How dare we call ourselves the Church?

I was sitting in church yesterday evening when a sudden righteous anger started to run through me…

Here we were, sitting in this hall, singing some song with the words on the screen, reciting some prayer

or confession or something, then listening to some dude preach. And I kept thinking…what the hell are

we doing?

(just to clarify, this post isn’t written in reaction to this church in particular, which I thought was

pretty cool, it’s written to the entire body of Christ)

 

I sat there, a little bored again, my mind drifting and my heart just welled up with anger and pain,

I thought of the 14 year old girl who tried to describe to me in broken sentences, how a man tried to

“put his private part in her bum” when she was 6 years old. Or how a 20 year old felt shy to sit with

me in Mugg and Bean and drink a hot chocolate, because she didn’t have R10 for electricity, or how a

7 year old boy tries to explain to me why he doesn’t want to go home and how other boys call him a moffie

and how his mother is never there…

I felt such anger. Such righeous anger, for the way we twisted the word “church” into meeting on a sunday.

 

I don’t go to church on sundays. Not if I can help it. I get bored of the theory. In fact, I simply don’t get

what people are on about…

 

I think of how people won’t miss a sunday meeting to spend time with a friend in need, or how they would

religiously attend their weekly home group meetings or accountability meetings, or gladly wake up early

to help set up for the service or take care of the sunday school kids….but how I hear excuse after excuse

when I invite my friends to come with me to the Cape Flats.

No one can take the time to spend with one of the beautiful young girls in my group, take them out for

ice-cream or get to know them and why they are so broken. No one wants to help a young boy with

his homework, or an old woman with her drug-addicted son. No one wants to come witness the sadness

and involved themselves in their lives.

 

No wonder all the world knows about “Christians” is that we have funny rules about dating, are mostly

unavailable on sundays and a “Night out” consists of 30 seconds and pizza.

 

How dare we call ourselves the church when we do nothing but meet on sundays to talk about theories?

How dare we call ourselves the church when we do nothing but pray for God to give us a job, a house, a car

or a husband?

How dare we call ourselves the church when all we do is constantly try and revise out theology so we can

get it “just right”?

How dare we call ourselves the church when we have loads of time and money for “our own” but no one else?

 

Wake up! Sit up! Take note! Where do you learn how to pray? When a teenage girl goes the wrong way for the thousandth time because she simply cannot comprehend love or how normality workds due to a past of poverty, rape and addiction…and you sit with your hands in your hair, not knowing how to relate to her.

You learn to follow the holy spirit when an aggressive 14 year old boy grabs another boy for the thousandth time and hits him, because his dad beat him and his dad’s dad beats him and you simply have no more words, only tears, and you just let it run with this boy’s tears and sit there holding each other…

Where do you learn to read the Bible? When a group of volunteers look at you for leadership and you simply have no clue how to continue because nothing works out and no-one else is willing to help and all your strategies and lofty ideas have failed!

We have come to hate the church because we are bored with it! I don’t want to sit there on a sunday and hear how the church needs to change or how we need to act…I want to discuss strategies to change this world! Church has become a place to put our conscience at ease while the world goes to hell…literally.

We are bored! The church offers NOTHING but rules and regulations! It’s time to see action! To do something! What are we calling people to join???

I know this seems harsh, but I feel like shouting “Pick a side!!!!”

Either sit on your lofty chairs singing another song, protecting your own on a sunday, or do SOMETHING, ANYTHING! Don’t wait, just find something to do!

Everyone doesn’t have to work in the Cape Flats. I’ve heard of a group of people that massage prostitute’s feet. Another girl in Stellenbosch opens her home for other students to come and experience a community environment. Do something. Anything! The lonely, the sad, the hopeless are everywhere. We, the church, are lonely, sad and hopeless. Because we have nothing to do and nothing to live for.

Going to a service on a Sunday is negotiable. Doing what Jesus called us to do isn’t.

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10 Responses to “How dare we call ourselves the Church?”


