I still love the church……REALLY???

lets go to church

by Kenneth Justice

~Okay, so we all know that Christianity throughout the Western World pretty much sucks.

–) Pastors and Priests look and act more like business CEO’s than people whose lives have been dedicated to serving humanity

–) The church, which in the Medieval Ages was on the frontline of healthcare for the poor and the helpless, now spends more of its time planning irrelevant meetings and taking care of their church building(s) which are colossal wastes of space since they sit empty for the majority of the week.

–) Sex before marriage occurs more often among ‘churched’ teens than among un-churched

–) Hotels sell the most porn videos during youth pastor conferences

–) Greater depths of community appear to exist more often at the local pub or cafe than they do in the confines of church fellowship

We could probably sit here for hours and talk about the problems with ‘church’ in the 21st century….but in despite of all its problems; I still love the church.

Do I sound like the abused spouse who keeps running back for more slaps to the face? Why would I love an institution that appears to be filled with more negatives than positives? Why would I waste my time attending worship at an institution that on the surface appears to be completely irrelevant to society?

I guess in many ways my love for the church is similar to the love we have for our family. Many of us have siblings, parents and relatives who treat us like s**t. They are unkind, unloving, and it’s hard for us to even call them our ‘relative’……but we still love them. Maybe some of us haven’t talked to these relatives in years because they drive us too crazy….maybe we haven’t talked to them in decades……..but we still love them.

Sure, when people treat us like crap it is important that we put up boundaries in order to protect ourselves from their abuse. Yet, even though we’ve put up healthy boundaries it doesn’t mean we stop loving them….it doesn’t mean we forget how good the relationship could be.

You see, that in many ways encapsulates what I think about church; I think about what it ‘could’ be. I think about the potential there is for a loving church, a thriving church, a relevant church; a church that helps the community, helps the poor, protects orphans, cares for widows, and supports single mothers…….

The church in my lifetime has become more obsessed with ‘sermons’ than ‘service’. Even though the bible says that ‘pure and undefiled religion’ is connected to serving others……the Church in my lifetime places serving others on the backburner. Sermons, homilies, preaching, meetings, professionalism…….those are the kinds of things that are more important to churches than serving humanity.

And despite all of its faults….I still love church.

I enjoy attending Mass. I love the liturgy, I love the traditions, and I love the feeling of walking into a silent space reserved for spiritual contemplation. Whether you are Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, etc….you probably can relate to that feeling of being in a holy place; a place reserved for spirituality…..there is something otherworldly about being in a religious service.

I’m not a big fan of churches that put on services that resemble rock concerts, but if that’s what you are into its fine with me, we each have different tastes. I enjoy services that are ancient. I enjoy services that don’t resemble quiche elements of culture. I enjoy serious times of deeper spiritual contemplation. I enjoy taking a break from the hustle and bustle of Western Culture and getting lost in meditation upon things of a higher nature.

We can all meditate in our living rooms……but there is something more special about participating in prayer and meditation in a place we’ve built specifically for spiritual contemplation.

Perhaps the church will never ‘get better’ in my lifetime. There’s only so much I can do about the problems which are running rampant within the church all across Western Culture. There’s only so much I can do to encourage my fellow Christians to stop focusing so much on being the moral police of society and to spend more time living lives of self-sacrifice.

I say what I can and I do what I can….but my fellow Christians have in many ways closed their ears to the Jesus I’ve come to know. Even though my fellow Christians spend countless waking hours memorizing, arguing, and debating the biblical scriptures…..precious few of them have ever encountered the true Jesus Christ whose unconditional love, grace, and mercy flows from every page written about him.

So maybe the church will never ‘get better’ while I’m alive. But it won’t stop me from loving the church…..because I will never stop thinking about what it ‘could be’.

Time for another coffee,

Kenneth



Categories: Religion

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52 replies

  1. So beautifully said! I have nothing more to add…
    Thanks for this post!

  2. I dont know a person or a group whether Feminist, Gay, Religious, Political, Animal Right, Mans Rights whatever rights or whatever group that wouldnt be full of hypocricy, lies, agressivity and hatred.

    • very true. that is something I have to remember when I get frustrated with my fellow Christians and their annoying behaviors.

