3 Wrong Ideas About the Church

Living in the heart of the Bible Belt it’s quite easy to become comfortable with certain beliefs and worldviews. For some reason, as we grow older we tend to believe everyone else shares a similar experience in life and has a similar view and outlook. However, that is not always the case.

One thing I’m learning is that not everyone has the same outlook and worldview of the Church. Not everyone spent their childhood attending Sunday School and participating in Christmas dramas.

Some have been burned by the Church. Some have been used and abused by their spiritual leaders and mentors. Due to the pain and heartache caused by the imperfect people who make up the Church, there are many wrong ideas that are developed.

There are several wrong ideas I’ve heard about the Church, but there are three in particular that seem to be the most common.

The Church Just Wants Your Money

One wrong idea I hear consistently about the Church is that the church just wants your money.  It’s understandable why some people believe this.

I’m afraid that many people’s view is based on a TV special they’ve seen with a money hungry evangelist begging for viewers to send him money.

This, however, is not the heart of the Church. While some pastors and ministers do abuse their spiritual authority for personal gain, most spiritual leaders are working long hours serving people in difficult situations while making a very average salary.

The Church doesn’t want to take your money. The Church just wants your heart to be opened to the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Church wants you to realize that it is better to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)

And that it is a blessing to bless others. (Proverbs 11:24-25)

Above anything else, that is the ultimate desire of the Church. The Church wants your heart connected to God’s love and to the truth that you were made to give your life away.

Sure, the Church needs money to operate, but money isn’t the goal of the Church – people are.

The Church Hates Homosexuals

I was driving down the road in my hometown recently and read a church sign that helped me understand why some homosexuals believe that the Church hates them. The church sign I came across basically used scripture to make a shortsighted joke towards homosexuals. It was mean-spirited, hurtful and derogatory.

Despite instances like this and many others; the Church doesn’t hate gay people. The Church loves gay people.

While I believe that the Bible clearly defines homosexuality as sin (Romans 1:24-27), it doesn’t instruct us to brow beat and picket those who are living this lifestyle.

In every instance I’ve read where Jesus addresses sexual sin He does so with grace, mercy, and compassion – not with judgment, pointed finger, or picket sign. (see John 8:1-11)

If you’ve witnessed hatred or intolerance towards homosexuals please realize that this is not the stance of the Church. The stance of the Church is to love like Jesus loves and Jesus loved without reservation or prejudice.

The Church Is For Perfect People

Over the years the subject of morality has been discussed so much and so often in church circles that I’m afraid that we have portrayed an incorrect image of the Church.

In some ways, we have elevated the pursuit of moral goodness, above the pursuit of God’s presence. Due to this, many people who are not part of the Church mistakenly believe that those who are a part of the Church are perfect.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, the Church is a place for the imperfect. It’s a resting place for the heart broken, the hurt and the helpless.

The Church is a gathering of the imperfect to serve and worship the only One who is perfect.

You may not hold any of these views, but I assure you that you will eventually come into contact with someone who does. As a Christian, when faced with someone who is hostile towards the Church due to wrong ideas it is tempting to get into heated debates or arguments, but that isn’t what they need or what will ever change their mind. It is my prayer that as the Church we will erase dividing lines caused by these wrong ideas by relentlessly displaying the love and grace of Christ.

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