I was raised in a Baptist church. When I was younger my family and I lived with my grandmother in south Arkansas. We attended a small church in the “country.” I can still remember the little white wooden building. Inside were hard wood benches, an out of tune piano and black folks that loved the Lord. As children, regardless of how we were feeling, what we looked like or the lack of enthusiasm we displayed we went to church every Sunday (and many times during the week).
My parents married when I was in the second grade. When we were no longer living under my grandmother’s roof, they rarely devoted anytime to taking us to church. I guess they were practicing their freedom of doing what they wanted because they were “grown” despite how my grandparents raised them.
I’m a Christian. I was baptized at the age of 16 and joined a small church in southeast Arkansas. I enjoyed going to church. I was very active in different church ministries…no Sunday Pew member here!
When I was in high school, I attended church by myself. No one else at home wanted to go. For a while, I’d ask my family every Sunday. Time passed and I quit asking. Before I went off to college I prayed that my family would find a church home and that my little brother and sister would be saved. Not long after I left, my prayers were answered. As of now, my family is very involved with ministries at their church. They rarely miss a Sunday service and they’re often busy with various church related activities throughout the week. I’m so happy that they’re back to where they should be. Proverbs 22:6
As for me, I could definitely be doing better. Here lately, I’m finding it hard to go to church (the church where I am a member). Yes, I still love Jesus! I’m just conflicted with some of the messages that I hear on a regular basis at my church. The messages all seem to center around money or some other trivial matter. On any given Sunday, I may hear from the pulpit “God has blessed me with a house that I can’t even afford!” Really?!? Why would you even attempt to purchase a house that you “can’t even afford”? Can I hear more from church leadership regarding fiscal responsibility and the importance of saving and not overextending your finances?
O let me not forget the constant denouncing of homosexuality. ‘Cause you know homosexuality is the root of all evil. I’m like dang! Will you leave the homosexuals alone? Homosexuality is not contagious. It won’t rub off on you! Geesh! And since we’re constantly throwing stones at homosexuals why aren’t we also throwing stones at all of the liars, adulterers, fornicators and thieves?
I can think of many things that the church could spend time on eradicating from our community besides homosexuality…hmmm, let’s see what I can come up with? How about hunger, illiteracy, poverty, obesity, cancer, Aids, the education gap, racism? Wait there’s more…gender discrimination, homelessness, gun violence, bullying…this could go on and on and on. The point is there is so much work that needs to be done. Why are we spending our time praying the gay out of people? Better yet, I thought one principle about being a Christian is loving others in spite of…or the ability to help the least of these? Matthew 25:45
No I am not perfect. I will be the first to admit that I could definitely do more to help others in need. I’m not talking about the ceremonial feeding the homeless during Thanksgiving. I’m talking getting to the root of why a person is homeless (i.e. jobless = no money = no home) and helping him to help himself so that he is no longer homeless. I know I have the power to make a difference. I also know that the church could have a major impact on the lives of so many in our communities. In addition to helping others, I could also practice some self control and stop doing things that I know aren’t morally right (i.e. gossiping ***gasps*** Yeap, every now and then, I’m a sucker for some good gossip).
I’m challenging myself and others to stop turning our heads when we see someone in need and actually do something to help. Lastly, if you aren’t obeying and following God’s word don’t be so quick to throw stones at those who aren’t as well. It’s past time for us to grow and become better Christians…let’s make that change…today.
Peace and Love