    • That would be a great idea. I used to be so so angry with church too and then I noticed Jewish and Muslims and later gays and feminists and vegans, liberals an conservatives and I have to say people are nuts in general. They dont study any books, only some mainstream nonsense full of lies and generalisations and then they are unable to connect the dots and see the whole picture. Impossible they d have to study minimally for next 20 years of books reading from ancients philosophers or important scientists and artists that have changed this world. Even those are wrongly understood because some scientist only reads a science and sees the issue from only one dogmatic perspective. He doesnt read a philosophy or a different subject. I am sure some of them do this but most of them dont. When you see what for is science used for these days………absolutely brainsless no wonder it breeds so many sick and confused people. And then some gay groups or feminist groups or other groups are backing their selfish motives by this pseudo science hurting society even more. They truly have no clue what LOVE means even though they think they are fighting for it. They couldnt be far from the truth. And I am not backing here religious people either they think their sins will be forgotten by prayers and they dont wanna study their behavior and understand what is wrong with their heads. They blame others and they expect othesr to change too. Of course not all of them are the same way. God thanks.

  3. A great article. I am following this writer/blogger. He knows what he is writing about! Nice work.

  4. Seems all things are contaminated these days but pockets of faith remain and always will.

  5. Didn’t Jesus denounce the church in his time for many things the church in our time is doing? Too often we fail to learn the lessons taught us by history.

  6. provocative and poignant – a great read

  7. I don’t go to church regularly right now, but there are things I miss about it. Once you get out of the habit of going it can be difficult to start again. But I think some form of worship is important, some way to reconnect with what is sacred. It can happen in nature too…

  8. Great post! Here is something I always read when I think about religion 🙂
    http://dkeenan.com/PageiteWars.htm

  9. Dear Kenneth Justice,
    I have been reading your blog over the last few days. Your writing style is conversational and quite personal. The response you receive from readers is positive and you seem to have the ability to put in words what many people are feeling. This puts you an enviable position as blogger. I have enjoyed reading your posts and I want to encourage you to keep up the good work.

    God bless,

  10. What else is there to say on this one? I think you already said it all lol. Great read.

  11. I think it is OK to love the church, even the imaginary one. 😉 Thank you Kenneth.

  12. Some philosopher says that all the religion were made as a part of individual’s slave

  13. Kenneth, I agree with much, this is why I thank God he has led me to a house church. There is no institution, it is God’s people, His word, and His Spirit. They are out there, don’t settle.
    See part of my story at …
    http://robertjgood.wordpress.com/about

    God bless. Bob
    Thanks for liking my last post

  14. Generally, I like what you have to say on your blog. I did raise an eyebrow at the rather large amount of generalizations at the beginning, though. Nevertheless, you are correct that the church is imperfect. It is run by humans, after all. I think if it were actually perfect then I’d never go…because then I’d have to be perfect as well.

  15. I completely detest any form of religion or lets call it what it is mythology.
    the christian one isn’t even as interesting as the greek/egyptian and myan ones. Lame.

  16. have you read Alain De Bottons’ Religion for Atheists ?

    I keep meaning to grab a copy, but he’s written some interesting pieces on the value of community etc that we don’t really have access too outside of being part of a church. So there’s some positives even for non-believers.

  17. fabulous post! and that’s why they call it faith… belief in something even when it doesn’t appear to be true. i hope church will get better. it sure would be nice. 🙂

  18. I think you have a great point and I often feel the same way about the church as a whole but then I see individuals who shine and do what is right. I think there has always been and always will be hypocrisy and selfishness in the church because people come to church for their own reasons. On the other hand it is no different outside of the church the only difference is that you have higher expectations for those who call themselves Christians and you shouldn’t. There is something beautiful about a church that does live in love for those in their community and I hope and pray for those churches to thrive and others to learn to love and serve more as a result of their example.

