February 7, 2019

You can’t read the Gospels without noticing just how fed up Jesus was with the organized religion that worship of God had become, and yet Jesus still went to synagogue. FYI – the synagogue system was established about 100 years after the Old Testament canon closed. That means the synagogue, which isn’t mentioned in the Old Testament, was a religious institution that wasn’t God’s idea. God didn’t institute or organize it. It was established by men and tradition, and yet all four Gospel writers make note of God the Son going to the synagogue, and Luke goes so far as to say that going to the synagogue was part of Jesus’ custom! This should really grab our attention because God seems to have had no problem engaging with His people in contexts that weren’t even His idea. So, why do we have such a problem engaging with God’s people in a context that IS His idea – the Church? Whatever you think about the Western church in general or your local church in particular, the Church, the Body of Christ, the community of called-out ones, IS God’s idea. But the enemy has found a good way to try to neutralize His idea. How? By convincing Christian after Christian that what they see in the church isn’t what God intended Church to be at all, and so one by one, they abandon the harvest that walks through the doors Sunday after Sunday. We justify our absence by declaring that what’s happening on Sunday mornings is just a religious institution established by men and tradition. Well, thank God the Apostles didn’t share that opinion! They, following Jesus’ example, engaged the synagogue system, looking for people who were looking for God, and that’s what WE’RE supposed to be doing, too. So, we have a choice – we can leave because we’re dissatisfied OR we can treat church as a vendor of religious goods and services where we go to sing, take sermon notes and enjoy free coffee OR we can approach church the way Jesus approached the synagogue. We can recognize it for the mission field that it is, and choose to be a part of the solution one soul at a time. So, for the sake of the Church, I hope you choose to GO to church and be the difference you want to see there.

Liz Hile
The Well Bible Study Ministry