I recently heard a sermon, by Francis Chan, and he made the following statements: “When I see what passes as church, and compare that to the Bible’s definition of church, it feels like I have walked into an ice skating rink and see people throwing fish at little hamsters as they run around. When I ask these people what they are doing, they look at me and reply, we are playing soccer. I don’t even know where to begin to explain to them that what they are doing is not soccer.” If you are interested in the sermon, it can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWSmcR4Dxdg&sns=em
This is what keeps me awake at night. The thought that we could spend our entire lives dedicated to and encouraging others in “church”, only to find that what we were doing was not church at all. We could struggle, preserver and feel successful, only to find that we are no different than Saul (prior to his conversion to Paul) and are actually fighting against God. Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of success at something that does not matter.
I want to be clear; I love the church. Christ died for the church and I am desperate to count myself in it’s ranks; however, I owe it to God to be sure that what I am involved in is actually church and not a cleverly crafted substitute that lacks the power to change my world.
I do not propose to have the answers; however, I am asking the tough questions and looking to the pages of the Bible for the answers. I have been amazed to find that there are many, many others who share these concerns and are willing to look at the established, accepted “church” with a fresh perspective.
If we want something more than what we have, we have to be willing to do something that we have never done.