Breaking news: church isn’t about you. Sorry, it just isn’t. But this always comes up. I’ll chat with someone and they’ll say, “I’m done with organized religion”. Church is evil. Or boring. Or corrupt. Or outdated. They’ve been doing church from home for years and they’re doing great. That church over there did them wrong and they’re never going back to any church. They’re doing church their way. They’re better off alone without the church. Just different ways of saying church is ultimately all about you.
As of late, this has only gotten hinkier (yeah that’s a word). I’ve heard people rehash all this but with new accessories like video conferencing. Since they’re able to “do church online”, they’ll never go back to the way it was before. As if to justify the benefits, they’ll happily claim that now they attend more services than ever so they’re just going to keep doing it.
But hold up: what exactly are they doing? I have a feeling that people think because they get their worship-on for thirty minutes and top it off with some Ravi Zacharias (or whoever), they’re doing church. Some think that if they get some bread and juice involved, makes it even better—even if they’re doing this while watching a screen which may-or-may-not be recorded.
I’ve heard of people baptizing their kids in bathtubs with no one but mom dad and little sis around, of people setting up pulpits and preaching to their wife, and of others just hopping from service to service when there’s a lag in the signal.
In all of it, I think that people are just showing a basic misunderstanding of what the church is and why “just doing church at home” isn’t really a thing.
Wait, come back!
I’m not being a graceless legalist. I’m trying to help you grow. You listen, you learn, and hopefully, you change in light of that new information. Or maybe I’ll appeal to your sense of pride: fix my mistakes. I’m not judging you as a person, I’m pointing out that your practice is faulty and if I’m wrong point out how I’m at fault. Listen, if you came into my house and saw me pounding a screw into a wooden beam with a hammer or rolling out some bread with a fork, I’m hoping you’d say something. In that same sort of way, I’m telling you that if you think you’re doing church, you’re using the wrong tools.