  1. 1 Wally Februarie 21, 2011 om 10:49 nm

    …wens ek het woorde gehad wat kon beskryf hoe erg ek saamstem

  2. 2 Cobus Februarie 22, 2011 om 2:32 vm

    Karlientjie!

    karlien ek stem met van jou stellings saam en van dit glad nie. Jy moet een ding onthou, die Bybel sê duidelik vir ons dat ons op Sondae moet kerk toe gaan. Van ons gaan nie net kerk toe om ons eie gewetes te sis nie. As iemand dit wel doen is dit jammer.

    Geen twee Christene is dieselfde nie. En God het ons spesifiek so gemaak. God het nie al sy kinders op die aarde gesit om ander nie gelowiges te help op die regte pad te kom nie. Hy het nie ons almal gemaak om vir ander mense te sorg, jammer te kry of iemand in die Cape Flats te gaan help nie. Ek glo dat as jou hart vol van God se liefde is, dat jou teenwoordigheid in ‘n kamer vol nie gelowiges, ook meer as genoeg is. Die spreekwoord, waarvan die hart van vol, loop die mond van oor, is seker een van die beste spreekwoorde wat ek ken. ‘n Mens wat met oorvloed en liefde praat van God doen soms meer as die persoon wat duisende mense voed op ‘n Saterdag.

    Deur die mense in die Cape flats te help of honger mense te voed gaan die aarde glad nie ‘n beter plek maak nie. Niemand hoef honger te wees vir die aarde om steeds hel te raak nie. Maar deur mense te leer van God en Jesus, dit gaan wel ‘n verskil maak. ‘n Persoon met Jesus in sy hart, gaan nie wil rape of moor nie.

    Die kerk is ‘n plek waar Christene moet leer hoe om buite die kerk mense te leer van God.

    As daar iets fout gaan in die wêreld of ‘n meisie word gerape, wil mens altyd weet waar God was. Dis nie God se skuld nie. Satan laat die dinge met ons gebeer spesifiek sodat ons daai vrae moet vra.

    My punt is, deur mense te help wat deur traumatiese dinge is of arm is, gaan die plek glad nie ‘n beter plek maak nie. God se woord gaan die plek ‘n beter plek maak. En die beste plek waar jy meer kan leer van God is in die kerk. Moet nie die kerf afskryf nie.

    NB! Ek sê nie ons moet nie mense help nie.

  3. 4 Ina Februarie 22, 2011 om 7:32 vm

    Stem saam met Cobus.

    Vir my gaan my geloof oor ‘n connection met mense. Om deel te wees van die kerk is vir my baie meer as net om te sit en gaap en “theories” te bespreek. Ek looooove dit om vir ‘n uur te sit en praat oor God, liedjies met mooi woordjies te sing vir Hom. Ek weet God het ‘n plan met elke liewe persoon wat daar sit en vir my om hulle level van geloof te judge is nie noodwendig die beste approach tot Christianity nie.

    Ek dink hierdie gaan baie meer oor waar jy is in jou plek met God, jy is blessed met ‘n super compassionate hart. Jy kan nie verwag dis dieselfde vir ander mense nie. ‘n Pastoor het eenkeer vir my gese: “Ons kan nie almal preek nie, iemand moet die telefone antwoord.” Almal se hartjies is anders gewire en nie omdat hulle less compassionate is nie, God het hulle dalk net nodig om die admin te doen terwyl jy interactive is met mense.

    Ek het ook altyd so oor kerk gevoel, totdat iemand vir my gevra het: Wie’s die persoon wat jou afge-P het, toe begin ek agter kom dis nie noodwendig die kerk nie, maar spesifieke individue. Vir my om heavy filantropies te wees deur die week maar ek sit met ‘n hart vol anger en snarky comments is nie healthy nie en God rejoice ook nie in my dark mood nie.

    Ek, bv, gaan glad nie saam met jou in die Cape Flats werk nie, vir die basiese feit dat ek glad nie kan connect met jonger mense nie, I don’t know, is net vreeslik awkward met tieners. Maar ek is histeries opgewonde oor die baba/kleuter-weeshuis waar ek uithelp, waar my vriendin nou weer GLAD nie kan connect met kiddies nie en much rather die telefone wil antwoord as ons daar is. To each his own.

