Ask Walt …

Dear Friends,

Today is the day I talk about church. Isn’t it funny that by saying this I’ve probably already lost half of my readers? For those of you still with me, thanks.

It’s curious that, even on a Christian campus, church seems to be a taboo topic for many. It’s as if some great chasm has formed – not between believers and non-believers, but between goers and non-goers.

So why don’t some of us go? Why do we attend Bedside Assembly of God with Pastor Pillow or the First Church of Denny’s week after week? There are a lot of excuses really.

  • I don’t have time.
  • I don’t have a car.
  • I’m tired.
  • I don’t have anyone to go with.

And my personal favorite:

  • If I’m only here for four years, what’s the point?

I confess, this has been the easiest excuse to use and I’ve used it. Often. But that’s all that these are. Excuses. Because, honestly, there is no legitimate reason not to spend 90 minutes once a week sitting in a pew listening to someone preach a sermon.

Last Sunday, I went to a service in which the minister invited his wife to the podium so that she might relate some wisdom on evangelism to the congregation. She spent 10 minutes talking about how much she loves sports equipment.

I sat there listening to this woman wondering why she was even given the honor of speaking to the assembly, thinking that this was such a waste of my time. I mean, why was I even here except for some hope of being seen as a good person?

But then I got to thinking. The church, like humanity, isn’t perfect. It’s got quirks and issues and things to work through, just like the rest of us. And it is ignorant to think that the church somehow transcends the faults of its parishioners.

But we wouldn’t ignore and avoid a person just because they were less than perfect, would we? Nor should we avoid the church. The church is, after all, called the body of Christ.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You despise even the idea of the organized church. You think it’s full of phonies or you think “religion” has no place in your life.

But it isn’t just about religion. There’s something vital about being a part of a congregation. Even if you don’t like the worship, even if you don’t like the liturgy, even if you don’t like the old guy who sits in front of you and cracks his knuckles, you should still go. Because it isn’t about any of that.

It’s about being a part, a real  part, of something bigger than yourself.  A part of a communal body worshiping the same God. There’s something powerful in that. And it would be stupid not to take advantage of it.

So maybe next week you give your Bible a workout. Take it with you. Go to church. What do you have to lose?

        – Walt

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