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Monday, January 13, 2014

A blunt, open letter to the New England Church

Dear church,


      I decided to take the liberty to just be totally open and honest with how I feel we are being as a whole. I love the way that the Apostle Paul took seriously the importance of exhorting each other daily just in case any of us become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13) 
I believe we are all called to do this, and think that we are becoming hardened by the deceitfulness of sin at an alarming rate. 

To be clear exactly who this letter is intended for, let me clarify.
I am speaking to people who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior. (becoming the body of Christ)
I am speaking to people who live in New England.

If you are living in New England, you are literally at the bottom of the barrel as far as statistics go for church attendance.

There are several issues I have with the way New Englanders are acting when it comes to church.

The first thing that stands out to me is that you are choosing every other activity (kids sports games, work, homework, wedding expos, road races, beach days in the summer, ski days in the winter, family gatherings, parties, and the list goes on) and putting those as a higher priority than church.
If nothing happens to fall on a Sunday? perfect. You can go to church.
Otherwise? Church is out of luck.
Church is literally what you will do if there is nothing. else. going. on.

Another problem I see is that:
You are looking for a church service that will be an "experience".
This one drives me crazy.

You can not have a lull of any more than 47 seconds during a service, otherwise, you are looking for another place to go. You need to have music that will make you feel pumped up, classes that will keep your attention, (which is hard for people like me, because I totally have ADD) buildings that suit your liking, and prizes and apps for your every desire.
(are you seeing a common thread here?)

Thirdly, you are looking for a church that will make you feel a little bit convicted, but certainly not too convicted.
You still need to be able to have your hard core parties on Friday nights and not feel like you are being judged for it. Because we all know the Bible says Do Not Judge. I mean, who knows what the ever-loving context of that one is, but let's just use it how we want it.

See..here's the thing my New England peeps (and quite possibly many of my surrounding states as well)

You are confused by the purpose of the local church.

You have forgotten that along with your fire insurance, comes a responsibility.
Your biggest responsibility? IS TO GROW!
And I feel like you are choosing not to grow.
If my bro the Apostle Paul was speaking right now, he would say...
Some of you don't have the knowledge of God! And don't even think I am saying this as if I think it gives you an excuse because it doesn't.
I am speaking this to your shame! (I Corinthians 15:34)
So basically?

Shame on you!

Shame on you for not knowing the Scriptures.
Shame on you for becoming so lazy that you know the words to your favorite movie better than you know God's Word.
Shame on you that you decide to leave a church high and dry of your responsibilities because you are in the mood for something different.
Shame on you for thinking that you are doing God a favor by going to church.
Shame on you for being the cause of so much confusion by people who are searching for hope and peace that you claim to have, because you want to fit in with them.
Shame on you for confusing your children by showing them by your actions that you don't have any responsibility to the God-given authority that comes when you are under a pastor.
Shame on you for complaining about people who are your brothers and sisters in Christ and stabbing them in the back over and over.

Just stop it already.
I get it. We live in a cold and unfriendly place.
But that does not for one second get you out of your responsibilities as a believer.
If you are claiming His name, you better be working your butt of to make sure you're not shaming His name.
I am so tired of the church competitions. Of the cynicism. Of the excuses.
Stop making excuses.
So maybe someone hurt you in a church once. Move on.
-no offense. People in the church have hurt me. badly.
It doesn't give an excuse to stop going to church.
Have you ever been burned in the work place? Did you stop working all together?
No.
What you have forgotten is that you are the church.

Be the difference.

You be the one that treats others the way God tells you to.
And please stop making "spiritual" excuses as well.
I know, I know, if we are the church, we can be the church on the streets, in our homes, blah blah blah.
Don't choose to do this to get out of having a spiritual authority!
We all need it.

So my New England friends.
I am one of you.
I can have issues just as much as anyone.
But let me just tell you: the pastor is never gonna be good enough, the people are not all gonna be the type you want to hang out with, and you are never gonna love every single thing about every single ministry.

But please.
Please.
Can you just pick a church.
Start going to it.
And then just stay there?
Start using your gifts to serve?
Stop complaining about all the things you don't like that you aren't willing to be a solution to.
Stop making other people have to answer so many people's questions when they ask why you left the church...
it gets hard to stay godly with the answers.

Don't you get it?
You are being hardened.
Hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
You are being deceived into thinking that the reason you left was warranted.
Maybe it was? But most likely it wasn't.

And in all of your moving around.
All of your complaining.
All of your passiveness.
All of your selfishness.
The enemy has won, and you are not reaching lost people with the Hope of the Gospel.
You are confusing them.
You are turning them away from the Gospel itself.
The Gospel that preaches LOVE. Unconditional love.

So stop.
Stop all that, and start all this.

Start being positive.
Start being passionate.
Start being selfless.
Start serving.
Start being diligent.
Start being committed.
Start being godly.

And for those of you who are still holding on to Jesus through the hurt, through the difficulties of life, through the humanness of people...thank you.
Thank you for being willing to take a stand for your faith, and for giving Jesus a good name.
For giving the church (which Jesus established!) a good name.

Keep standing strong.
Don't quit.
Don't give in.

We have a job to do here in these New England states.
We gotta stick together and show people that with the power of Christ in us, we can do anything.


Fervently Serving,

Rachelle









4 comments:

  1. Woo! I'm nowhere near New England and I literally said "ouch!" to some of those. GOOD STUFF, Rachelle. Thankful you chose to write and publish this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was amazing!!!!

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  3. Rachelle, I live in New England and I did not take offense to what you wrote. I have been seeing this myself. God's Word has been falling on deaf ears. Thank you for boldly speaking the truth and not mincing words. It saddens me to see how many Christians settle for the fire escape when God has so much more for them.

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