Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Even more on "Incarnation Day" (Christmas)

As I read the various views on those churches that are not open on Christmas I am continually amazed at the arguments raised on both sides. All too often on the side of keeping open is a sort of tradition/legalism view. On the other pole is what might be called the pragmatism view.

Now I say legalism not because the people see it this way but the argument seems to head in that direction. Why is the church to be open on Christmas, because it is supposed to be seems to be the answer. On the pragmatism end it appears to be a matter of dollars and cents as it does not seem worth it to them to hold church if not enough people show up, especially if non-believers do not show up.

I have said this before but what is missed is for people to see what the church is for. If one sees it as a place for unbelievers then I guess not being open would seem reasonable to some. But do these people put a ice tag on salvation. What if one person shows up at one of these churches with closed doors. Is their salvation not of infinite worth and thus worth being open? I would think that their people would say this but their actions do not. I do not see the church as a God designed place for non-believers, however. They can come but the goal is edification of the saints and worship of God which a non-believer is not capable of doing (Rom 14:23). This also has infinite worth and thus also would lead to not closing our doors.

This is also a result of the ever increasing goal of many to make church convenient. The problem is the early church was not convenient and no where does it say Christianity is convenient. When we make things easy and take away any cross to carry people will be less likely to take up a cross when it placed before them. How about that, coming to church is now equated to picking up your cross. Is church such a burden that we have to make sure that it is convenient. I have talked to a person who goes to a large (“Mega”) church in my area and was once told that he goes to Friday or Saturday services in case something came up that weekend. That could have covered a large amount of things but how often do those who go to say a Saturday night service do it so that they can sleep in Sunday and still get in their duty. I have often given those that say that it is not stated what day is to be set aside the benefit of the doubt and say no problem which “DAY” do you set aside. The issue is that time with God has become a burden and time with other believers even more so.

Well enough ranting I just think that the church has lost it moorings and is driven by a wrong view of itself that sees evangelism and unbelievers coming in the door as prime. I would love to see unbelievers come in the door of my church but my focus can not be that or that will be all I cater to, when it comes to church. The call is to discipleship not converts so we need to be about making disciples and not just on one night or day a week.

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