Recently a friend tells me he was at Brentwood Park with his dog and started talking to someone about the dog fair that we did a month ago. My friend told him he was a part of the church that hosted the dog fair. The guy said, “I hate church people.” My friend said, I don’t like church people either, but I don’t believe in Jesus because of the people, but because of what He has done in me and in the lives of the people around me.
What a great response. To be fair, it’s not that we don’t like church people, but that we don’t like people who have made a religion out of church. That might sound confusing? It is when people have reduced church to a list of do’s and don’ts, them and us, saints and sinners, and when Jesus entered into humanity it wasn’t just to create another religious experience to divide the have’s and have nots. There were plenty of religious experiences in His day, just as there are in our day, but He came to create something different. Not just another place and way to worship their special god, but when any person places their faith in His work on the cross we go from people who do and don’t attend holy temples to our bodies becoming the holy temple. Different huh? Gathering on a particular day of the week at a certain time is not what created the transformation. It is not what makes a Christ-follower. The transformation is within.
So that in the end we don’t become “church people” and “non church people” but completely different people as we experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.