Jared Witt l February 24, 2019
Life is the point of Christianity. Not the other way around.
Sometimes people within the faith talk as if Christianity is the point of life.
“Get thee to Christianity,” they say. For them, Church attendance is the goal of life rather than life’s launching point. They have faith in Christianity rather than because of it. Sunday is the week’s end—its goal or purpose—rather than its beginning. Their faith beckons them away from life rather than deeper into it. They cut out those parts of life which diminish religion rather than those parts of religion which diminish life.
This is exactly wrong. Not a little wrong. Not a slight departure from the main point. This is exactly 180 degrees turned around and heading in the wrong direction away from the point. It doesn’t surprise me that this kind of Christianity is in decline.
Life is the point.
When Jesus preached, he wasn’t talking about church. He was talking about life.
Over the years, as a pastor, I’ve heard an unsettling number of neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances tell me that they left the church for a very disturbing and understandable reason—disturbing because it’s understandable from what I’ve seen, as I’ve surveyed the churches they’re talking about. They say their number one reason was that their churches taught them, “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch” and all the other don’ts that Paul already told us we shouldn’t have to worry about in his letter to the Colossians. Their churches taught that life is base, untrustworthy, grimy, sinful, and sin-inducing, and your best bet is to escape it by hopping into a religious safety boat.
This is a denial of Christ, the incarnation, the redemption, the resurrection, and just, frankly, the whole thing. Christ didn’t come to build one cramped little escape pod from life. He came to save it.
So the best way to be a Christian is to go live.
Handle. Taste. Touch. See that the Lord is good.
If the churches spent less time worrying about dwindling church attendance and more time encouraging people to do the truly Christian thing, that is to go away from the church and live more, I think they might be surprised by how many people suddenly take more interest in church.
Cheers and Peace,
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