"I don't do church." That's a comment that is all too familiar to me. I have met a lot of people who have been hurt or just plain bored with church so they have opted out. They do their own thing at home, or so they say. I realize that sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes the maturity level of some church goers would cause some doubt as to whether they have actually encountered Jesus or not. The formula isn't difficult:
love God with your entire being + love your neighbour as yourself = peace and harmony
There is also the consideration of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that enables us to live like Jesus. There really is no excuse for not living in the Spirit of God. Our Father has fully equipped us to be his children, to walk in his design for us, and to live by his will which is to love each other. Remember that golden rule given to us by Jesus?
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31)
This should be clearly seen in the Church so again there is no excuse for 60 year old immature Christians whose attitude chases people away from the Body. But then again there is also no excuse for such a lack of understanding concerning the Body of Christ in the people who allow themselves to be chased away. If we understood then we would also understand that as a family we need to work these things out together. Running away solves nothing and creates further problems. Here is the cold fact with no sugar coating:
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
If you call yourself Christian and you consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ you must also understand that you are a member of the Body. If you remove yourself from the Body you cannot function as you were chosen to function, you are less than what you were called to be. You will become self-centered and most likely will eventually end up with some twisted belief system that will not match the Kingdom of God.
Those parts of the Body that remove themselves from the Body will eventually whither and die. They will think they are doing well but in order to grow and prosper in the Spirit they need all the other parts of the Body. Those are the facts and there is no way around it because that is how Jesus designed it.
This is such a simple thing and this is how the Body should be summed up:
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:26)
If it doesn't work it's because we are getting in the way. We are too immature to function in the Spirit, to know and live the love of Jesus. We keep allowing our self-focus or egocentric perspective to get in the way and if we do not allow that to die and be replaced by the Spirit of God we have bigger problems then just our struggle with the Church. Honestly, the Church is a dysfunctional family because the members are refusing to grow up and instead use the excuse, "I'm not perfect, just forgiven"; a slogan for people who are too lazy to walk in the righteousness and holiness of God.
There is no greater law than the law of love. The Body cannot function without it. By love we are able to accept, tolerate, encourage and forgive one another. But I am getting ahead of myself. Today it is enough too know that we have no options as the followers of Jesus Christ; we are members of his Body. We need the Church and the Church needs us. Now, let's grow up and allow the Spirit to make this work in us.