Friday, September 20, 2013

Congregation Conundrum

I wrote everyone a small update yesterday, and included a little sneak-peak about what I was going to post today. The main part I’m referring to was the part where I said, “It’s about finding a church”. Now, what I really meant to say was congregation. All true believers of Jesus Christ are part of His body - the church - and we usually meet in a church building and henceforth become a congregation (Romans 12:5, Colossians 1:24). When we’re looking for a church, really, we’re looking for a congregation to meet with - and what a difficult feat it is.

Let me explain.

We are actively trying to become a member of a congregation, and finding one has been our one of our main priorities for a while. Our Sunday gatherings currently involve my husband and I (as well as another believer), meeting in our home. Unfortunately this brother in Christ can no longer meet with us at this time, so we are on the hunt for a group of true believers to meet with once a week. The purpose of such a meeting is to uplift, encourage, learn of the Word of God, pray, break bread, and worship the Lord. Of course, there are other reasons why Christians meet together besides the fact that it is commanded in Scripture to do so regularly (Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:25).

So far, the hunt has been disappointing and downright saddening. Out of all the congregations in and around the area, there are very few that adhere to the Word of God, as written in the Bible, by itself. Meaning, no manmade doctrines added. It’s astonishing how far some people are off the mark! I said in an earlier post, I think it was yesterday, about liberal Christians creating wiggle room with Scripture. It’s like this, in a nutshell: Satan says, in response to what God has said: “Did God really say?” And we say, “I guess He didn’t!” And go about things our own way, the way we think things should be done, based on our human opinion and our feelings. This really rings true when you read a few different statements of beliefs. That, or when you look at how Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit! (Genesis 3:1).

I do have to say it’s a good thing that the majority of these places have websites that include their statement of beliefs. Otherwise, there would be many Sunday morning trial and error church trips. (Aka, a lot of stress!)

Of course, the one foolproof way to find a congregation is to measure it up with the Bible, preferably the King James Version. If the pastor of your congregation teaches that it’s okay to live in unrepentant sin all week long, as long as you ask for forgiveness on Sundays, it does not measure up to the Word of God (Hebrews 10:26-31***, Luke 13:3, Revelation 3:19, etc., etc., etc.). If your pastor is a woman (1 Timothy 2:12, Titus 2:5) or condones and/or encourages homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9), your congregation ultimately does not measure up to the Word of God. Does your pastor say, “God is love, you do not need to obey these old writings. It’s all cultural,” or something along those lines, RUN AWAY! (John 14:15, John 15:10, 1 John 2:3, etc.) There are a lot of different scenarios I can write down here. Bottom line, plain and simple: measure absolutely everything against the Word of God! Nothing added or subtracted.

That being said, if you cannot find a church that teaches what is written in the Bible (and trust me, this seems to be extremely hard to find!) there is absolutely nothing wrong with meeting in your home, with your husband or wife, children, and/or other believers that are spot-on with what God has commanded. A lot of times, this is what people used to do back in the day, and what people still do today, such as some Mennonite groups and Amish groups, or any other Christian looking to get away from mainstream “popular” Christianity.

I feel that there is more to write about when it comes to the congregation conundrum - perhaps at a later time. Until then, I urge all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to take a look at the congregation they’re in! Are you part of a group or movement that goes against what God has said? Are you being taught false doctrines? My prayers are with you all.

With love in Christ

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