Stop Going to Church by Jonathan Dodson

14 Jan

Recently, I came across an article on theResurgence that Jonathan Dodson, the pastor of Austin City Life wrote for Boundless webzine.  In it, he writes about how the current condition of the Church today in America falls ever so short of what God had originally intended the Church to be.  Here’s a quick excerpt from it:

Church is not an event, a place or a plant. It is a family of brothers and sisters united in the Spirit and the Son. The church is a community, people in relationships under grace. So the church is supposed to be a family, but we act more like acquaintances.

Instead of sharing life and truth, joy and pain, meals and mission, we share one, maybe two events a week. Church has been reduced to a spiritual event that happens for an hour or two on weekends, and if you are spiritual, occurs another couple hours during the week in a small group meeting. We spend just enough time “at church” to be religious, but nowhere near enough time to be family.

The dominant metaphor of the church in the New Testament is the metaphor of family. Every one of Paul’s letters opens by addressing the church in familial terms — sisters, brothers, son, and our Father. The use of “brother” is, by far, the most frequent. This sibling emphasis reflects the familial nature of the church. What would happen if we started acting like family?

Here’s the direct link to the entire article.  Again, what would happen if we started acting more like family?  God, help us.

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2 Responses to “Stop Going to Church by Jonathan Dodson”

  1. liz January 18, 2010 at 12:37 PM #

    im not sure why, but the word ‘family’ and the thought of committing to one immediately spurs a burdensome feeling in my heart. the addition of many ‘family members’ to your life, the time it’ll take away from other activities, money that’ll be spent to share time together, etc…. my attitude is wrong, and i guess my definition of family needs to be worked on to be one that triggers a more edifying, positive outlook. hopefully ill be able to treat my brothers and sisters at church like real family soon. thanks for the article.

  2. John Park January 19, 2010 at 7:45 PM #

    You and almost every other American Christian, Liz. I think the hyper-individualistic culture of America has almost completely destroyed the notion of “community” as the Bible seems to indicate. And the funny thing is, more than helping us (as we believed it would), it has actually isolated us to the point where it’s become damaging. I’m praying through and reading and studying on how to change this.

    One of the things I read somewhere (and something I’m trying to implement into my own life) is to simply invite people to join in on your life. That is, do things that you would normally do alone (e.g. study, eat, etc.) and text a group of people and tell them what you’re going to be doing. And if they decide to come, great. If they don’t, it’s still all good cause you’ll basically just do what you would’ve done anyway.

    I don’t know. At the end of the day, I don’t think anybody knows really how to go about fixing this problem. Alls I know is that it must be and we gotta keep on trying through prayer and experimentation.

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