    God is super stoked dat jy so passionate is, maar op die ou end van die dag, bly Hy GOD. Hy is in beheer. So lief soos wat Hy vir jou is, net so lief het Hy elkeen vir wie jy kwaad is. Hou bietjie grace oor in jou hart vir ander mense, God doen dit vir jou.

  4. 5 Tsholo Februarie 22, 2011 om 9:26 vm

    Hey Karlien,

    I totally agree with you on the going to a church building is optional thing. i don’t think the bible tells us to go to church, it says we should keep the sabbath holy (which raises the question what does holiness look like) and that we should not stop meeting together…it never said that we should meet in a building and sing then preach then etc etc…anytime, anywhere, where 2 or more are gathered in his name – that is church.

    if 2 or more are gathered at mugg ‘n bean and we are talking about God and His kingdom, that is church. when you meet with a girl in the cape flats or wherever who is broken and is questioning God and you show God’s love to her, that is church. when you buy some food and chill on the street with a homeless person and share your meal with them, that is church.

    having said that i do the sunday “church” thing. i do it because, as much as i enjoy worshipping God on my own in my room or whatever, there’s something awesome about being surrounded by other christians and worshipping with them – being one in heart and mind and purpose. also, i don’t always understand the bible when i read it, so it’s pretty cool when the pastor preaches on a particular verse that i’m having trouble with and suddenly i’m like “oh, i get it now. thanks Daddy”. i think sunday church is for our benefit; for replenishing…for refreshing…where we get filled up – a time set aside to concentrate on nothing but him – so that we can go back out into the world and do the things He calls us to do.

    i also try to do the being church outside of the building thing – doing what Jesus called us to do. i definitely agree that the sunday thing is not Christianity, Christianity is (or should be) living out the stuff He says.

  5. 6 Jomo Februarie 22, 2011 om 5:51 nm

    Hi Karlien

    I really admire your heart for justice and I feel the same about a lot of the things that you mentioned.

    Yes, the church (we) have failed in many ways in executing justice and being the hands and feet of Jesus in a lost and dying world. All of us will one day stand in front of a holy God having to give an account for what we have done “unto the least of these.”

    On that day there will be no place for us to hide behind doctrine, or fancy church programmes. Our hearts will be exposed and just thinking about that brings the fear of God upon me.

    I do however believe that the Church is God’s chosen vehicle through which long-term societal change can and should take place. The problem with this world is sin, which effects the hearts of people, and the only people who do have the cure for this problem is the Church.

    This cure is the gospel (good news). And although the Church in the past and present have been poor in it’s proclamation and demonstration of the gospel, the Church is still God’s chosen means through which it should go forth.

    I don’t agree with Cobus’ statement: “God het nie al sy kinders op die aarde gesit om ander nie gelowiges te help op die regte pad te kom nie. Hy het nie ons almal gemaak om vir ander mense te sorg, jammer te kry of iemand in die Cape Flats te gaan help nie.”

    The reason why I don’t agree with this statement is because if someone calls him/herself a Christian it’s presupposesed that that person repented of his/her sins and put their faith in what Jesus did on the cross and trusting in Him alone for their salvation. Therefore, this person is implicated by the gospel to share this good news and to demonstrate compassion in words and deeds to those whom Jesus calls “the least of these.”

    I do not believe that this is a calling for a few, but this is each and every person who calls himself a Christian’s responsibility. If this is not the case I doubt whether that person has a full comprehension of what the gospel.

    Another statement that Cobus makes: “Maar deur mense te leer van God en Jesus, dit gaan wel ‘n verskil maak. ‘n Persoon met Jesus in sy hart, gaan nie wil rape of moor nie.” I do agree with this, but it is “both and” not “either or”. The gospel is the whole deal.

    And this is what I believe has gone wrong with Christianity today. The large majority of the Church do not understand the gospel in it’s fullest. Some believe in creating nice programmes to cater for their own. Some believe that the “Spirit” must move mightily in their meetings. Others believe in pure doctrine and good Bible teaching. While others believe in missions and mercy and justice. All of this are good, but if it becomes the focus we have missed it! This, a part from the gospel, only leads to idolatry and we worship our preferred way of doing things above being a gospel-centered community of believers.