  19. Thank you for visiting my blog and also for liking my latest post “Just a little human touch”! I started to read your blog and i’m impressed by your ideas and your writing style! Pretty amazing and i’ll be back to read more.
    Alicia

  20. I completely relate!

  21. You said: “Perhaps the church will never ‘get better’ in my lifetime. There’s only so much I can do to encourage my fellow Christians to stop focusing so much on being the moral police of society and to spend more time living lives of self-sacrifice.”
    I too hope, pray and believe that the American (Canadian) churches will get better in our lifetimes. If more churches would return to the simple teachings of Jesus Christ – love, acceptance, and forgiveness – we would see the church become what Jesus was in this world -a center of love, designed for the healing of broken people, and a force for God (to borrow the words of fellow pastor Jerry Cook).
    Thanks for your thoughts…

  22. Eh, I will ask, what priest looks like a CEO? Even bishops and cardinals do not look like CEOs. They may be rather rich for a Christian, but they don’t look like CEOs.

  23. Church is a kind of coming home, it is nostalgia, it is remembering where we sat as kids to be hushed by our grandparents. It is hard to turn our backs on that.

  24. Reblogged this on Orji Chidi and commented:
    Much a-thought about something beautiful

  25. Great post
    There will always be a few remaining, no matter how much the lot gets ugly.

    Beauty is more of a potential than an actuality. The Church remains beautiful in all her splendour even to this day.

  26. I did enjoy that, Kenneth. I suppose that for me, the issues of a wicked Church are for them and the Lord Jesus to work out. All I can be is a true Disciple of my Lord Jesus and die to my self and allow the Holy Spirit to use me in whatever way the Lord wants. At the end of my life, I, as will everybody else, will have to go before the Judgement Seat of Jesus to be dealt with regarding the good and the bad that I have done. Till then I will love them and seek to witness to them the truth that unless they have the Lord Jesus and His Father making their home in them, then they are lost. Whether Christian or not. No Holy Spirit means no salvation. Only Satan wants to prove otherwise.

  27. Please read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

  28. I could not agree with you more. Genuine Christians do more than adopt the trappings of religion, and go through the motions. They have a relationship with the Lord, and strive to live the very lives of service you describe. Think Mother Teresa as a role model. Christians are far from sinless. Hypocrisy, self-righteousness, bigotry, and greed are among the sins to which they and the rest of mankind are prone. That’s why we needed a Savior in the first place. At the end of time, have no doubt that the Lord will be able to tell the difference.

  29. Good points and a much needed subject of conversation, Kenneth. The “Church” (people, not buildings or institutions) is the problem and the solution. We’re it! We were meant to represent God’s good and perfect will on the earth as His sons and daughters, but it’s mostly become enterprise and empty religious exercise, as you have pointed out. It’s a lot of man making God in his own image. And it’s been that way since the beginning of time. But I think there’s a growing light within the heart of Jesus’ sleepy, insecure, confused and abused bride. I am seeing a new breed rising up full of passion instead of performance, operating out of love and vulnerability that only comes from intimacy instead of fear, distance, and self-righteous judgment. As an “older folk,” I have a lot of hope because of people like you, and for a growing number in your generation who will rise up and be courageous and lead the way for needed reformation. A people who believe like Jesus instead of just believing in Him, and who love like the God of love. Thanks again. Blessings to you.

  30. I do think there is a danger in starting any debate with The Church or Christianity as right but acting wrongly.

    When I read the Holy Bible, I see the Lord Jesus Christ as the start of Salvation. He chose Disciples who made Disciples. What we see as The Church or Christianity started much later.

    Anybody, or, any Religious Organisation counts for nothing if not obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ and thus having Him and His Father make their home with them. The Lord Jesus makes it clear that they, who don’t love and obey Him, are Children of the Devil.

    So yes, they can be saved, but to talk as though they are right, but, in error, is not helpful.

    The Lord Jesus and His Father have made their Home with those Disciples who love and obey the Lord Jesus and thus have the Holy Spirit of God in their lives. And have a proven Testimony.

    We should talk more about the True Disciples not the errant Christians who act against them, and thus, act against the Lord Jesus and His Father by seeking to quench the Holy Spirit of God.

    In the New Testament we see True Disciples filled with the Holy Spirit being sent to checkout any who were claiming to be followers of Jesus. Their task was to see if there was evidence of the Holy Spirit. If there was no evidence, then they were not saved.

    Everything good starts from the Holy Spirit of God. Anything bad starts from the Evil Spirit of the Devil.

