There is little doubt that in the public eye, community is very important. An old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” has recently become very popular after Hillary Clinton published a book under that title. A military slogan, “Leave no soldier behind,” has become immensely popular in many fields, for instance in education: “Leave no child behind.” Community should be a place where everyone looks out for each other.
It is puzzling, then, that many Christians seem to think that Christian community is unimportant, and that all we need is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Some will even say that the organized Church is unnecessary, or worse, a hindrance to Christianity. The result is that people consider themselves Christians, yet rarely setting foot in a church, much less join the church.
Now, there are reasons for this negative attitude toward the church. She has never been very pretty. God himself compared the church to a prostitute when he told his prophet Hosea to marry one—because that is what it felt like to God, from time to time. There have been very dark seasons in which the church has conducted herself very badly, so it isn’t surprising that people should become rather negative toward her.
But we still need the church.
The Bible tells how God gathered his people together and developed his salvation before their eyes. In this story, the church did not behave very well, most of the time. So God promised to wash the church clean so that he might present her one day in spotless beauty at a great feast at the end of the ages when the last member of the church has finally been gathered in.
God never gave up on the church no matter how sinfully she acted. We should not either.
Christian youths in our neighbourhoods are invited to attend our annual youth seminar series on “What About Church” here at the Streetlight Centre on April 8, 22, and 29. The church must not be ignored. As a community, she is just too important for Christians.
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- April 8, “Jesus and Me vs the Church and Me” – Pastor Paul Aasman
- April 22, “The Church is a Body” – Denise Ludwig
- April 29, “How the Church Works” – Richard Horlings.