Posts Tagged With: scripture

The Real Church

The real church is not found within a building, or even the people who gather within a building. The real church, if we’re really looking, is found on the streets, in the world, and wherever love is being shared with compassion for one another.

“Church” is simply a word. And we can interpret a meaning of that word in ways which get to the heart of what it should mean. For many, including myself, the initial images which come to mind when hearing the word “church” is of pastors, Christians, and everything I was taught through my religious upbringing to believe that church indeed was. It was the place I would go to on Sunday’s and Wednesday evening to see friends, play games, play music, speak or listen to a message, go to eat afterward, and then go home – that was church.

We could say that “church” itself was simply the gathering with friends, who shared the same belief I had been trained to uphold. But this, I believe lacks in truth of what church actually is. I believe that church should not be as separate from the world. What I mean is, Christians have interpreted a scripture stating “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17) to mean that we should be separate, in all aspects. Relationships have divided over beliefs, both within the church and with the world. The people whom people within the church spend their time are most often those who attend the same group. Yet Jesus himself did not conduct relationships in this way. Certainly, he spent a large portion of his time with his disciples and followers, but he also spent his time dining with those considered to be “sinners”, drunkards, and the like. I do not believe he spent his time with them with an agenda to convert them to his religion, but he simply loved them for who they were. Because with that genuine humanity, filled with simple love, dwells the power and grace for people to actually change.

The real church is seen when people share friendship with compassion for one another. When a person who may be judged negatively by society, is treated with tremendous value and honor. The real church does not look to grow their numbers, attract new visitors, or create a better Sunday performance, it possesses no performance at all. There is no show, no marketing, no media, and no strategy. It is simple love being shared between human beings. That is the church I wish to see come alive and thrive in our world. The church of compassion.

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Categories: Religion & Philosophy, Writings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you think you have nothing to give, think again.

“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

Written by Paul in 2 Cornithians 8:1-15 (from the New International Version)

Categories: Money & Resources, Writings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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