The Church of Your Choice
I have in my library a number of religious books not written by brethren of the body of Christ. In a large majority of these books, the back page has some exhortation that after being convicted of the reader’s sins he should obey some sort of teaching of how one is saved (the vast majority being errant in the eyes of God and wholly foreign to the commands of the Bible) followed by another exhortation to attend “the church of your choice” after doing so.
While I understand that some of the writers and proponents of this idea are most likely very honest people simply stating what they have been told by other men in whom they have trusted or have not had the ability to learn the error of such a statement, it is upsetting to know that so many people today are lead astray with such a simple statement.
It sounds good, doesn’t it? The idea that we can go “church shopping” in order to find that perfect church where the youth group is active and the same age as our children, the preacher is lively and uplifting, the members are welcoming and the congregation rarely has a day in which something is not happening so that we can stay active in our faith. The concept is great! The problem is, it’s flawed.
Don’t get me wrong, the concept isn’t flawed because these things aren’t important to the life of a congregation, they are. A vibrant group of young people being taught the way of Christ, a preacher who not only preaches the truth but does so in such a way that those listening can understand and apply what the Scriptures teach and even regular fellowship opportunities are all essential to a congregation’s ability to stay faithful to the Lord. The flaw arises when the statement points its followers to go out into the broad world of denominationalism and cherry pick a group which meets their needs and opinions rather than looking for truth.
In a world where there are 38,000 denominations all claiming Christianity and each of these teaches some variation on Biblical faith it’s a daunting task to find that truth but that is the responsibility of the one seeking salvation in Christ (Philippians 2:12).
That is where the Church of Your Choice falls flat on its face. See, the Church of Your Choice might or might not be that true body of Jesus Christ for which He died and over which He reigns (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 1:22–23). It might not be the group striving to stay faithful to the Lord through the Biblically prescribed unity which leads one to be able to stand against the waves of society and the temptations of the Devil (Ephesians 4:1–16, 6:10–20).
But, there is a church which does. The name might even sound a lot like this theoretical Church of Your Choice but the practice, worship, belief, faith, authority and every other category is drastically different. When the Church of Your Choice tells you that Christianity is about your wants and desires and what makes you feel special, the church that I’m talking about will tell you that Christianity is all about your need for salvation and how to access that saving grace through true faithfulness to God which might even trample your wants and desires in the mud at times.
Sure, this church gets a bad rap sometimes because of the misunderstandings and all out falsehoods spread around about it on a daily basis, but it’s that one that Jesus established (Matthew 16:18) and if He was misunderstood and misrepresented and continues to be today we shouldn’t think His church would be any different (John 15:18). The church I’m talking about is the church of Christ.
The church of Christ is amazing! Not only because it was established by Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18, Acts 2) but because in it, and only in it for that matter, is found salvation (Ephesians 1:7). It’s amazing because at the very moment that someone obeys the Gospel (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9, Romans 6:2–3, 1 Corinthians 15:1–11) and is saved (Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21) the God of the universe places him inside that church (Acts 2:47) where he is part of the family of God (Ephesians 2:9).
While the Church of Your Choice seems very appetizing, in it is nothing more than games and death. But in the church of Christ, is everything from an abundant life (John 10:10) to abiding love (John 10:29).
I hope that you will seek out that church, the church of Christ, instead of the Church of Your Choice. And next time someone tells you to attend the Church of Your Choice, tell them you’d rather attend the church of His choice (Ephesians 1:4).
Originally published on LeeMSnow