Over the years I have heard more excuses about not going to church than I can remember. Some are downright funny, and some are heartbreaking.
There are too many people who go there. I don’t feel like I matter. There are not enough people who go there. They are always needing me to do something.
There aren’t enough young people there. My kids are bored. There are too many young people there. They don’t do enough for the youth. Everything is about the youth. They don’t seem to care anything about the rest of the church. It’s always about the youth.
I don’t like the music. The music is too slow. The music is too loud. The music is too modern. The music is too old fashioned. They sing too long. They just get started singing and then it’s over. They never have anybody but a handful sing a special. They sing too many specials.
The chairs are uncomfortable. The pews are uncomfortable. The pews are too close together. There’s nowhere to sit. I don’t like to sit up front. I don’t like to sit in the back.
They never start on time. I can’t get there on time. The services last too long. They have too many services in a week. They don’t have enough services during a week.
They have too many revivals. They don’t have enough revivals. They have too many guest speakers. They don’t have enough guest speakers.
They think they’re the only bunch going to heaven. They don’t think anybody else is going to heaven but their own denomination.
That church is too holy. That church is not holy enough.
They are always taking up offerings for one thing or the other. They preach on tithing. I can’t afford to pay tithes.
They don’t like the way I dress. I don’t like the way they dress.
They wear their hair too short. They wear their hair too long.
The people are hypocrites. I live better than they do and I don’t even go to church.
The preacher hurt my feelings. I got my feelings hurt in church and I never got over it. That was 30 years ago.
I like to move around and visit other places. I don’t want to be tied down. I missed church for three months and nobody ever even checked on me.
The list goes on and on.
Here’s my response to these things, if you’ve ever thought of them. There is no such thing as a perfect church. The reason for this is that churches are made up of people and there are no perfect people on this planet.
Most people in this area know why they should go to church. For a Christian, church provides a place for understanding the love of God, accepting Christ as a personal Savior, having a place to study and better understand the Bible, and fellowship with people who are like minded.
In most churches, people are trying to do the best they can do. Human, imperfect, making mistakes, but they keep pressing on. Yes, there are bad things that happen in church. Some people are hypocrites and they deliberately use the church to deceive others. Some ministries are more worried about numbers and dollars than they are about souls. Sometimes people mess up and fall flat on their faces. That is not the church’s fault.
God isn’t deceived by anything that goes on or goes wrong in a church. The consequences are in God’s hands. He is perfectly able to sort things out and hold individuals accountable for their misbehavior.
That includes you and me.
The true church is described as the bride of Christ. I believe that bride is made up of all kinds of people, all kinds of churches, and all kinds of denominations. There are far more reasons to embrace a church and attend than there are reasons to cast stones or turn away. Some of the reasons listed above sound ridiculous. If you are a person who refuses to go, you might want to check your own excuses.