Is church for sinners … or believers?

Photo by Gale E


Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 9:24 (NIV)


I wrote a post venting my bitter disappointment with a congregation of upstanding believers. They were so full of self-righteousness they couldn’t see past themselves. In the meantime, a fellow parishioner right under their noses was silently crying out for help but no-one noticed, except to make disparaging remarks (which were overheard).

But apparently it’s not only me.  Imagine how readily I related to this article written by Kenneth Justice describing someone’s experience (as a fellow Christian) while visiting a church to attend a funeral.

Unfortunately, some believers today are like the Pharisees of yesterday, caught up in rituals and being seen doing the ‘right’ thing in church.  By extension, others coming to their church must follow the ‘rules of engagement’ or be denied access.

Jesus spent time with the poor, the orphaned, the widowed, the homeless; those afflicted with physical diseases like leprosy and those afflicted with mental ailments like the man with the demons.  He made the blind to see and the lame to walk; He never hesitated to help anyone in need, and if we say that as Christians our goal is to be like Jesus then it stands to reason we would have to readily (and willingly) do all of the above … to the ‘churched’ and the ‘unchurched’ … not so?

I have personally never tried to reach Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen or Pastor T.D. Jakes for example, but there might just be some measure of truth to Kenneth’s take shared below:

“Many of the ‘famous’ Christian teachers, preachers, professors, and speakers live in an altogether different world than from the laity they preach at. Try and get an appointment with one of the religious elite and you’d be lucky if they give you the time of day……..instead of being servants to the people; many Christian leaders have more in common with politicians and rock stars.”

I am a believer, a Christian, a lover of the Lord.  I have never been yelled at in church (maybe an abrupt impatient grunt but not a yell) and I hope that whenever I happen to be in the house of the Lord – yes as well as outside, but especially inside  – and I see the opportunity to help a fellow brother or sister, whether ‘churched’ or ‘unchurched’ (and how does one really know another’s status?) that I will do what Jesus would do … without a single hesitation.

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Barbadian mother and lover of laughter; story teller and best-selling author; happy to follow God's lead and to live my mantra: "you've gotta be a rainbow in the lives of others when it rains."

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