Why the Church Is Important, Truly!

The institutional church is for every believer.

Friends and family

Here me clearly, I would rather us all be the church!!! but until you understand how to kingdom walk and kingdom living, what better place to learn to be the church, than in church! Hello! Ok, here we go…Don’t let six strong men be the first ones to take you to church…either way…your going, soooo get right now!;)

Right now I need you to do some careful thinking about the role that the institutional church will play in your lives. Many people are a bit leery of getting too involved in the life of a local congregation. Some can tell painful stories of bad experiences with institutionalized Christianity….I feel you on that…But,

It is certainly true that our congregations have, at times compromised the radical requirements of discipleship prescribed by Christ, and you may find yourself put off by the church because of its failure to be faithful to his teachings. But I would urge you to consider this fully, and to think about the words of St. Augustine: “The church is a whore, but she’s my mother.” SHE IS MY MOTHER!!! That statement brilliantly conveys how I feel about the church, especially my church!. It is easy for me, like so many of the young folks I know, to note the ways the church been unfaithful as the bride of Christ. You don’t have to look too hard to see that the Evangelical church in America has a great propensity for reducing Christianity to a validation of our society’s middle-class way of life. Unquestionably, the church too often has socialized our young people into adopting culturally established values of success, rather than calling them into the kind of countercultural nonconformity that Scripture requires of Christ’s followers (Romans 12:1-2). In America, churches have often been bastions of conservatism, providing support for the status quo. For example, many of our leaders were reluctant to lend their support to me during high times of gang violence prevention in DC and disaster relief in Haiti, even when you look at the civil-rights movement when their help was desperately needed. More recently, some of our leaders have allowed male chauvinism to continue unchallenged. Unfortunately, these kinds of lapses have earned Evangelical churches a reputation for being reactionary and even contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. When secularists are asked about churches, they often say that they consider our churches and other Evangelical institutions to be anti-gay and sexist…..another sermon..

Why, then, do I encourage you to participate in organized religion and commit yourself to a specific local congregation? Because, as Augustine made clear, the church is still your mother. It is she who taught you about Jesus! Taught you to recognize the cross as a symbol of right either directly or through mom and daddy, nanna, mom mom, grandma or grampy etc…!! I want you to remember that the Bible teaches that Christ loves the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). That’s a preeminent reason why you dare not decide that you don’t need the church. Christ’s church is called his bride (11 Con 11:2), and his love for her makes him faithful to her even when she is not faithful to him.

Through the ages, God has used the church to keep alive and pass down the story of what Christ has done for us. If it were not for the church, we as a people would certainly not have excelled as we have and we as a nation even more top the point. It is the church’s witness that has kept the world aware that Christ is alive today!!!, offering help and strength to those who trust in him!!!. The story of Christ would have been lost during the Dark Ages if the church had not sustained it and the templars hadn’t protected it physically, spiritually and in monasteries where the Scriptures were laboriously hand-copied while barbarians were tearing down the rest of Western civilization. Church councils have protected Christianity from heresies by examining new theologies. Today, it is against two thousand years of church tradition that our modern-day interpretations of Scripture are tested. In short, it is the church that has preserved the Gospel and delivered it into our hands.

Where would most of us be without the church?????? Most Evangelicals have the church to thank for the Sunday-school classes, girl scout, boy scouts, brownies, drama class, choir, funerals and weddings for ourselves and loved ones etc etc….and just guidance when needed, all that taught us what the Bible says and paved the way for our eventual decisions to commit our lives to Christ. Stop and consider the importance of the church’s worship, fellowship and liturgical functions. Even if we Evangelicals aren’t likely to call them sacraments, as the Roman Catholics do, we still recognize the importance of certain ceremonial rituals. For instance, baptism is an important public declaration of faith that initiates new members into the fellowship our churches!!! hello, Glory!;)!! In baptism, new Christians become part of a body of fellow believers who are called to spiritually encourage one another and hold one another responsible for consistent Christian living. The extent which churches live up to such obligations varies from congregation to congregation.

Friends….to keep it simple….No two congregations are the same….right…can someone help me a little here….you have to find a church home thats right for you. If you are in the Washington DC area, there are many great churches, if your looking for bricks and motor churches…Evangel Assembly (eagcs.org) or online (1defender.com) are great examples..I understand that you have good and bad in all things…But, the church……THE CHURCH!!!! Is the place where it will start….and finish! A place to learn and to know and to get closer to the Lord, A place of choice…when you go and how often you go is up to you, but go….Some say all they want is your money….LOL thats what i used to believe as well until I realized..that when we choose to get involved in any kind of group, be it the PTA, Boy Scouts, fraternities, car clubs, bowling leagues etc. or whatever, it will cost you in time and money. It is true that, if you don’t get involved in anything, you will have maximum control of your time and money. However, you will miss friendships, blessings and opportunities to be a good influence in the lives of others. Each of us decides where to spend our time and money. Each of us will either invest it in some purpose or waste it on the pleasures of the moment. Jesus said that there is an eternal investment that will not fade, rust or decay when we do good works that show our love for God and others (Matthew 6:19-20). So, to conclude..going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, but going to church is a great start in becoming one and strengthening your kingdom walk!

***The objective in going to church is to seek to build our relationship with God and others. Many people go to church to fulfill an obligation through some ritual and so are reduced to actions without meaning. Church worship is all about an encounter with God and others that changes who we are. Not going to church on a Sunday morning because you deserve a sleep-in does not explain why you miss church on Saturday or Sunday night. The problem is much deeper than the time of the day – it is a matter of selfishness.

Ponder this! You do not control your life. You cannot guarantee that you will be alive the next week, day, hour or moment. Human life is a gift from God and He controls the measure of it (Psalm 139:16). Our intelligence, talents and appearance are largely determined by genetics (which is to say by God who made us individually unique). Therefore, who we are, when and where we are born, how long we live, etc., are all gifts from God. Is it unreasonable for God to ask for a portion of it to acknowledge Him and His sovereignty, in fellowship with others who believe the same as you do..?

And again, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, but going to church is a great start in becoming one and strengthening your kingdom walk! Be satisfied, Be uplifted and be empowered to find peace, fellowship and love in the lord. Sure, you could…find this at home…but, why do it alone! I would rather be in a church of believers which are sinners…than be in the streets with sinners who don’t believe….

God Bless you all, may the lord hold and keep you in strength and in health!!!

Rev. Poe! Hit it and Hit it Hard!

About Defender of the Faith

A Direct Action Motivational and Missions Based Ministry serving God's people where so ever dispersed!! Rev. Gerald F. Poe Jr.

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