“not neglecting to meet together, as it is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another, and all the more
as you see the Day drawing near.”
I’m going to be writing about a topic that I have been thinking about a lot. I have been, indirectly, but it’s time to start being more direct about it. I’m finding that I am not alone. Hopefully, it will provide for good conversation.
Here’s the deal. I have recently stopped going to the church that I have been attending since I moved to this community in 2014. Why? Plenty of reasons. I’ll be honest, there were things that I didn’t like, enough to make me decide to make a change. But the surprising thing is that there are reasons that are keeping me from going to a different church.
First, let me address the issue of loyalty to a home church. Is a person obligated to remain forever to a local congregation? Of course, we all know of people who left a church because they couldn’t or wouldn’t work on interpersonal relationships. They have a disagreement and refuse to reconcile. That’s a problem.
What if it is the congregation and/or its leadership that is having the problem? What if that problem is exposed, but the church refuses to recognize it or change? Then, it seems to me that the individual has the obligation to move on rather than be complicit in the sin of the church. There really is no excuse for a true believer to remain in a church that affirms same-sex marriage.
What if there is nothing wrong with either? Does that mean someone must stay in a church and cannot leave? One can say that the local church needs stability, and I would agree. However, I find it really troubling to think that I cannot associate with different folks within the overall body of Christ just because my local church will miss my tithe.
A decision to move is very difficult. In fact, it can be heart-wrenching. Even so, I believe that a local congregation is not the church. The entire body is.
My intention is not to bad-mouth my church. It’s simply time for a change. In writings to come, I’m going to explore what I see as difficulties with church, in general, rather than my old church, specifically. Like I said, I’m not so sure the usual alternatives available to me will be what I’m looking for.
Father, guide me in this. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers