Keeping the Faith #323

#323 Dear Pastor, I just went away to college and my parents want me to find a church. I’m not sure what I believe and want to take some time off. Why should I go to church?

I appreciate your honesty. It’s unfortunate that you don’t see church as a vibrant place to worship God and provide security in the associations that can be found there. Perhaps your experiences with church have been based on limited exposure to types of church services, or that your home-church just doesn’t seem responsive to your life. Rather than a lack of belief, I suspect that your uncertainty may be due to your becoming more mature and separating yourself from your childhood identity. While this is a natural process, it is also a time where you can make choices that aren’t beneficial to your future.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  The Spirit of the Lord can also be called the presence of God or the Holy Spirit. It’s God’s desire that when His children come to church that they would experience His presence in joy and liberty. Church should therefore be an exciting and uplifting experience!

I’m sure you’ve heard this scripture quoted (usually while finger-wagging), Hebrews 10:25, “Do not forsake our own assembling together, as the custom of some.” While this is good advice, it’s not the whole story. In context, this passage is about the God-designed functioning of the New Church. Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us go in with true hearts, in certain faith, having our hearts made free from the sense of sin and our bodies washed with clean water. 23) Let us keep the witness of our hope strong and unshaking, for He is true who has given His word. 24) And let us be moving one another at all times to love and good works.” Church shouldn’t be a place where you feel confused, unworthy, and disconnected. This passage presents an environment of freedom, forgiveness, encouragement, love, and purpose. This is only achieved where God’s Spirit can express Himself.

Rather than dump the idea of church altogether, may I suggest that you pray to find the one right for you? During this crucial time, the right church can be a great place to find answers and direction for your future.

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