This concept of groups of people gathering in the name of worshiping Christ on a regular basis has been weighing on my mind lately, so I’ll take that as divine guidance toward sharing my thoughts on the topic – for whatever they’re worth.
I spent a lot of time as a child in churches and gathering places filled with people. Multiple times a week. Multiple hours a sitting. My parents were strong proponents of their children spending time in church. Sometimes on Sunday, sometimes on Saturday, but gathering in His name was always a priority. I’m not putting that down. It gave me a solid base of Christian knowledge from which to move forward into adulthood.
The people in church pretty much look just like anyone else. They do; however, in my experience, largely tend to focus on the ‘letter’ of the law and completely miss out on the ‘spirit’ of the law when reading their Bibles. Does sitting in church every Sunday really mean someone is on the path to heavenly salvation? Does NOT sitting in church on Sunday really mean someone is on the path to hell? How is it that it’s possible for a person to sit through all of those hours in church and not make a single long-lasting connection with a live person? It has been my own personal experience that, even in a ‘church,’ most people will truly connect only with those that are like themselves. If you’re a little different, awkward perhaps, not so attractive perhaps, not wearing the latest fashion perhaps, you will be ignored, avoided, or shunned, even in a ‘church.’ Even in this place where folks are expected to be god-like. Interesting.
We are on this earth to help each other through our struggles. I, together with many people who do not sit in church regularly, collaborate in many ways in the interest of helping our earthly brothers and sisters in any number of godly ways. We provide regular support to many worthy charities such as Meals on Wheels in our local communities, local children’s homes, large organized research organizations to cure disease, people in other countries that are without food or medical resources. My husband and I are huge supporters of local public education programs. The list goes on. We meet regularly as events are organized in support of any of these charities and more. Some of our support is monetary and other times we provide actual physical help through serving in soup kitchens, volunteering to represent children from drug-violated homes, and more.
Are these organized ‘gatherings’ of people not meeting the ‘spirit’ of what God intended when he asked his people to gather in his name on a regular basis as well as giving a ten percent tithe to the ‘church’? Do we really think it is more important to sit in a ‘church’ with people who, again in my experience only, tend to think they’re better than those in the community needing help, than it is to get out there and actually do what we can to help those needy people? And it’s more important to give these ‘church’ people ten percent of our money instead of giving it to those that really need it?
I’m not getting it, but perhaps someday I will be enlightened. As of today, I believe my salvation is entirely dependent on whether or not I am willing to follow where my God leads me. In my adult life, I have not been led into a typical ‘church’ environment on any regular basis.