Letter: Church is not Christianity
To the editor:
Many believe that the act of attending church services is Christianity.
How such an idea came about is unclear, but Jesus surely didn’t believe it. Jesus’ ministry was never focused on a building or organization. In fact, He was highly critical of the churches of His day because they primarily served only themselves and their inner circle.
Jesus was quite clear on the matter. True religion is to love your neighbor as yourself, to care for (physically as well as financially) the widow, the orphan, the poor and even the foreigner, to give them dignity and respect. And Jesus specifically criticized the church leadership for teaching their congregations that church offerings were a higher priority than the needy, especially those within their own family and community.
Jesus said, “Lay down your life and pick up your cross and follow me.” Our life is our selfish need and desire to use our talents and fortunes for a life of luxury and ease. Our cross is to give those things with our time and energy to spread the gospel of God’s love to the multitudes of dying and lost souls.
These lost and dying souls fill our inner city. We hide them and scorn them, all while singing our hymns and thinking amiss that we have done all that’s required.
Jesus says, “Imitate me!”
What will it cost to imitate Jesus? Everything, just as it cost Him. What is to be gained? Everything, just as He received.