The Chris Creech

Some (mostly) coherent ramblings

Tag: church (page 1 of 4)

Exclusive Worship

It happened again this morning. I was baited (alright, it was my decision) into reading another poorly thought out, badly researched article on worship music. Anyway, the comments section is what really got me. I was foolish enough to decide to read some of them, and they showed what I have been seeing more and more of in the past couple of years. Continue reading

Big Announcement!

Grace and Church Attendance

Yesterday, I ran across an article on Facebook entitled “If You Don’t Go to Church, Can You Still Go to Heaven.” My initial thought was “duh, grace covered that and all sins on the cross,” but I figured I’d take a look and see what the guy had to say. Well, that was a bad idea. I read it yesterday, and I’m still upset this morning. I’m not mad at the pastor that wrote it, and I’m not mad at the many people that shared it. I’m mad at the cheapening of what Paul said in Ephesians 2:9. When we reduce Christ’s amazing sacrifice…the very idea of God becoming a man, living a perfect life, dying a horrible death on the cross, and miraculously raising again?All this for the sole purpose of recovering a relationship with humankind who, according to Romans 5:8, were still sinners. To say that we need something in addition to that grace of Christ, something that we can achieve on our own, is to cheapen, devalue, and spit all over the sacrifice of Christ. I apologize if this article sounds confrontational, angry, or mean-spirited. I don’t mean to be that way. However, I do believe that we should pick certain battles. I fight as rarely as possible (which is a big change from the me of 10 years ago), but I argue when I need to. And I believe that when a spiritual leader attacks the grace of God, that’s a fight worth having.

First, let me make a very important point. If you’re a Christian, YOU SHOULD BE IN CHURCH.  I’ll be the first person to say that being an active part of the body of Christ and the bride of Christ (the local church) is Biblical. The Bible tells us to do it. The local church has always been God’s “plan A” for reaching out to the lost people in our communities. I would even make the point that to be the strongest Christian possible, you need to be active in a local church. A healthy local church is a phenomenal opportunity for discipleship, correction, and fellowship. I’ve heard many people say in my life that they “don’t need the church to be a Christian.” Well, the whole point of my article is to point out that statement as true. However, those people either don’t grow as quickly in Christ as those in church, or they just get their “fire insurance” and move on. Neither of these are healthy. The church is an amazing institution, endorsed by God, blessed by Christ, and helped by the Holy Spirit. Many of my friends sacrificed a great deal to plant Genesis Church because we believe in the local church, and we believe in God using the local church to accomplish His mission.  That doesn’t mean that attendance is a requirement for salvation. Again, it’s impossible to put something that we can achieve ourselves on the same level as the grace that God gives, according to the Bible, “as a gift” (Ephesians 2:8). 

So, if we take the author’s points, where does it end? Is there a certain percentage of the time we must be in church? What if I’m there 89% of the time and God’s requirement is 90%? What if it’s 100%?  What other requirements can we put on salvation? Memorizing the whole Bible? Not picking anything up on a “day of rest?” There was a group of people in the Bible that thought the same thing that this author did. They were called the Pharisees, and they believed in the power of the law over the power of the blood of Christ.

Now, before I wrote this, I checked this church’s beliefs. I would be much less likely to write this if the church that this pastor serves believed in salvation through some other work. However, this is what their post under “salvation” says:

“The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation does not come as the result of something we have done but rather because of what God has done. It is a free gift that cannot be earned or deserved (Romans 6:23). We receive that “gift” by faith in the Lord JESUS CHRIST.”

Sounds like the church’s beliefs nailed the point I’m trying to make.

Finally, the author ends the article with this quote:

“Because, if you’re not going to church and you’re not an active, viable, faithful, participating, contributing, integral part of the church, you need to remember: the devil wants to keep you out of church…so he can keep you out of Heaven.”

This one perturbed me too. Again, he’s making the same point (that you can’t go to heaven without going to church), but he’s making it in a different way. To say that Satan has the power to keep me out of heaven is a ridiculous point. I’m a Christian. Are you really saying throughout this article that I may be able to lose my salvation because of a church attendance roster? And, in your final point, are you contending that Satan has the ability to pluck me from God’s saving hand? I don’t even know what to say about that…except that I do. Romans 8:39 says that NOTHING…no power in all of creation can separate us from the love of Christ. 

Hipster Frames and Worship Music

Unfortunately, I had to switch back to eyeglasses recently. It appears that my eyeballs are no longer accepting of small pieces of plastic in them. So, I needed some new frames. Sarah and I went to pick some out, and I realized that I will (in 7-10 days), finally be in possession of my first pair of hipster frames! You know, they’re a little bit thicker around the rims, and some other stuff that apparently makes them more stylish and “in” (whatever that means). Either way, I got them because the salesperson and Sarah agreed that they made me look older and more sophisticated. Since I’m a 29-year-old man that got carded a while back for buying the movie “Tombstone” I went for the older look. But, I’m pretty sure that fashion statement will be dead soon. I’m probably about 3-5 years too late to call them “hipster” frames. It got me thinking a little about the style of music in the church and whether or not the churches have the same problem. Continue reading

Common Parenting Problems: Part 1

I’ve only been a parent for a little over a year now. Please keep in mind, this article doesn’t come at all from my experience as a parent. That would be like me writing about how to repair a Formula 1 race car. Sure, I’ve worked on cars, but I’ve got zero expertise in that area. Instead,  this article is coming from my experience working with kids as a children’s pastor. A lot of times, this helps because it’s often easier to see problems from the outside looking in. So what are some of the most dangerous parenting mistakes that your children’s leaders see? Take a look at these three, and then join up next week to see three more! Continue reading

How to Evaluate a Worship Service

Last week, I talked a little bit about the wrong ways to evaluate a worship service. This week, I am going to talk about a few of the ways that, when used correctly, will help to correctly evaluate a service. Some of these aren’t designed to be used by themselves or even all the time, but they’re definitely better ways to get a grip on what you’re doing right. Continue reading

Avoiding Quicksand in Ministry

I ran across a meme the other day that joked about how the poster assumed that, based on their childhood movies, quicksand would be a much bigger problem in their adult life. Seriously though, that stuff was everywhere in 80’s and 90’s movies. In churches, we have plenty of our own “quicksand” areas. These are areas in which people just seem to be moving forward only to drop off and completely disappear. This happens often in our generational ministries. Kids drop off in between kids’ and student ministries, between student ministry and college ministry, and between college ministry and young adult ministry. So how do we successfully guide people across these “quicksand” areas? Continue reading

Investing in the Next Generation

One of the most important things that we teach student leaders, kids’ leaders, and anyone that is involved at all with any younger generations is that they need to invest. Investing is a term that imparts the idea of giving something with the expectation of being able to use that investment in the future. So how do we get and use that investment? Continue reading

Common Core, Cursive, Harriet Tubman, and Church

Common Core. Harriet Tubman on money. Cursive handwriting in schools. I keep seeing all kinds of these things pop up on Facebook feeds, Twitter feeds, news articles, and more. What in the world does all of this have to do with church? Continue reading

Worship Myths

Last week, I wrote about busting some common myths about worship leaders. Those can be some pretty dangerous myths as they can erode confidence and trust in leadership, but I think there is a more dangerous set of myths out there. A myth about worship can easily cause bad theology, a lack of true worship in the local church, and fights about worship styles. Let’s take a look at some of these. Continue reading

Older posts

© 2017 The Chris Creech

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