Michael Daly CJ Blog

A Companion of Jesus

When Church becomes a chore.

I have many so called chores to do around the home. Cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, sewing…and the list goes on. I find some of these so called chores more burdensome than others, but they aren’t really chores…they are acts of love. I love my children and I cook and iron and wash for them, as well as for myself. I express my love for my sons by insuring that they are cared for, physically, emotionally and spiritually..

When does “Church” become a chore? I reckon for most Christians it is a chore every time they have to go. This includes pastors, bishops and leaders. There is a tendency to go to get. We go to silence our consciences. We go to be blessed. We go to please our parents and satisfy our egos. We go to feel better for all the times during the week when we messed up. We go to be seen, that is we go so that others will notice our piety. We go because we feel (sometimes we are told) it would be a sin if we didn’t. We aren’t interested in the person sitting next to us, we go out of duty and to clear our conscience.

I don’t think I am too far off the mark with this. I have seen too many, including myself, attend church as a chore. Why do so many Roman Catholics seem to leave it to the last moment to go a mass and then leave , often before it is finished, and with such haste? Few Catholic churches have ever struck me as welcoming or loving. Yes there are a few and yes there are Catholics who go out of love, but these are the minority. Why do so many Baptists greet you with such warmth but really don’t give a monkey about you or your needs? Yes there are Baptists who really do love and care for the individual, but these are in the minority. They go to church because the bible says so. Our churches are full of chore burdened folk who are bound under the law of their particular denomination, not knowing they are loved unconditionally and so unable to love truly.

When church becomes a chore, it is time to leave! The trouble here is that we find security in doing our duty , even though no loving relationships are fostered within the community, we stay doing our bit, which we call charity or another name which sounds good, hoping this is enough to get us into heaven.

The fantastic thing is that in the 56 years I have been on this planet and walking side by side with many denominations, there is today something unprecedented happening across the world in the Church. It is being torn down! The structures we have depended on for so long are being ripped apart. The foundations are being pulled up, because we are at last seeing that they are not the foundations. Duty is being replaced with love. Doing is being replaced with relationship. The love of God is being found in love of neighbour. It is at the same time devastating and healing. The rock we thought we once stood on is being shown up as nothing but the sand of lies. It is a time of great revelation and of great deception.

When you look at the God Channels on TV, you see how twisted Christianity has become. Though there are many great preachers and God honouring programmes, there is a plethora of trash that tells the world to keep well clear of. Christians who preach greed in the name of God. Christians who denounce other denominations as they are the ONLY TRUE CHURCH. Christians who harbour war in their hearts towards other religions. Christians who grow fat on preaching fear, hell and damnation. Christians whose words and antics the world is wise enough to keep clear of. Christians who preach of a God they neither know or are known by. Christians who like their ancestors, swallow camels whilst straining out gnats. Christians who have made the bible God and made God a monstrous ogre from a book. Christians who have pontificated in the name of Christ and sat over their flock as devouring wolves, in relative luxury , whilst their flock trembles in fear and hunger. This is sadly what the Church has allowed to breed for over a millennia. But now a true reformation is happening.

This is not a sectarian, divisive, multi denominational move, oh no! This is ‘The Church’ at last seeing itself without walls and without divisions. This is the end of denominationalism and all that went with such a mindset. This is the end of the clergy and laity mush. There will be only clayity in the potters hand. This is not about building mega churches or about mega ministries. It is about love and relational church. It is about Jesus and his command that we love one another as he loves us. It is about others and not self. It is about encouragement and not failures. It is about God and He is love.

When church becomes a chore … get out! For that is not Church, nor a shadow of it. When you love someone, whatever you do for them is never a chore! Love is about giving and just as God loves us, so we are called to love one another. Now that is Church.

Michael Daly
February 2010
Living loved


February 24, 2010 - Posted by | Thoughts

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