Saturday, September 1, 2012
We Are The Church
I found the above Huffington Post, Mark Sandlin article, "Back To Church Again" really interesting, but I can't say that I agree with the writer at all. I don't believe, if you are a believer, you can ever leave the church because you ARE the church. The church is not brick or mortar or stone, it's the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and if you've received Jesus in your heart, that dwelling place is YOU. No matter where you are, nothing can separate us from Him or His love... we are His home. "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38-39).
Maybe the writer needed to leave his little Presbyterian church in order to grow as an individual, and I can relate to that. I've had to leave a couple of churches in order to grow myself, but I know we're supposed to do that. Romans 1:17 says that would are supposed to go "from faith to faith, for it is written; the just shall live by faith". If we don't leave where we're at, we can never move on to where we're supposed to be... and let's face it, nothing living remains the same.
So my hope for the writer is that he be prayerful about his decision to return to his old church and seriously consider the reasons he left. I'm not saying that he shouldn't return, but I know I never could. The experiences I've had and the closeness of my walk with Christ now is something that's been hard won, at great cost and I value it too much to turn back to a place that wouldn't necessarily be supportive of it. I am grateful for what I've learned in each of the churches I left, but I know that I must "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" and for me, that means moving on. I'm not sure where this will take me, but I know I am ready for the journey.