Top 5 Misconceptions of the Church
Most of us know the term church as a place of worship. Biblically, the church encompasses every born again believer on the earth known as The Body of Christ. The Body of Christ assemblies together in a place of worship (thus we have church) to pray, study the Word of God, fellowship with like minded believers and to serve one another. The church body is not perfect because man is not perfect. So having a less than perfect experience at church often deters people away, which I believe is the wrong posture to have toward the church. In my personal opinion, these are the top 5 misconceptions of the church. I feel compelled to shed some light on this topic because I feel like too many people refrain from attending church for the wrong reasons.
Because even more than “someone not saying hello to you” much bigger things are at work! Where two or more are gathered, He is there. The Spirit of the Lord is at work in all of us! But if you’re busy sitting around with a hardened heart because “the worship music was too loud”, then maybe it’s time to look inward. Keeping in mind that our thoughts are the devils playground.
I’ve heard so many reasons why we convince ourselves to/not to attend church; but are they righteous?
Although church attendance is not a prerequisite into heaven, “the Bible tells us we need to attend church so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth”. Read this post later for an excellent explanation on God’s Will for us to not forsake the assembly of church.
I would also like to preface this by saying that I am a church attending advocate. Although not 100% perfect, I’ve had great experiences of love & personal growth in the church. With that said, let’s dive into the top 5 misconceptions of the church.
1. People in the church are all hypocrites.
A young mans parents were thoroughly involved in the church. But at home, his dad physically abused his mother. Understandably angry toward his parents, he also developed much anger towards the church and decides they’re full of hypocrites. If his parents were this way, then presumably everyone in the church must be as well. As unfortunate of an incident this is, it does not define the church and shouldn’t hold the church accountable for this man’s actions. The church didn’t advocate this man’s behavior nor do his actions represent a loving God.
People are watching every move that Christians make and the moment one screws up, that’s one more black mark on the board against the church. It’s important to keep in mind that the church is not filled with perfect people.
The church is a body of believers, a body of sinners who believe in the gospel and want to grow in their faith. On one or more occasions it’s possible to encounter someone who hurts you. However, it’s also an absolute possibility that you will never encounter pain in the church from another believer. On the contrary, you will experience love, spiritual growth and unity. So, on behalf of the church, if you’ve been “burned” for lack of a better word, I’m so sorry; I can imagine the distain you must feel.
I’d encourage you to read this post on forgiveness and understanding why people hurt one another. I’d also like to reinforce the fact that not all people in the church are hypocrites. We are sinners saved by the grace of God, working out our faith just as much as the next person. You never know what someone else is going through, Christian or otherwise. I implore you to drop this presumption, find forgiveness in your heart and give the church a go!
2. The church is a building.
Some people market churches based on status in society, marble floors, stained glass, steeples and Sunday best. The truth is, whether on a beach in lawn chairs, in a pew or a rented office space in a strip mall, in the comfort of your home, in flip flops or your Sunday best, church is not a building or an outfit.
According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. A body of believers encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is the people!
Furthermore I would say that the #1 qualification of the church you attend should be the teaching of sound doctrine. <– Read that again.
3. The church preaches what you want to hear.
For instance, the Prosperity Gospel teaches that we are saved to be rich, healthy, happy, and whole. This is an example of false gospel. A Christian’s life is not exempt from suffering.
This post states 10 churches you should avoid:
- Lost it’s first love (Jesus)
- Doesn’t preach the cross
- Dismisses sufferings or trials
- Teaches doctrines that are wrong
- Leaders who are in open, unrepentant sin
- Never convicts you of sin
- It is lukewarm or even dead
- Doesn’t quote scripture
- “Thou shall not” is often heard
- Doesn’t preach the resurrection
The truth is that the Word of God will encourage and give us hope but other times it will convict us of our sin. The Word of God challenges us in ways that make us look inward in order for us to be conformed to Jesus and not the world.
4. You will be judged.
This one breaks my heart. Oftentimes, people don’t attend church because they feel they will be judged meanwhile they just might be LOVED. If you feel like you will be judged, please put aside this preconceived notion.
I think this is how the enemy is keeping you from attending church. Because if you don’t go to church, perhaps you won’t grow into the person God wills and the enemy can continue to have his way with you. Because the fact of the matter is, the church should be a place where you “come as you are” and grow into who God designed you to be.
5. You have to be free from sin before attending church.
In John 8:7-11 we see a beautiful example of judgement toward a sinner and Jesus himself says “you who is without sin, cast the first stone”.
We’re all sinners in need of a Savior. I’ll say it again, we’re all sinners, saved by the grace of God. It’s Jesus that saves and Jesus that removes our sin. The church is called to love you as Jesus loves, to show you the same measurement of grace we’ve received and to point you to Jesus, the Savior of the world. Your sin is no greater than the next person.
I remember the day I walked into church in my mid 20’s, searching for something greater than myself. You can read my testimony here.
Here’s the thing. Our faith will transform us from our life of sin and that’s why we walk a lifetime of faith. We will not be holy or without sin until we are in the presence of the Lord.
Let’s chat! Would you agree that these are the top 5 misconceptions of the church? Have any of these reasons kept you from attending church? Do you need help finding a solid church, rooted in scripture? If so, here is my personal recommendation. There is nothing wrong with “church shopping” to find the right place for your family. Comment below or message me & share with a friend! Thanks for reading! I hope you left more encouraged than when you arrived.