They say that confession is good for the soul. I’m not a Catholic and I don’t have access to a priest and a confessional, so I will make my confessions here on the blogosphere. Here goes (and in no particular order):
I confess/am sorry that there are things I don’t get about church. I confess that there are things about church that do my head in (for want of a better expression). I confess that there are people in church who do my head in. I confess there are people in church who almost certainly feel the same way about me.
I confess that I have many moments when I feel that I am done with church and just want to be in a relationship with God that doesn’t involve ministers, leadership teams, church buildings, rotas, and at times (to put it bluntly) – other people.
I confess that I feel frustrated by meetings in which we talk for over two hours and pray for less than five minutes. I confess that right at this moment I feel ‘meeting-ed’ out. I confess that I look at the list of meetings I have just drawn up for my church for 2017 and I feel dazed at the prospect. I confess wondering what the Father thinks about all these meetings. I confess that I don’t know what to do about it.
I confess that having searched the Gospels I can find no record of Jesus holding endless business meetings with His disciples. But then Jesus wasn’t bothered about buildings or insurance, health and safety, worship teams, stewarding duties, church kitchens, or any of the other items that feature on our meeting agendas. Jesus just focused on reaching the lost, healing the sick, befriending the lonely, mentoring His followers, spending time alone with His Father, etc. And while Jesus assigned His followers the task of starting and building the church I am pretty certain that He intended church to follow the example He had set. Isn’t that why He equipped His followers in the way that He did at Pentecost?
So I confess that it is time that I lost my religion and fixed my eyes on Jesus. I confess that it is time to be done with church – manmade church, and time to consider the church that Jesus wanted. The only problem is that I haven’t a clue how or where to start because I was born into the Baptist Church and have lived there all my life. The only place I can think of to begin is on my knees.
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-22 NIV)