A Series on Church Membership
Have you ever heard someone say that they will not join a church because it is full of hypocrites? If someone has not said this directly to you, at the very least, you have heard of the claim through the grapevine. Many think that Christians are fake and shallow. Is this true? Here is my response: Sure, there are many Christians in name only. Just because people claim to be Christians does not mean that they have truly been born again. Furthermore, and maybe more importantly, true Christians do not claim to be perfect. On the contrary, we confess that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. We mess up; we neglect things that we should do; we say things wrong; we are not what we want to be, much less what God wants us to be. This is the core of the Christian Faith. The Gospel teaches that all people are wrongdoers, but God has sent Christ to pay the penalty for our failures. We admit, our lives do not always match our confession, but we are working on it.
Another reason that some folks will not join a church is because they have been treated harshly by some church in the past, or maybe by an individual who represented a church. This is always unfortunate. There are so many people who are power hungry and/or self-righteous. Jesus taught against this kind of behavior. Leaders are not to “lord it over” congregations, and no Christian should demean others for any reason. We should also acknowledge that churches are not all the same. At RHCC, we are serious about the Scriptures, but we are also laid back. We are not perfect, but one of our goals is to create an atmosphere of grace. This means that we want to work with one another, grow together, and forgive one another. We have to be willing to humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness from one another as well as extend forgiveness to others. Reconciliation and unity must be primary concerns for us as a church.
Maybe you are a regular attendee but something is holding you back or maybe you are a member who is not as involved as you should be: Do not be afraid to join the church. Is church-life always easy and perfect? No, but it can be great together!