One of many causes many individuals go away church buildings could also be that too many church buildings place an excessive amount of emphasis on the significance of human guidelines and traditions, and never sufficient emphasis on the important thing requirement of the Christian life: loving God.
The aim of church life is to encourage one another and construct one another up as we study to like God and to introduce others to loving relationship with God. Christians who wish to concentrate on loving God and who wish to be with different Christians who love God are discovering that many church buildings aren’t assembly this central want.
Jesus strongly criticized the non secular leaders of his day for focusing primarily on guidelines and shedding sight of their major function which was to allow and encourage others to like God.
You hypocrites! Isaiah was proper when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain. Their teachings are merely human rules.’ (Matthew 15:7-9)
For greater than 2,000 years, Christians have been including human traditions, doctrines, rituals, and guidelines to Jesus’ teachings. Typically we place extra emphasis on these traditions and guidelines than on the significance of loving God. Now we have develop into burdened and weighed down by traditions and guidelines that don’t have anything to do with loving God, however we discover it tough to even acknowledge these traditions as being burdens. And if we don’t acknowledge them as burdens, we can not change them. This weakens our witness and hinders the approaching of God’s kingdom.
It will get worse. We don’t simply burden ourselves with traditions and guidelines; we burden others with them. Jesus criticized the non secular leaders of his day, saying:
They tie up heavy, cumbersome masses and put them on different individuals’s shoulders, however they themselves aren’t prepared to elevate a finger to maneuver them. (Matthew 23:4)
If we intentionally promote the traditions of our denomination as guidelines required by God, then we make them a burden for others and deserve the condemnation Jesus pronounces. But when we even fail to brazenly establish these traditions as being human, not divine, then we nonetheless make them a burden for others and deserve the identical condemnation.
God doesn’t need us to be burdened with human traditions. Jesus tells us that those that commit themselves to his service will discover relaxation, and he tells us that the load he requires us to hold is mild:
Come to me, all you who’re weary and burdened, and I will provide you with relaxation. Take my yoke upon you and study from me, for I’m mild and humble in coronary heart, and you can see relaxation in your souls. For my yoke is simple and my burden is mild. (Matthew 11:28-30)
And Jesus’ beloved disciple, John, stated:
For that is love for God: to maintain his instructions. And his instructions aren’t burdensome. (1 John 5:3)
We Christians should free ourselves from pointless burdens, together with our human traditions and guidelines, and we should be very, very cautious to not lay these pointless burdens on others.
So why do I say that Christians who’re leaving our church buildings in the present day could also be our greatest hope for tomorrow?
The Christians who’re leaving church buildings may also help us in two methods:
- They’ll develop methods of expressing their love for God which aren’t hindered by the traditions and guidelines present in established denominations. Their witness to non-Christians might be free of those traditions and could also be easier, clearer, and more practical.
- They’ll serve for example and an encouragement to Christians who stay in church buildings to establish the foundations and traditions that hinder God’s work on the planet presently, inspiring Christians to throw them out and to concentrate on loving God.
Subsequently, since we’re surrounded by such an important cloud of witnesses, allow us to throw off every thing that hinders and the sin that so simply entangles. And allow us to run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our religion. (Hebrews 12:1-2)