Tuesday, June 26, 2007



I'm assuming you're a Christian. You're impressed - very impressed - with Jesus, but 'church' does not 'turn you on' very much.

I'm currently reading a book by a sociology professor which says that religion/spirituality are on the increase (in Australia and other places), but people linking to formal religious organizations are on the decrease.

In future articles we'll try to figure out why and why... In the meantime see here for a sad/humorous 'take' on this by Rowan Atkinson:

It's interesting that the New Testament gives us very few clues about 'what/why' of church attending. There's only one piece of encouragement to attend church regularly (Hebrews 10:25: 'Don't neglect to meet together, as some are doing'). Just one text refers to Jesus' habit of attending synagogue 'as was his custom' (Luke 4:16). The early Christians after the experience of Pentecost were 'all with one accord in one place' (Acts 2:1).

When you think about it, people who have a lot in common (especially friends or family) want to meet each other - and the closer the bonds of friendship or love, the more frequent those meetings will be. There'll be some rituals which happen every time (like asking how you are, what's happening in your life, how's your health etc.). And some things will be spontaneous - jokes, fun, laughter, sharing stories, problems etc.

God's people through the centuries met together regularly because they wanted to share the stories of their lives, and help one another - and fulfil their mission in the world of helping 'outsiders' too. All this is assumed, so it's not surprising that the Bible contains little information or exhortations to do all this.

Notice we said there are rituals, and spontaneous happenings when friends/family meet. Same with church. Christian rituals include baptism, communion, reciting the Lord's Prayer and maybe a creed etc. But there will also be room for up-to-date stories. Not all ritual; not all stories... but a balance between the two.

Watch this space...

Rowland Croucher

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