Take Me to Church

Who is this God I serve?  Oh the debates, the complications, and the theories.  Is he a God that changes?  How can he be the God of the New Testament and the God of the Old?  A God of Works, of Silence, of Wrath, of live and let live?

What is this label?  Christian.  Those that judge, hate, and do what they condemn?  Who are these christians?  Those that have it figured out?  They know the right from wrong, live in nice houses, don’t curse and don’t hang around those that do?

Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak built a wooden “drop box” on the outer wall of his home.  The box was designed to be a surrender location for unwanted babies.  Babies with deformities, babies with special needs, babies that would have otherwise been abandoned to die alone find themselves in the arms of a loving father and mother.  This is my Jesus, come broken hearted, come with your addictions and your demons, come with your deformed soul and find yourself in the arms of a loving Father.

But how can this loving father also be the God of Justice?  Let me put it this way, how can he not?  Would he be a God of love if he did not protect his children?  When my daughter was two years old, she was taking a nap in her crib.  I was rushing about the house getting things accomplished in my precious minutes of alone time.  I was startled by the sound of someone in my daughter’s room.  Undoubtedly, I heard the sound of her closet door close.  With a vengeance and determination, I rushed into her room ready to defeat, protect, and destroy with my own two hands.  When I discovered that my baby had crawled out of her bed for the first time, I melted back into her loving mother.

So, why all the hateful Christians?  Because they are really messed up.  So, why all the judgement?  Because the grace of God is not understood.  Why all the self righteous, white on the outside and dirty as hell on the inside?  Because Pharisees are Satan’s great tool.  Remember, they crucified Jesus.

So, I reword and repeat a question.  What is the difference between a christian and a nonchristian?  What is the difference between a believer and a nonbeliever?  I am a christian.  I am a believer.  It means one thing.  I am so screwed up that I know that I need Jesus.  And that is the answer, a believer recognizes their nasty, dirty shortcomings and falls at the feet of Jesus.  The christian is the tax collector refusing to lift his face to heaven and crying out to God to save him.  The world sees the righteous man standing thanking God that he is not like this other man, but Jesus tells us that it is the sinner crying out to Jesus that will be saved.

Lead me to these people, I want to worship with them.  I want to sing praises with those that know we have been saved from death and suffering.  I want to join with survivors of cancer, survivors of addiction, survivors of sin and praise the God that healed us.  I want to hunger for righteousness with those that long for it as I do.  Lead me to the place where people know they are hopelessly screwed up and in need of a savior.  It does not have to be a building.  In fact, I suggest to you that most of the buildings labeled as churches are filled with those that think they have it all together.  Jesus roamed without a home, he gathered under trees, on boats, and on mountain tops, not in a building.

Believers gather.  Our deliver is coming in the clouds.  Knock down the doors that stop us.  Armies gather and take up your weapon.  This world is not our home, do not find comfort here.  Our sins do not stop us, they are a voice from which we have been saved.  Build your drop boxes, label it for those in need.  Grab a hand and lead someone hurting on the way.  Sing a new song.  Stand firm.

Take me to church.  Take me to the feet of Jesus.  Meet me there.

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19 thoughts on “Take Me to Church

  1. Wonderfully put! I totally agree.
    It reminds me of a time I was working with some teens and young adults (the kind everyone thinks are a bit crazy or avoids) but those guys really loved Jesus! They sure didn’t look like Christians, I was always trying to keep them on the straight and narrow (they strayed a lot) but they’d perform their own skits on the streets, win Goths, druggies even Satanists to the Lord, weeping with them as they gave their lives to Christ. Some folks criticized them (and me for working with them) but I would tell them, “the regular troops with their dress uniforms and shiny buttons are all well and good. These are God’s commandos, guerrilla fighters and my heart is with them.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is awesome! You get at the very thing the modern church has trouble with. There is so much freedom and humility in being broken before God and the world. When we have no merit in ourselves, we have no right to boast, and so much more room to love! And the world needs to see that from us. Thank you for preaching it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so completely true! I remember saying to a coworker several years back “I don’t go to church because I think I’m so much better than anyone. I go because only God can help me!” Even when things are “going well” in our lives, we still need Him desperately. Perhaps more so because we tend to live more independently of Him when we aren’t in trouble. Good blog, Caroline. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What you call judgment and hate, I call discipline Without discipline, people are like misbehaving children.

