A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Facebook where a young lady was communicating some thoughts that I felt deserved a response in case we may have people reading this article who feel the same way. This article won’t reproduce everything she wrote, but will concentrate on her more significant comments.
She wrote, “Lately, I’ve been doing some thinking. We worry about the 2-5 hours a week that we spend together in church services more than what we do the rest of the week. Think about it, we divide over what some believe are authority issues that have to do with those services and we argue on Facebook about those issues seven days a week. Why is that? Why is it we worry about whether someone is really loving God based on if they eat in a building, use an instrument in services, or give to institutions?”
We “worry” so much about these issues because they mark a departure from the New Testament pattern. Surely this young lady knows John 14:15: “If you love Me, keep My commandments”. God doesn’t give me or anyone else the liberty to choose which commands I think are important. I’m commanded to keep all of them, even the ones I don’t understand or possibly don’t agree with at the moment. We are to work out our salvation “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) by being careful to observe all that God says (cp. Hebrews 8:5).
She continued, “What do you think Jesus would say if He walked into the church services today the way He walked into the synagogues and temples of His time? I think He would be asking us if it was lawful to heal a man during church services because we would be offended saying there was no authority for it or that it somehow went against all things being done decently and in order”.
Since Jesus is the source of all authority (Matthew 28:18), and the definer of everything being done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40), He wouldn’t be intent on disrupting proper exaltation to God. The reason He healed on the Sabbath was to show that the Pharisees had altered the Sabbath. The principles this lady mentioned are actually a part of New Testament worship!
She also asked, “Do you think Jesus would be happy that you go around Facebook arguing about instruments in services? Or would He be more concerned that people within our own churches don’t feel loved, are stressed to the max about bills they can’t pay, and that the poor widows and orphans weren’t invited to your lunch after church (Luke 14:12-14)”?
I can emphatically state that Jesus wouldn’t be “happy” with religious error; He hates it. He wants His people to stand for truth. But the situation she mentioned is not an either/or proposition. I’ve known many strong, good-hearted brethren who could stand up for Jesus and for those who are hurting. If this hasn’t been her experience, I’m truly sorry for that.
She finally said, “I left the church of Christ denomination for a relationship with Christ”. In the comments below the original post she proclaimed herself as “free in Christ”. It may very well be that this young woman and her husband found a church that wasn’t following the Scriptures. Or it could be that they weren’t following the Scriptures themselves. But Christ’s church isn’t a denomination, and when His people congregate together and properly discern the truth of the Bible, it will create a real relationship with Christ.