    It’s not about restoring The Church or Christianity, it is about making Lost Souls into Loving Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, through His powerful Gospel.

    Lost Souls can do nothing to free themselves from Satan, they have to be born again of the Spirit of God. AND, they will not be able to do that until they kneel before the Lord Jesus and truly repent of their sins and allow Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, to save them.

    Those wicked Christians need to be reconciled with God the Father before we can infer that they are right with the Lord, but just acting wrongly.

    It’s all in the Holy Bible and starts with John 14:23-24. I just wonder why Christians never seem to talk about it. This Jesus and His Father making their home with individuals who love and obey the Lord their Saviour.

  31. A very thoughtful article. I really appreciate your thoughts and I have to agree with you, but there are some churches still thriving, though they be few and far between. Check out JoelOsteen.com (Sundays at 10am and 10pm, not sure what channel) and Charles Prices. Best wishes to you and thanks again for the good thoughts!

  32. As a Christian you have to love the church. May not have to like it but to claim to follow and love the teachings of Jesus but not the church is so disingenuous. I think far to often those who see the flaws and the issues with the way the church of the west has gone leave rather than try to redeem it. This from a man who swore he’d never darken the doors of a church again.

    But if you know the heart of God, and are in a church that isn’t getting it, how can you just leave? So often people have been taught and manipulated by those with power to think that’s what church is suppose to be and there isn’t more to life than this. It’s as good as it gets here on earth.

    Jesus and his church are suppose to be so much more. He’s called us into redeeming everything and in the West, the church is something that needs to be redeemed.

  33. ” ……….and I love the feeling of walking into a silent space reserved for spiritual contemplation.” As I read that line I was taken back to the lunch time visits I enjoyed to St Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue in NYC years ago. I worked one block away. It always brought me calm, and the atmosphere of reverence was overpowering. And I am not even Catholic! So there is something to be said for such a space.

  34. You don’t need priest, bishops, but your own self.

  35. I agree that you must love the church as a Christian, even if you are mightily displeased with the constant diluting of the Gospel. Still, I do not believe that we should leave the church, but as concerned Christians we must both face the apostasy and evaluate what we need to change in our own lives that displeases God. Great post!

  36. This was very interesting to read and so true. What I cling to is the fact that Jesus told the disciples not to pull out the weeds (tare) or they may pull up some wheat while doing so. Matthew 13:24+ We hate to see the evil man prosper but trying to get rid of him/her may hurt others around them. Let’s just keep all God-fearing churches in prayer. Thanks for writing this and being so open and honest. #5Stars!

  37. I love this article. I am happy to say that my church, indeed, focuses on helping the masses and spreading the gospel. It’s the Church of Christ and it’s the closest I’ve ever seen to the church in the bible.
    Keep writing great articles!

  38. What a beautiful post. I stopped by because you came by my blog and liked my post on preconception communication, and I wanted to return the favor, but this post truly caught my attention. While I am Wiccan now, I grew up in the Catholic church. Despite what some may think, and I’m probably going to get a good amount of people trying to convert me back and all that, but I do not have anything against the church. I did when I was younger, but no longer. I think that at it’s core, Christianity is a beautiful religion, and Jesus’ teachings are the epitome of perfection. The core teachings of Wicca remind me so much of Jesus’ teachings. Acceptance, love, faith, moral character, all of these dovetail together so nicely. I don’t think the church is lost. I’ve met many Christians that embody the teachings of Jesus, and they are the reason I say I don’t think the church is lost. To me, and this may be blasphemy to you but you are welcome to your opinion just as I am welcome to mine, the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Wicca as a religion are almost one in the same. I think if more people learned to love, accept, and sacrifice the way Jesus did, this world would be a much more beautiful place. I still don’t believe that Christianity is the only one true way to the divine. I feel that was a scare tactic to convert people to Christianity. But I do feel that acceptance is something that everyone can benefit from. Anyway, this comment is getting long, and I apologize for that. I just wanted to say that I think this post is a beautiful post.

  39. Well put. We must keep following Jesus, being light and salt in the world. Otherwise, the darkness only grows and the lost have no chance. (Thanks for stopping by I Call It My Art).

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