    My favorite example is when Jesus stopped that adulterous woman from being stoned to death. If I remember, this encounter ended with him commanding her to “Go and sin no more”.

    If Jesus was as nice as some “Christians” wish, I guess he would have instead said “Go and have more sex, and go take some drugs while you’re at it. Maybe even commit armed robbery if you’re in the mood. God will love you either way.”

    But instead Jesus judged both the men and the women in this encounter, didn’t he? He made peace by delivering a fair criticism to both of them. He condemned both violence and sexual immorality in one fell swoop.

    A world without consequences is what Satan wants you to believe. That is the great deception of evil, but consequences eventually catch up to you. A judgment is merely a warning. You can learn the easy way or the hard way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ofcourse I believe in consequences, but I do not believe that sin changes or decides the love of God for his children. I love my daughter whether she is good or not. It does not mean that there are not consequences for her actions.

      Sorry, I think you are arguing a point that I did not make. I am not sure what you disagree with.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The questions: “What is the difference between a christian and a nonchristian? What is the difference between a believer and a nonbeliever?”

    Jesus, the bold carpenter from Nazareth was born of a virgin (neither a logical nor rational belief, but helpful to make sure your intellect doesn’t overtax your faith), faced and called down the “religious leaders” of his day (Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.), challenged the “political authorities” (Caesar and his minions, especially Herod), suffered the “consequences” of that necessary action (public execution), rested in a tomb for a little while (John 16:16), and rose from that condition (death) and just kept on doing what He does (teaching, healing, saving, delivering, justifying, glorifying…) from wherever He is.

    “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” [Hebrews 13:8]

    He ascended to a “place” we know little or nothing about and promised to return to our world in His Father’s own appointed time. ” In the mean time, we are to obey his single commandment to Love one another as he loved us. (John 13:34; 15:12; …)

    ” … However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” [Luke 18:8]

    The difference: ANYONE (John 3:16 – “whosoever”) who *believes* in Him Lives IN Him. (I John 5:20). That’s the distinction. He’s not going to let go of you and once the simple truth is part of your life, you wont let go of Him. It’s a Christian thing. Not a “Church” or “religious” thing. It’s very personal.

    Oh… and here’s a real church:

    “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ghandi liked the christian ideas of redemption and to spread undiscriminating love among each other. What he did not like was how the christian community treated him when he went to church with them. If we understand what the true body of Christ is and to be part of him that we forgive and understand we are sinners so we can redeem ourselves when we realize it. In this manner we can continue to improve ourselves progressively.

    Though this is true, there are those who may be behind from the benefits of the church. People gimped and impaired from seeing the light of Christ but still want to. People outside the church who long to praise Christ and learn of him and this is where the conflict starts. The question is who do we turn away at all? Are we the bunch who turn away the shades of grey? disfigurement, disabled, colors and age? if we do not why do people encourage that we turn away the tints in color? the mentally disabled, physically disabled and deformed? Why do we turn away the hues? Gays, bisexual and transexual? If we want to spread the love and word of Christ.

    Why do we act like we’re separating from society when we are trying to integrate into it? Truthfully we are doing both. Separating and Integrating at the same time. Separating from nonbelievers that repel anything that has to do with religion and integrating into the system that is our society. Christ is a message of understanding, compassion and love. When God’s message is more unity, comprehension and spirit which is something less understood but along the same lines. God goes to the heart of things but Christ is the heart. Christ is the way.

    There needs to be big changes in the church structure and views in order for the traditional idea of church to evolve in order to integrate into new society and secular laws of man.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been meaning to express what being Christian means to me, in light of all the hate some Christians with loud voices are spewing, inevitably, I feel, making us look evil. You expressed exactly what I feel. Thank you. I work alongside so many Christians who work silently, loving everyone around them, and trying to bring God’s love into this world. It’s time the world knew we were here. We may not be as loud, but we sure are numerous.

    Liked by 1 person

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