Thursday, April 16, 2009

Leaving the Church?

An interesting thought came to me after finishing my taxes the other night. I began to think about that phrase "He/She/They left the church". No, doing my taxes did not make me lose my religion and I don't think the phrase and my taxes have any correlation. (Though I know there are all kinds of jokes forming right now but that is okay too:) Anyway, that phrase "He is leaving the church" is one of those phrases generally used to say someone stopped meeting with a body of believers at a certain church location. Then after the phrase has been spoken, there are generally looks of disapproval, worry and sadness and maybe rightly so given each particular circumstance. But one phrase I don't often hearing anyone saying is, "He/She/They left Christ." This seems to be the weightier of the two phrases. Now, I am not saying that these two phrases mean the same because they don't. What I am wondering is, if I always think in terms of someone leaving the church, have I missed a crucial paradigm that Christ is the center of focus. He is the center even above our gatherings together on Sunday mornings. I wonder if the commonality of the '...leaving the church" phrase  and the lack of the "...leaving Christ" phrase exposes some off-centeredness in our thinking.  Understand me, I am not saying anything about attendance to the gathering of the body of Christ. I am wondering if our statements are exposing our focus. I want to be clear on the most important things. And whether someone is following Christ or not is on the top of my list. I want to peer through the clutter and see where Christ is and then continually point others to him. If that means reconsidering when I use certain phrases then so be it.

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