A post by Willy Rice. Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, Florida.
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Christ and His Church Go Together
Parents who allow their children to opt out of church attendance and involvement have abdicated their role of leadership and set their children up to abandon the faith altogether. The Church is the “Body of Christ”. The American fad to separate Christ, a personal relationship with Him, from The Church, a corporate commitment to Christ through His body, is unbiblical, toxic, and hurtling a generation toward apostasy and eternal destruction. You might as well kick your kid off a cliff at the Grand Canyon.
But it’s boring. How many parents have heard that? First, let me say that I am not advocating boring ministries, boring messages or boring music. We should work hard as church leaders, volunteers and pastors, to be creative, compelling and relevant. BUT since when is it the greatest crime of the century to be boring? There are plenty of things I do that need to be done because they are vitally important that are also occasionally routine and even boring. School is boring at times. I mean how exciting can algebra be? But I don’t hear parents allowing kids to opt out of attending class because a certain teacher is boring. Preparing your taxes can be boring, but that is not an to excuse to break the law. Most jobs can be boring at times. I’ve eaten plenty of boring meals and even read through a few boring books from time to time. Try sitting for hours on end in an ICU. It can be pretty boring. But all those things can be important and even life saving.
Life does not exist to entertain you or your kids. Entertainment is not the great aim of life! When you allow your kids to opt out of church, whether it is student ministry or worship with the larger church body, because they find something boring, be it the music, teaching or something else, you reinforce the heretical notion that the Church exists for their amusement. The Church exists for the glory of God, and our commitment to it is about our love and devotion for Christ. In a Christian family there are certain things that should be non-negotiable…ever! Christian parents fail spectacularly and tragically when their actions teach their children that church is merely for their amusement or entertainment. It is not.
Paul warns us that failing to discern the Lord’s body invites great judgment upon ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:29). While the context of that deals with Communion, those who view the Body of Christ as existing merely for their own entertainment or usage are in fact failing to discern the Lord’s body. To reject the Body of Christ is to reject Christ visible and present in the world and to bring great judgment upon ourselves.
I am afraid some Christian parents have invited judgment upon themselves and their children by failing to impress upon them the beauty and importance of the Body of Christ. If you teach them to hate the Church, you have taught them to hate Christ. If you allow them to neglect the Church, you have encouraged them to neglect Christ. Jesus did not come to entertain you. He came to save you. Jesus is not some side street performer begging you to come and watch His latest tricks. He is the Holy God of the universe who deserves our praise, worship and reverential fear.
Teach your children to love the Lord your God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. This is the greatest aim of the Christian parent. You cannot do that if you make a connection to the Body of Christ optional or relegate it to the role of a peripheral activity that we do when we find it convenient or amusing.