    Church is an identity first and not a time and place where people get together. So whether we agree or disagree with it’s practices, does’nt change the fact that we ARE the Church and that we should be part of the solution.

    How that identity works itself out in the context of a local community of believers is another matter on it’s own. The whole New Testament is full of guidelines for this, but this is where the local community of believers in partnership with the Holy spirit and led by godly leadership should grapple with how to outwork the mission of God in their context.

    But again, this comes back to a clear understanding of what the gospel is. I believe the gospel IMPLICATES us in 3 areas:
    1) It is a message to be preached.
    2) It is a message to be experienced in the context of a local community of believers with Godly leadership. (Not the most popular one on most people’s lists)
    3) It is a message to be demonstrated in the context of a broken and dying world.

    Anything less then this is not the gospel!

    Jomo

  6. 7 Corne Februarie 24, 2011 om 10:13 vm

    Hi Karlien en almal wat al reply het..

    Ek is 29 jaar oud, kom uit `n kerk agtergrond maar het radikaal tot bekering gekom as 15 jarige, is gevul met die heilige gees as 10 jarige en is baie lief vir Jesus EN die Kerk. Daarom is ek tans voltyds `n pastor van `n kleinerige gemeente in PTA.

    Hoekom gee ek hierdie kort agtergrond? Ek wil wys dat ek beide die kerk en die baie stukkende wereld KEN. Ek is nie godsdienstig en sentimenteel oor die “heilige koeie” in die kerk nie. Ek is `n dissipel van Jesus.

    Die fout wat baie mense in `n oomblik van hopelossheid en wanhoop maak, wanneer hulle die tekortkoming van kerk sien, is om die baba saam met die badwater te wil uitgooi.

    Dit moet nie `n “een of die ander wees” nie maar “`n beide.”

    Ek word weekliks oortuig van die Goddelike plan van God in en met kerk wat Sy hart soek. Terwyl ek terselfde tyd bewus is van die tekortkominge sien ek ook die wonderlike met my eie oë. Ek ken tans baie mense wie se lewens stukkend sou wees as dit nie was vir die rol wat God in hulle DEUR die kerk gespeel het nie. Ek glo vas aan die beelde waarvan die nuwe Testament praat van “Liggaam”, gebou, ens wanner dit van dien kerk praat. Ja en die kerk is gelowige MENSE wat saamkom.

    Dit gesê glo ek ook groot dele van die “kerk” mis hulle doel. Daarom glo ek dit is “beide” saamkom en uitreik, hulp, betrokke in mense se lewens ens.

    Ek ken groepe wat uit die kerk beweeg het omdat hulle gefrustreerd was, en totaal verval het in valse leerings omdat daar geen verantwoording was nie.

    Ek dink die persoon wat net die Sondag kerk ding doen mis die punt heeltemal, EN die persoon wat net die “community upliftment/aktievis ding doen mis ook die punt.

    As jou kerk jou frustreer omdat hulle nie die groter prentjie kan sien nie, kry `n ander samekoms van gelowiges waar jy voel die balaans is reg, OF vra of jy dalk `n agent in daardie gemeente moet wees om `n “skuif” te laat plaasvind…

    Blessings

  7. 8 karliendupreez Februarie 24, 2011 om 11:35 vm

    Wowzer julle!! So dankie vir al die comments! Sien ek het nogal ‘n puntjie aangeraak…:) Het besluit om, in plaas van ‘n comment te los ‘n follow-up blog post te skryf om uit te brei op die idees wat ek hier net aanraak. Sien dit asb ook nie as ‘n kerk-bashing nie, maar ‘n “exaperated cry” teen die toestand van die wereld….

    Watch this space…

  8. 9 Jaco Oktober 31, 2011 om 11:24 vm

    Moet asb nooit vergeet dat die kerk uit mense bestaan! ONS is die kerk!
    1 Kor 12:27


  1. 1 Reads of the week – 2011 – 8 « Hope In Love Terugskakeling op Februarie 26, 2011 om 12:32 vm

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