I recently read a post on Facebook about church and being a Christian. I can’t quote it directly, but it stated something like this, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. If that were the case it would be like saying a car is only a car if it is in a parking lot”. Let’s reflect on this a bit together.
What is at the core of being a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, an atheist, or whatever else one may consider oneself? It is that we believe in someone or something, or we believe in nothing invisible. Belief based on faith, reason, or both faith and reason are foundational to being who we are as believers or ‘non-believers’.
So, we believe in something and then it takes effect in our lives. For the Christian we believe that Jesus Christ revealed the trinity. This belief is that God is a communion of love. We believe God is one God in three divine persons who shares in an undivided and perfect unity. We believe that God in His nature is relational.
In this belief we recognize that we are called to be like the divine. We are called to live in a communion of love that brings unity. We need each other, and in being united we are more fully sharing in the nature of God. Isolation is not being like God, rather communion is the Christian belief of God.
Ok Father, what are you getting at here? Well, I worry that we think that Church (the Community of Believers) isn’t important anymore. As Johnny Cash put it, it’s “My own personal Jesus”. I feel that this is a false sense of who Jesus is and what He called the first Christians and us to live in as His body.
Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them”. He called the apostles and disciples to share together in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the Word. He is OUR savior, not only MY savior. Jesus is very personal, but He is most personal in the communion of love.
Here’s the thing. Guys in particular tell me all the time. “Father, I pray at home, in the deer stand, or in the fish house. I don’t need to come to Church. God is with me out there.” I agree God is there. But, God calls us to share together in life with him.
I think of it this way. I am not going to be alone with Jesus in heaven. It’s not just me and Jesus. It is me and all the saints and angels and Jesus! This isn’t all about me and only me. Though, I have something to offer the church which is the people of God and so do you and others.
I think we may use plenty of excuses for not joining the body of Christ on Sundays. Maybe we should quit using excuses and just go do what we ought to do in worshiping together. Don’t be lazy, don’t be selfish, don’t be isolated. Jesus wasn’t any of those things.
To be fully Christian is to share in the communion of the church. It has a big part of being Christian. We aren’t cars, we are humans in need of God and others. So, let’s not act like cars; let’s act like human persons created in God’s image and likeness.