Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Here's What I Don't Know

Here are a few things I don't know: I don't know why so few Christians read/study the Bible or other Christian books. We love our Bibles and love to lug them around but we don't seem to spend much time reading them.

Related I don't know: I guess it follows that Sunday School is a hard sell in most churches. Lots of churches have already dropped it. I don't know why that is. It may be related to the above I don't know. It's just not a high priority. Maybe it takes too much time (45 minutes?) or maybe people have been too bored by Sunday School in the past ( I have been at times). But, if the subject is the Bible or theology or church history.... how bad can it be? Also related is this: I don't know why it is so hard to get people (Christians!) to teach or spend time with kids in Junior Church or the nursery. As a pastor I know I have said all I can creatively say (nagged...?) to build an interest in teaching and it falls on deaf ears... he/she that has ears to hear, let him/her hear.... If these are truly God's children and if we are called to teach all Jesus has told us (MT 28), then where have all the teachers/children's workers gone?

We have entered an era of church history where most people just want to be ministered to. It has been pointed out numerous times that Americans are commitment shy and that has carried over into the church, as well. We have bought into the entertainment model and we expect to be entertained in church as well.... and to be served. We surely can complain when our needs are not met.

The small church of about 100 people is the ideal size for a church. It may not be large enough to provide all the amenities some people expect from a church. But where does it say churches are supposed come with coffee shops, gyms and all manner of sports teams, bookstores and cafeterias. All these can be found in our local communities. And better we are out there in the midst of the community than in our Christian ghettos. If, as I take it, the purpose of the church is worship, fellowship (koinonia), teaching and outreach (service, mission), 100 people is plenty. You can get to know people and there are lots of opportunities to practice Christian compassion which we are called to do. This is the pattern we find in the book of Acts but we seem to have forgotten it today. Might have something to do with the I don't know section above.

I don't know why Christians continue to beat each other up the way they do. The ELCA this past week endorsed the ordination of practicing homosexuals. I am aware of lots of Lutheran bashing from other Christian pulpits. Better to withhold judgment or if we do - begin in our own houses. The book of James, chapter 2, teaches Christians that practicing favoritism of any sort in the church is a sin as serious as adultery, or murder or practicing homosexuality. We Christians seem get all hepped up about our favorite sins while we overlook the logs in our own churches..... Jesus said something about that, too. Seems like we have plenty on our plates so we don't have to look (and judge) the sins in other households of faith. Also, if the body of Christ is one, why so much one-upmanship? So much competition in the body of Christ, among bodies of Christ. It almost looks like we enjoy it when one household of faith is struggling so ours looks better. "My church is better than your church..." Better we should be praying for the flock, ours and others. We certainly need it! We would all do well to spend some more time with the book of James. Again, maybe this is related to the first concern listed above.

No comments:

Post a Comment