“I hate the Church” – An Open Letter

Dear Christian Friend,

My heart aches at your statement that you hate the Church and have left her fellowship. You say the Church is full of judgmental hypocrites. In a way, I can understand why you might say that. I believe you when you say you love the Lord, so as a fellow believer, I hope you’ll consider a few things.

I attend church for several reasons. First and foremost, it is a place to offer worship, honor, and praise to the One who sacrificed His perfect life on the cross to save me from the consequences of my sins. Can I praise God while listening to Christian music in my car? Yes. Can I praise Him as I admire the beauty of His creation? Of course. Are those offerings of praise pleasing to God? I believe they are. But it’s in church that I sit side-by-side with Christians from all walks of life, lifting our voices in unity together in praise to the Lord. That energizes me; it rejuvenates me. There is no replacing that. When I miss church, I miss church and I can’t wait to go back.

You say that churchgoers are judgmental. What you call judgmental, I call accountability. Once we connect with the Gospel and become saved, the desires of life begin to change; such is a sign of one who is truly saved. A healthy church will teach us what a Godly life looks like through Biblical preaching and teaching and encourage us on our Christian walk. I want my fellow Christians to help me along the path of sanctification. The Bible even encourages us to hold one another accountable (see Matthew 18 for example). We do so out of love for one another, not to win a “gotcha!” game. I get it – we don’t always get this right; there are jerks in church. There are jerks at work, on the roads, at the airport, and in the grocery store, too. Are you going to quit your job? Are you going to quit driving your car? Are you going to hole up in your house to avoid the jerks in life? Of course not.

You see, the church is full of sinners. Sinners just like me and just like you. Sinners who know the Lord, seek to live lives pleasing to Him, and make lots of mistakes in the process. Sinners who rally around the fallen and support him as he seeks to mend his ways. Sinners who lift one another in prayer in times of illness, unemployment, mourning, and other difficulties. Sinners who, though well intended, sometimes say the wrong things. Sinners who throw themselves on the mercy of the Cross, just as God intended. Your decision to leave says, in effect, that you think you are better than the rest of us. That, my friend, is the sin of pride rearing its ugly head. If you really stop to think about that, I know you will realize that you’re not. We’re all sinners. We’re all saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We all have room for improvement. We need each other. We need you and we want you to come back.

Friend, you have a lot to offer the church, just as she has a lot to offer you. The things that you say have driven you away from the church are the very things that should draw you inside. I hope you will reconsider. I hope you will come back. I’m praying for you.

Your Brother in Christ,

Jeff

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.9.2015

Good morning, Dallas! Morning is my favorite time of the day. Needing some extra time on a special project at work, I headed in early and was greeted by this beautiful sunrise. I couldn’t resist snapping a quick picture.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. ~ Psalm 19:1

North Dallas sunrise 2.9.2015

North Dallas sunrise 2.9.2015

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.8.2015

Over my cold, but behind on P-A-D. We took a walk Sunday afternoon. It helped clear the last few cobwebs from my cold-laden head. Temp was in the mid-60’s, sun was shining, people were everywhere enjoying the beautiful weather. I snapped this pic of these golfers on the green as we walked by Sky Creek Ranch Golf Course in Keller. Texas in February. Gotta love it!

“You can all go to hell; I will go to Texas.” ~ Davy Crockett via Goodreads.com

Golfers at Sky Creek Ranch, 2.8.2015

Golfers at Sky Creek Ranch, 2.8.2015

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.7.2015

I hear that The Fort Worth Stock show & Rodeo closed with record attendance and record money raised for Texas youth. The rodeo announcer told the Saturday afternoon crowd that the livestock sale brought in over 3.5 million! Here a young lady shows her steer as it is auctioned. These kids put in a lot of work, and I’m always impressed with their results. Looking forward to next year!

Work hard and stay humble. ~ from Ranchhousedesigns.com

Steer at auction during the 2015 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo

Steer at auction during the 2015 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.6.2015

The last day of the 2015 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed my 4th year serving on the Safety Committee. “Western Professional” is the dress code for working the Show. Here I am, ready to head out earlier this year. Lucy snuck one last pat on the head as I prepared to leave.

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” ~ Mark Twain via BrainyQuote

 

"Western Professional" is the dress code when working at FWSSR. I like it.

“Western Professional” is the dress code when working at FWSSR. I like it.

P.S. Yes, I missed my Photo-A-Day post the last two days. Chalk it up to busy at work, stock show duties, and a rather nasty cold. Maybe I’ll change this category to “2015 Photo-Most-Days”!

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.3.2015

This is as close as I’ll ever get to a pedicure. The boot shine guys at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo are true pros. They make any pair of boots look their best and have a great sense of humor in the process. And, as an added bonus, the people watching is great from the vantage point of the shoe-shine “throne”!

Fort Worth is friendly; it’s still a Texas town. It’s the most Texas city in Texas. ~ Dan Jenkins via BrainyQuote.com

Getting my boots shined at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo 2.3.2015

Getting my boots shined at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo 2.3.2015

2015 Photo-A-Day 2.2.2015

News reports that Johnny Manziel checked himself into rehab surprised me a bit, but I’m glad he did it. We are often quick to “pile on” when those in the limelight behave unbecomingly, and Manziel certainly falls into that category. When I think about myself at his age, I recall that my behavior often did not reflect the Christian faith I claim. I can only imagine how the limelight would have treated me. Manziel is blessed with amazing athletic talent. I pray that his rehab is a success and that he comes out of it sober minded and ready to grow into the star NFL Quarterback he has the potential to become.

But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ~ 2 Timothy 4:5

 

Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. Photo credit: Wikipedia

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