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Is the church obsolete?

We live in a world that is changing with new technology by the second. Over the last three years we witnessed the rise of netbooks as an alternative to bigger, more expensive laptops. They popped up everywhere. Now, they are fading out of the market due to changes in laptop computers and the explosion of tablets like the iPad. Cisco made headlines this week by canceling the Flip Video Camera line. Flip cameras were all the rage a couple of years ago, but smart phones with equal (or better) video capability made them obsolete. That’s just how things go sometimes – the thing that’s the hot item one day, can be gone the next. Most people can look back on the days when they had a tape player, but now it’s just a memory of something that has faded away because of a better alternative. Given enough time, everything that is popular today will someday be obsolete.

Now remove the name of your favorite tech item from 30 years ago and insert “the church.” Church was all the rage back in the day. Everybody went to church. It’s just what you did. However, things change over time and the church was replaced by better alternatives. The biggest movement in the religious world today is to get away from the “stuffy, traditional” church experience and come to God on your own terms. People will tell you “I don’t need church. I come to God in my own way.” I even heard someone say recently “I don’t go to church. Me and God have an understanding.” My first response was “Oh really? Did God sign off on this understanding?” After giving it some thought, though, I realized that it’s time to start taking these people seriously. Has the church “jumped the shark”? Will the church go the way of Flip cameras and fade away at the rise of something more efficient?
Is the church becoming obsolete?

1. No, the church is not becoming obsolete. The church can never become obsolete. Jesus is our Way to God and so whatever He says goes. In Matthew 16 He made it clear that the church would be established as God’s kingdom. We cannot come to God outside of His church. The entire New Testament was written for the church, and all the Christians in it submitted themselves to God as members of His church. You can’t come to “an understanding” with God if you aren’t willing to serve Him in the way He outlined. You don’t see any Israelites in the Old Testament saying they won’t offer sacrifices or worship at the temple because they want to come to God in their own way. God is serious about His commands. If He established the church, it’s foolish of anyone to think they can work around it on their way to Him.

2. Yes, the church is becoming obsolete, but not in the way the non-church movement says it is. The church that Jesus established will never be obsolete on this earth. However, I can understand why many are trying to find a way around the church. I know that a lot of them are just looking for an excuse to sleep in on Sundays, but there are some that really get fed up with the politics and cliques that have arisen in churches. If you can’t break into a clique, you won’t be welcomed at some churches. The longer you spend at a congregation, the more you become aware of the politics that go on between people. It can become very discouraging. Any church that behaves like that is quickly moving towards becoming obsolete.

The problem here is that both sides continue to move away from where they are supposed to be. Those who are moving away from traditional congregations claim they only want to show the love of Jesus. When they walk away from the Lord’s church, who do they show that love to? Those in the church that push others away by being cliquish or political are correct in following the Scriptures regarding the church and worship, but if the love of Christ isn’t there, we aren’t any better.

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4 Comments

  1. Greetings my brother in Christ,

    I wanted to stop by to encourage you that indeed, the church of Christ will never become obsolete because His church isn’t a physical building to begin with.

    Remember:

    “.. For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”. 2 Cor. 6:16.

    There will always be church because Christians will always gather together in His Name.

    “For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” Mt. 18:20.

    So, wherever we happen to “meet”, whether it be at someone’s house, or online, or in a forest somewhere.. in His Name, He is there.

    God bless you!
    p.s. Have you ever read any of Richard Wurmbrand’s books? He a began what is called the underground church in Communist countries decades agao and suffered 14 yrs. of torture in Communist prisons. He spoke of how Christians had to meet in the woods and secret places to read the Bible, fellowship and pray together because they would be persecuted if found. All of the “church” buildings had been taken over by the Communists, who put their stooges in as Priests and Reverends and would turn in other Christians for the Communists.

    His testimonies of the love of God and mercy of Jesus Christ toward even the Communist guards he lead to Christ there, indeed even of one that murdered his own Father, are beautiful and amazing.

    His most “famous” book is called Tortured For Christ, and though he and his wife Sabina (who also suffered for His sake there and wrote a book called The Pastor’s Wife) they are both with the Lord now, his Son has carried on his ministry. They usually give away that book. You can go here to see about it:

    http://www.persecution.com/

  2. God’s church is something hardly anyone out there would recognize if they came face to face with it. Every Religion and faith in this world today began with and was started by Satan. Only Gods true church is relevant and no, it’s not any denomination anyone can name. It doesn’t matter one whit what happen to all these churches in all these small towns in the world and I include Islam, Hindus, you name it, they all belong to satan.
    Bet your fuming now, and you say I’m wrong.
    The religions of Christ day said he was the leader of a cult, he was a drunkard and a rebel, and very few would even follow him. What has changed today? People want to observe religion there way, that is why Christ was crucified almost two thousand years ago.
    Well, go and do it your way but remember one thing, Christ is the King.

  3. Wesley

    May 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Margie,

    I didn’t write this particular piece, but the author would agree with you that the church will never be obsolete, because the Lord will keep His promise. His point was that many groups that call themselves the church will become obsolete if we don’t start acting like it.

    Ron,

    Not upset at all. Just sad. Your logic is lacking. So you are telling me that Jesus established something that no one can recognize?

  4. Church is obsolete for it is always mystery as everything it mentions, it never can prove anything itself. It is the science to prove the God’s theory is always false.

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