Billy's Blog
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April 10, 2017, 7:11 PM

Church? Really? That's So 1985.

One of my favorite movies, and possibly the movie my wife and I enjoy the most together, is the Wedding Singer. One of the things I love about this Adam Sandler movie is that the movie is set in the 1980's. I was alive to see all ten years of this amazing decade. I don't think there's been any decade that's been more celebrated or more lamented. I am sure there are more documentaries about this decade than any other. 

It's also funny to see the ridiculous fashions of the 1980's. There's a guy wearing a Michael Jackson jacket...red leather with about 45 zippers on it. Of course there is big hair...gallons of hair spray were needed to keep that hair that big. There were rock stars wearing more make up than Tammy Fae Bakker. It was a ridiculous age. 

Maybe the idea of going to church should be put with the ridiculousness of the 80's fashion. 

As we gear up towards the Super Bowl Sunday for the church, Easter Sunday, a lot of people question whether we should bother with church at all. When I say church I mean the corporate, public gathering of the church body. Maybe we've outgrown this event and we should bury it. I mean nothing lasts forever, right? 

First of all, let me clarify something. As I told my youth group last night when we were discussing this, I am not trying to say church has to look exactly like it does today. I do not want to be a person who puts the method in the same place as the message. I told my youth that their generation might end up doing church much differently than my generation or several generations before me. I'm not all that concerned about the method. 

Secondly, the idea that you can worship anywhere is true. You can worship God in a bass boat as much as you can in church. This is not the point I have an issue with. What we are talking about is a group of believers gathering together. This should never stop. 

The purpose of the gathering is always relevant even when the style become irrelevant. Consider what the writer of Hebrews says about this. 

 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

1. The writer challenges the people on how they are going to hold onto their hope. 

This world and the things in it threaten our hope all the time. We see bad circumstances that don't change. We suffer things that we shouldn't have to suffer. We go through things that challenge our faith. We have to hold onto our hope or we have nothing. 

2. He challenges us to think about how we can help each other live the life. 

The idea of spurring something on has to do with correction and guidance. We need to find ways to help each other stay on the right path. There are so many wrong paths and they seem so good, but we all know that there are many paths that lead to destruction. 

3. The writer gives us an answer...don't stop gathering together. 

So here's this thing called, the church, being challenged to not give up gathering. While some may think that church services are something that might belong in 1985, this New Testament writer thinks otherwise. 

Church gatherings look different depending upon all kinds of things. 

A church in the Jamaican culture is going to look a lot different than a church planted in Taiwan. 

A church in a rural setting may look different than a church that is downtown. 

A church planted to reach bikers might look different than a church planted in a suburb. 

The methodology is not the point. The point is that you gather. The point is that you encourage and uplift other people. The point is that you worship together with other believers who are trying to live the same life you are trying to live. 

As a preacher I'm constantly inviting people to gather with us. The reason I do this is because I've seen the benefit of it. I've seen the encouragement and conviction and support that coming together gives people. I've also seen the spiritual level of people who are missing church services regularly...your walk with God suffers when you consistently miss these gatherings. 

As we gather for Easter churches all over America will be more full than they normally are. We usually have to have people in an overflow room downstairs to make enough room for everyone. I encourage you be one of those people. Will it make you a Christian if you go or make you not a Christian if you don't? I'm pretty sure the answer is NO. But will you be encouraged, uplifted and be more in a position to live a more full life for God? I think the answer is a resounding YES. 

I hope you can join other believers in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ this Sunday. And don't stop there. Just keep going. We're open every Sunday here at LCC! 


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