Since my time in recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse, I have heard many in meetings say, "church isn't the place to recover, that will get you back where you were." It is not a vendetta against the church, it is having watched people go to church for their cure, and wind up back on the bar stool. People in church do not have an idea how to help, AA, NA, do know what must be done. Celebrate Recovery was a breath of fresh air to those wanting Christ-centered recovery, there is more to this story for a later time.
What is God like?
In recovery meetings, the attendees often gain a different view of God. Not the evil ogre they always thought, or aloof and unhearing, they discover a God of love, mercy, and kindness. I do not try to correct the misguided any longer unless opportunity arises. I understand they are beaten enough by self-inflicting and guilt. I do hear their stories of church abuse, or from misguided teachings, and thus understand their disdain for the local church.
Outside of recovery, the church has witnessed a dramatic loss of members from the upper-middle to the lower-income classes, nearly cut in half since the 1980's. From sexual abuse to cult-type leadership desiring control, to ingraining separation of church and state in peoples minds and removal of prayer from schools and government buildings, many of these people have developed bitter contempt for anything related to church. Relativism, pleasure seeking, science without conscience, greed for more, and sloth can all be attributors to lack of church attendance for many, I'm sure there is more.
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near." Heb.10:25 NLT
People that take their children to church are to be commended. We should know that the child is learning the truth and sound doctrine. The problem may be that the parents do not know anything close to sound doctrine, and for years have taken the teaching they receive at church as truth. We all really need to considered what we believe, why we believe it, and why it is important. If the church is teaching error, and you know doctrine based on scripture, a flag goes up anytime a message is delivered that does not agree with the Word. And when the child comes out of Sunday School or youth groups, the parent should ask them, "What was your lesson about today?"
Does the church hurt families?
Consider this; if you attend one service per week, the church gets an hour of teaching time to it's members. That's 52 hours in a year out of 8,760 hours. The school system gets 1170 hours to teach kids the three r's, and indoctrinate them in their views that disregard religious belief. I have no idea how much time the children watch TV, play video games, participate in sports and other activities. How could the church on such a schedule hurt your children, your family?
I am convinced that church does not hurt families, especially those living in a Christ-centered home. FAMILIES HURT FAMILIES where religion is concerned. Teaching the young traditional religious beliefs that have been handed down for generations, based on family lore regarding what you have to do in order to make heaven, without biblical basis, is destructive. Placing activities ahead of God throughout a child's entire growing years, is harmful. It is as though we teach them that sports and fun is all that matters, God will always be around when needed. Never having one on one's with your little ones to show through scripture the awesome nature of God, His many characteristics and attributes, is allowing others to teach them He is nothing more than a myth.
There is so much to say due to the lack of interest in our society, and how we no longer seem to hunger for goodness, and view church as a stop in and visit poor old God, putting on the façade of good living for the neighbors and minister. I feel that the church is still Christ's body, we need each other, the world needs us in Him.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.