“Ball of Confusion”: That was the title of a hit song by the Temptations back in 1970. And the composer had it right: “that’s what the world is today – hey hey.”
Now I expect the World at large to be pretty confused. After all, if you have no true north to orient your compass by, no fixed point of reference for navigation, travel of any sort is confused randomness. And when that is the case morally and spiritually, the results are truly disastrous.
Those were the thoughts I had upon reading the linked article in the Town Hall today: https://townhall.com/columnists/myrakahnadams/2020/01/12/how-to-get-closer-to-god-if-you-dont-attend-church-n2559327 “How to get close to God if you don’t attend Church.” We might as well ask: “How do you go swimming if you don’t get into the water?” For that, is actually easier than the question the article posed.
Now don’t get me wrong – I understand the reality that some are infirm or otherwise prevented from attending some sort of public and gathered worship. God certainly provides grace for extraordinary circumstances. We need not try to justify neglect of Biblical norms by arguing from extreme conditions. We understand the foolishness of making such cases. But let me cite where the author of the article is coming from:
“Now, let’s get real. Any talk of “God” can be threatening, especially if you are not a churchgoer — and part of a growing trend. According to the Pew Research Center, church attendance and Christianity is on the decline in the U.S — especially among the largest population group known as Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996.
Alternatively, instead of participating in any traditional Judeo/Christian religion, characterizing oneself as “spiritual” is popular, non-threatening, and culturally acceptable. Subsequently, if “spiritual” means that you believe in a universal power greater than yourself — or not sure exactly what you believe, but like the moniker — you are cordially invited to begin “exercising.”
And their suggestions? 1. Find God in Mother Nature. 2. Thanking Him in general. 3. Seeking Him/Asking Him. 4. Praising and glorifying Him. Now what would possibly be wrong with those things? And basically – nothing. Except that in the article, they are juxtaposed to or posited as a substitution for “going to Church.”
The problem? This: The Church, the People of God, IS the dwelling place of God on earth. It is where He intends us to meet Him. Where He sets the date. Where His presence is purposely made manifest. Is God in nature? Sure. He’s omnipresent. But He chooses to manifest Himself in and through – His Church in a way He decidedly does not in nature – or anywhere else. Ephesians 2:19–22 (ESV) — 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
We might as well be saying to Christ: “Look, I love you, but I don’t like going over to your house to meet, and I really don’t like your family. So I’ll have a relationship with you as long as it is on those terms – and that I don’t have to be where you are.
Methinks there’s something askew.
Ball of Confusion for sure.