He was thinking about . . . GIVING UP ON THE CHURCH
He was thinking about it seriously. Why should he have anything more to do with the church? Were things getting any better? Who needs constant hassle in his life anyway?
From his own personal experience, he was dismayed over the disunity among people who claimed to be the children of God. One person takes offense at what another says. There’s the periodic grumbling that seems to crop up in every church. And there’s the isolation of one whole church from another – complete with angry challenges, caustic remarks and judgments.
Then there are the hypocrites. Where do they come from? People who say one thing and do another. People who pretend to be something they aren’t. People whose Sunday behavior speaks of pious devotion to God but whose weekday manners are those of a reprobate. It confused him and angered him that he was always running into such folks.
But maybe the worst thing for him was the sense of betrayal he was experiencing. Everybody goes through tough times, and he had tried to be there for others in their low moments. But where had they been for him lately? His life had been no picnic during the last few weeks. He had even heard that someone people he had considered to be close friends had turned on him. They were certainly nowhere to be seen at the moment.
It always seemed, though, that nobody hesitated to ask more of him. When something went wrong, they were always on his doorstep. They were always expecting him to bail them out of problems he hadn’t created. That sort of things gets old, don’t you agree?
On top of all these grievances, there were the doctrinal issues that kept cropping up around him. Is truth that hard to grasp? Can’t people understand the differences between “essentials” and “non-essentials?” They keep fighting over such petty things. All the while, the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
So he was thinking about giving up on the church. Throwing in the towel. Renouncing it as a lost cause.
You and I know people who have rejected the church for these very things. It has been hard for us to be critical of them, for we have had our own moments of despair.
What did this fellow decide? Did he give up on the church? No, he went to the cross and died for it.
Via Central Church of Christ, Dalton GA 10/11/1990