’s “the way, the truth, and the life.” So, since JESUS said that, I believe that it’s true. He is the way, meaning that there ISN’T just any person or anything that can get you to heaven. No church or being a part of any church gets you to heaven, though some people with a church/group of believers can help show you what life with Jesus is like and because of that, sometimes, it shows people how to get to the point of desiring God for themselves. God will do the growth and He is the one who saves. He desires relationship, once again. Not just for you to go to a building. Jesus is the only God who ever died for you out of love on a cross and wants to spend forever with you after you’re done here on earth. So, no matter where you are, God can meet you there. I pray that he does.