"I'm Not A Church Girl"

December 08, 2017

You wouldn’t believe the reaction you get when you’re a Christian and you tell another Christian that you don’t attend church on a regular basis.  Seriously, it’s like a kid telling another kid that they don’t go to school.  They give you this really strange look, like “are you sure you’re even a Christian”?  Yes I’m a Christian, no I’m not a perfect Christian, yes I pray everyday, yes I read the Bible as often as I can, but no, I don’t go to church.

I have a bad history with churches, okay?

Actually, I have a bad history with the people in those churches.  But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today, so we’ll save those stories for another time.

I heard a sermon a few months back when I was visiting a church one Sunday that really got to me.  It was about the barriers that keep people from coming to church and being Christians, and one of the things the pastor talked about was a survey that a Christian author had done, and here are some of the things those people said in the survey about Christians:

Christians are:

  • Hypocritical
  • Uncaring
  • Anti Homosexual
  • Too political
  • Judgmental

First I have to take a second to laugh at the “too political” part, because I think everyone already knows that Christians can be a little bit too political, if there is such a thing these days because isn't everyone too political?

The whole time I was listening to this sermon, I was thinking about how everything the pastor said were things that I have been trying to prove my whole life.

Let me pause and just make it clear that I do not hate other Christians.  1 John 4:11 says, “dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."  I do, however, believe that Christians should always set a good examples, in a way like how older siblings should be a good examples to their younger siblings.

I see so many good examples of Christians, yet so many ones that do not present the character of what God expects of a Christian.  According to the Bible, Christians should be:

  • Accepting of others- “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7
  • Forgiving- “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
  • Nonjudgmental- “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
  • Selfless- "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." Philippians 2:3
  • Encouraging- "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just in fact as you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:1

So, with all that being said, let me get back to what this post is actually about.  Do you have to go to church to be a Christian?  Or rather, is it a requirement?

There are two answers to this question.  By society’s standards, yes.  But does the Bible say it is required?  Well it’s not in the 10 Commandments, which are the guidelines to every Christian’s life.  But the Bible does encourage going to church in several passages, such as Ephesians 4:16 which says, “for whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

The key point in that passage is the body, the church is supposed to build itself in love.  The problem with churches these days is that there are some that do not build themselves up in love, because in order for the church body to work properly, every person must be building up other members of the body.  Other members of the body means, of course, Christians.  If we do not build each other up in love, the church cannot function.

I’ve seen it happen.

Finding a church is often like finding a house, it can be a very discouraging and difficult process to find “the perfect church”.  I know for me it has been very frustrating and difficult when people ask me why I don’t go to church, or tell me why I should.  Again, by society’s standards it is apparently a requirement that if you are a Christian, you must attend church regularly.

But for now, I can respond to anyone that asks me about church with: “I just haven’t found the right one”, and you can too if you are currently facing this situation.  But never give up hope, because the perfect church is out there, you just haven’t found it yet.

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