We have spent several days considering whether or not a believer has to attend regular Sunday worship at a local church. Perhaps the answer would be easier for all of us if church were what it is supposed to be. Of course, what I am about to describe is somewhere in the realm of fantasy. It removes the human factor, or, better, the “flesh factor.” As long as we remain here, this church will be a dream. However, we could try….
The primary purpose of the church should be to share love. What? What about worship? Well, we all know that we can worship alone, but how do we love alone? Besides, what do you think Paul meant when he said that you could sing like the angels and still sound like clanging brass without love? To love others is to worship God.
Remember the old song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love”? Some churches don’t dare sing that song, do they? If they were judged by their love, no one would know they were Christians. Oh, most of them think of themselves as loving, of course. Certain people in the church are loved a great deal… and they seem to love themselves just fine. But love can be hard to find at many churches.
Why should love be the center point? Because Jesus is the center point. Because He loves us, we should love each other. Because He loves the lost, we should love the lost. Because His heart is our heart, our motives and actions toward others should be His.
Once you look past things like doctrine, missions, service, worship and everything else churches think they do, you see that love is really the point. Everything flows out of love. Even right doctrine can only be enjoyed in connection with love. Nobody cares if you are right if being right means you don’t care.
No comparisons, bearing one another’s burdens, respecting each other’s differences, no cliques or elitism, patience, welcome, acceptance—these are the things of love. This is what church should be like.