Lying in bed on Sunday morning screaming “Oh God” does not constitute going to church
As humourous (or as offensive) as you think this quote (I personally find it hysterical) it does make people stop. Some to laugh, some to express their disgust.
One of the biggest reactions I have had is that our new sign is inappropriate. “It shouldn’t be put up outside a church”. “We want nothing to do with it!” In those statements I hear echoes of comments made nearly two thousand years ago – “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” “For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
I may, grudgingly, admit that our sign may not be the most appropriate to have outside our church, but it is reaching more people than a Bible quote ever would. And it is making people think….
Here is a line from an email I received last night.
I read your funny sign and it made me laugh, but it also made me think about what going to church means to me.
What is the church? If nothing else the sign is making people ask what is the church? And that is not a bad thing. So what is the church?
For some people it is nothing, it is not even a blip on the radar of their lives. It has no more significance than a mosque or a synagogue. The church really doesn’t count.
For most people it is a building. It has walls, a roof (which, if you are lucky, doesn’t leak), it has pews and a pulpit. Church has a physical address, it is a place. “Oh look, that’s the church I used to go to.”
For a few people it is just that….a few people. To those who really get what church is it is not a building, or a place it is a feeling. It is community, it is likemindedness, it is worship, it is service to God. Church doesn’t need to be a place, church doesn’t even need a fixed address, all church needs are people, people gathered together to worship and work for God. It is people, together, calling out to God.
So while lying in bed on the Sabbath screaming out the Almighty’s name may not be ‘going to church’ many who go to religious buildings on a Sunday are not really ‘going to church’ either.
Until we remember that church is about God and people not bricks and mortar we are not really ‘going to church’ either.