I Don’t Understand the ChurchPosted: July 16, 2013
A couple of days ago, I visited the Oasis church in Los Angeles. It was a nice experience. And by nice I mean harmless. I sat in the very back row so that I can observe things better. I don’t remember the last time I was in a church for an actual church service. Maybe a year ago or so. By the way, what’s the service? Is the church serving the community? Is the community serving the church? Is the church serving God? I don’t understand why they call it a service rather than a gathering of believers. Because that’s all it is.
Every time I go to church, I try to view the service through the eyes of an atheist or an agnostic. I’ve tried the Christian perspective, but it’s boring. I always think, “If God is so great, why aren’t his followers like him?” The service at the Oasis church wasn’t impressive. I felt sad instead of empowered when I left. It was superficial and shallow. Literally whenever the pastor said “Jesus!” or “Praise the Lord!” or “Free coffee in the back!”, everyone would rejoice and shout “Amen!” I mean, the pastor wouldn’t even say anything of significance and the audience would go mental.
Churches try to make newcomers feel like they’re part of the family. They try to eliminate that awkward beginning stage of feeling like you have to go through an initiation program in order to be part of the church’s “cool group.” I appreciate that effort. But I don’t understand. I don’t understand why they gather in a building in order to listen to a pastor for two hours and then act like anyone else the next day. Aren’t they a family outside the church building as well?
Christians are supposed to be exceptional. They’re supposed to model something incredible to the world. Show everyone how much more superior the Kingdom is to the secular world in all areas of life. If the church is responsible for an economic, medical, educational, technological, or social revolution of a nation, they’re doing something right. Christians shouldn’t be going to church. Anyone can go to church. But not anyone can be the church.