I wonder how many times people attending an institutional church are made to feel unwelcome? Maybe they don’t know all the man-made rules and regulations. Perhaps they say something that’s wrong but they are unaware of it. Maybe it’s the way they dress. They don’t measure up to others’ expectations.
How many times have you had someone look down their nose at you? I’ve been on the receiving end of this. I had not been saved too long. I was a product of the church bus ministry. I didn’t look right, act right or even smell right. I won’t even mention how I dressed in those days. I grew up poor. We didn’t even have a car. Many saw nothing worthwhile in me. To some I was just a nuisance. Thank God I didn’t allow people to deter me. My faith and hope was in Jesus.
I could have given up. I could have said, why bother? There are many others in institutional churches all over who can relate to me. There are those who have experienced the same things I have - or even worse - where they worship.
“Church folk” are notorious for running people off from church. This is a sad truth. If they don’t repent of this they will have to give account for each person they ran off.
Another sad truth is some find far more camaraderie and fellowship from the world than they do the church. The world can be far more forgiving than the institutional church with its legalistic ways.
Sure it would have been good if the man in the above story had turned his phone down before the service began. It was an accident. He simply forgot. He even felt bad about it. Plus the people “beating him up” over it. Was that really called for? I’ve been in church services where phones have gone off. The attitudes of those in that so-called group of church people chased this man away and right into the accepting arms of the world.
Take a moment to read the “Lesson” again in the story above. Don’t let this be said about you. I pray it is never said about me.
Until next time...enjoy the journey,