There are several reasons why I go to church. One is to hear the word of God being spoken and to learn more about God.
The other is for the fellowship. I have finally found a church which feels like a warm and welcoming family.
I also have found that it is important to serve if you are in a body of Christ. Because my church currently meets in a warehouse we always have to set up and take down each Sunday. I help set up the coffee table one Sunday a month. It isn’t much but it is what I can do.
I consider it a privilege to tithe 10% of my income when I go to church. I find it amazing that God only asks for that little when I know how much He has done for me.
Since I have started attending Vibrant Church I rarely miss. One of the reasons I don’t miss is because the sermon is the highlight of my week. The other reason is that the church members would notice if I was not in attendance. I would miss seeing them and they would miss seeing me.
The reasons why I go to church are all good.
Recently my mother mentioned to me that my brother had stopped going to church. Since his wife left him, a lot of the church members have succumbed to the poison of gossip. They have been complicit in spreading the lies.
So my brother stopped going to church because he didn’t feel welcomed there.
I haven’t prayed that he would go back. Why should he?
He grew up in that church with those people teaching him in Sunday school and DVBS. He was married in that church. He served that church in various roles. People in that church, more than any other people in the universe, should know the character of my brother.
He is a good man.
They should have never spread the lies without confronting him in meekness as it says in Galations 6:1. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
If they had confronted him then he could have told them the truth about his relationship with this “Other” woman. The fact is that he didn’t commit adultery but they have committed sins by using their words for evil instead of good. Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Nonetheless, I still have tender feelings about my home church. So I considered praying that he would return there.
Then last Sunday the Massacre in Sutherland Springs happened and I realized that some people go to church for the wrong reasons. They go to church to exact vengeance on others.
I became thankful that my brother is not going to church at this time in his life. The people in that town need to seek truth instead of lies. They need to reach out to my brother with compassion and love.
Until they do this I hope he does not cross the threshold of that church. Because if it isn’t a place where he is loved and where he can worship God, it isn’t really a church anyhow.