Not everything we hear about churches are true. In a day and age where most people like to get their sources from social media, the call to be more careful about distinguishing truth and lie has never been more weighty. We need to seek out the truth about the body of Christ, it's current state and how it behaves.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:4 "See that no one leads you astray." Jesus must have foreseen the many lies that would try to destroy our view of His work through us and through the church. Here are five lies about the church that Christians need to stop believing.
Lie #1. Churches are losing the battle
A lot churches in America have seen a decline in numbers, but that doesn't mean that the church is losing the battle. Jesus spoke of a vibrant and victorious church in Matthew 16:18 saying that even the powers of hell itself would not overcome it. The universal church continues to grow in many ways, not just in numbers.
Lie #2. Being a part of the church is optional
Church might sometimes be viewed as an option. I mean we can all experience Jesus in our privacy right? While God meets us in private, that shouldn't be a reason to stay isolated. Church community brings so much benefit to the Christian believer. Sure it may not be perfect - we can be offended and problems can rise - but God calls us nonetheless to fight for relationship and discipleship, to fight for our church family and its unity as one.
Lie #3. There is a minimum moral requirement to church
Mark 2:17 says this: "And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.'" Church was not meant to be a museum of "super Christians" but a hospital for the sick. Church doors should not have morality police manning posts, but should be as open as they possibly can.
Lie #4. If you don't "enjoy" church, it's not working out
I love the idea of churches with excellent facilities and events, but there's also the danger of making church about nothing more than an experience. Church was first and foremost meant to be a community of people who point each other to Christ, not a good show or fun past-time.
Lie #5. The church will save me
As great as church is, it does not have the power to save you. A church membership is not your ticket to heaven. In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Church will not save us. Jesus will and Jesus has, and as a church we are to celebrate that and share that beyond the four walls of our centers.
This article was originally published in Christian Today and is re-published here with permission