Missing the Point

I just can’t get away from the frustration that I feel when I see or hear about churches arguing over a style of music, dress, and focus.  It really makes me feel tired.  I understand that these are serious issues in the church today.  Yet, these seem to side track us too.   

There are groups of younger people feel that they could reach more people for Christ if their churches would change their Sunday morning program to a modern music format.  In contrast, groups of older people believe that the church should not change and that the modern music is not of God.  They reason that the church must not change so that people will recognize that the church is unchanging just like God.  They also reason that their style of music is sacred and should not be tampered with.   

Some groups dress casual and others dress formal for church service.  Some pastors believe that dress can be a barrier for people to attend their church.  Both believe that the way the other side dresses will run people off.  In my opinion, these groups that worry about these issues have spent their entire lives in church.  Both want to leave something of themselves in the church.   

Most of the time these groups grew up in church rebelling against what was established beforehand.  Each generation fights the other.  Each sees where the other generation has faltered in some way.  Each side uses Scripture from the letters that Paul wrote to different churches to justify why they believe what they believe.  What is unique about Paul’s letters is that he stressed the importance of unity and submitting to one another within the Church.  He even, in a few letters, dealt with how each generation was supposed to treat the other.  Are we missing the point? 

I asked the pastor I was saved under if he remembered when I came to the church for the first time.  I reminded him that I did not grow up in church.  My point was that I did not have any traditions that were following me through life to worry about.  I reminded him that when I came to Christ I did not say to him, “Hey, I will accept Jesus as my Savior if you wear a certain type of clothing.” I also did not say to him that I would get out of my Lazy Boy chair and come to church if they would assure me that they would play the right style of music.  He confirmed that these were not issues that I struggled with in the beginning. 

People! Listen to me!  There are not any people who are lost sitting in their homes tonight saying to themselves, “If the church would play my style of music, I would get saved.”  Or, “If the pastors would dress like I think they should would get saved.”  The only thing that  I was interested in was finding salvation.  The only Person I wanted to meet, was not the cool pastor who thinks that the Church is not doing enough to save the starving children, but I wanted to meet Jesus.   

Yes, I do care about the starving children and other injustices.  My point is that we Christians focus on the wrong things too much.  Don’t you think the devil loves our disunity over trivial issues?  My point is that we need to keep the focus on Jesus instead of on the non-essentials. 

When it is all said and done; I think the problem is that we just want to look like what we think a real Christian looks like.  We want to impress people with our huge compassion for the things that matter to the world.  We want to show people how intelligent we are by connecting the Word of God to the issues today.  We want to be the new, and improved, church.  Or, we want to be the church that did not change so that we can look super spiritual.  God’s point is, “When will His people get the point of Scripture and simply be the Church?”  In other words, when will we learn that we can find Jesus when we choose to look? 

I am not hindered by the style of clothing that I, or anyone else, wears.  I am able to enjoy all music that points me to Christ.  Why?  Because I know that I was lost, but now I am found.  I know what fate I avoided because of my desire to let Christ love me and save me which caused me to want to live for Him.  That is the point.

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2 Comments

Filed under Church Health, Holiness, Missional Resources, Unity?, Worship

2 responses to “Missing the Point

  1. Jon

    Interesting entry. While reading your post, I considered whether or not change is a requirement. Does God love change or detest it? If he detests change, why does he allow it? I believe that God expects change and is happy when make positive changes. You mentioned the letters written by Paul to the churches. Did he not want them to change as well? When they strayed from the path, Paul corrected them. Change is inevitable and supported by God. Also, I don’t believe that the clothing, or music makes a difference to one’s commitment to God. Adam and Eve were naked and God made them that way. If he was concerned with a dress code he would have made them complete with clothing. God is concerned with the individual rather than his/her material possessions. People sometimes forget this and opt more for the material possessions. I too am guilty; that large screen TV keeps calling me to the electronics section. Sorry this comment became so long, just meant to drop a brief comment. Keep up the great work!

  2. Scott Uselman

    I’m with you, Jon. I would add that God is also concerned with whether or not we, as individuals, are able to keep a Godly focus as a group too, the Church. I enjoyed reading your comment. I think you are right that God expects positive change. Good thought.

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