why attend church?
Why attend church? That's a question I often ask myself. I'll admit I'm envious of those folks who spend their Sunday's on long bicycle rides on the Little Miami Trail. To be honest, it is becoming harder to justify the relevance to church to those folks who have long ago walked away. The Catholic Church is once again being rocked by a child sexual abuse scandal. When does it end? When will the Church purge itself of bishops who protect pedophile priest? Apologies and promises to do better are not enough. Rev. Page Patterson, a prominent Southern Baptist, and president of the largest Southern Baptist Seminary in the world recently stated that abused women should stay in abusive marriages as part of their witness to Christ. Are you kidding me? Only last week, evangelical leaders from across the country enthusiastically meet with Donald Trump. They expressed no concern of his paying off porn stars and Playboy models; his non-stop lying; his disrespect for the late John McCain; his policy of separating children for their parents; nor his lack of basic civility. No! They only have praise for Trump.
How did it go so wrong? I don't have all the answers. I wish I did. I do not blame anyone who looks at the Christian landscape of today and decides they want no part of it. I want no part of it. But, I can't walk away. In the words of Peter when asked by Jesus, "do you want to leave also?" "Where would I go?" I am a Christian. I believe the Church is the Body of Christ. We are his hands, feet, eyes, and ears in a hurting world. It is up to us to speak up and take action to protect children from abuse. It is up to us to use our prophetic voice to speak out against a lying, cheating and immoral president. It is up to us to open our doors to all those that have been excluded, harmed and abused by those who use the name of Jesus to gain power and prestige.
Yes, Philippus is a small congregation. We have lots of issues. There is never enough money to go around. We have a lot of empty pews on Sunday. Because the pride flag hangs from our church building, we receive a lot of hostile and negative comments. We will never be a mega church. But we are the church. We are the Body of Christ. We offer a place for those who like Peter, who cannot walk away. Come and join your voice with ours. We are making a difference in the world. God is still speaking.