Gold Coast Bereans

Out of Ghana, West Africa; Christian hearts and critical minds seeking, speaking and writing the truth with love. This is a conversation of a group of friends, now living in the USA and the UK, who have known each other for more than 20 years.

Monday, January 29, 2007

ME, You and Church, Part 5. Gaius Chicago cautions the natives

My church-bashing brothers will do well to re-read Hebrews 10:25 and the warning against avoiding church or fellowship as the "day draws near". I'm also not sure the concept of church these days was the same as in the early Christian era. Most churches operate more with secular business principles than on the basis of “thus saith the Lord".

From 1994 to 1995 after I first arrived in the USA, I tried multiple churches with the simple goal of finding a multiracial church in Chicago but realized that Sunday was the most segregated day and the churches were the worst offenders. And so, I gave up searching and settled with an ethnic church with the goal of contributing to making their experience of God better.

As much as I disagreed with some of their traditions and was uncomfortable with some of their peripheral doctrines, I had a very satisfying experience with them. I introduced and wrote Bible Study outlines for them and trained Bible Study leaders and I suddenly felt all the years of training in Scripture Union, Christian Medical Fellowship, Accra Chapel, etc. were bearing fruit. I strongly believe that the approach of concentrating on using our God-given talents, skills, and experience to help some ministry in the church makes it less painful in today's dysfunctional churches.

We may not realize that a lot of us are probably better trained and equipped than some of the people who are forming churches in every inch of space. The alternative is getting so discontented with church that we may miss the true worship of God in fellowship with other believers in such services. My former boss and her husband (wonderful Christians) actually felt churches were wasteful and so they joined a group who only meet in homes with no paid pastors and use their tithes and offerings to support missionaries. I nearly followed their example, given the over bloated budgets of many of our churches. - Gaius Chicago


Anonymous Alien Warrior said...

I agree whole heartedly with you and most of us need to be more involved in our churches and indeed we are. I think your former boss has unintentionally formed a church with the other believers they are meeting with.

As long as they fellowship, pray, evangelize and do not become closeted monks I have no problem with what they are doing. Besides in the early church did the brothers not meet in peoples homes? Is that not how most churches started anyway?

I recently went to a Ghanaian church in Dallas and had an eye opener. The whole service was in the Twi language and people with PhD's were speaking Twi as if their dissertations had been written in Twi. I also learnt that many of the people in the congregation did not attend any church till that church was formed.

The lesson I learnt was that we all worship very differently and without Twi, Yoruba, Tutsi and Hutu churches there are a lot of people who will never go to church. I have since softened my stance about segregation in the church and become more philosophical, rather accepting that it will take a great work of the Spirit to bring us to the point where church becomes like the super bowl.

Haven been in a black church for 5 years I can see why many blacks will not go to white churches and vice versa. You and I can go whereever because as you rightly pointed out God has worked on us by His Spirit through His Word, our education etc. Maybe we should not expect that of others. It brings me back to the point that if the church were functioning properly and empowering its members, maybe racial harmony might be a lot better in this country.

January 30, 2007 at 5:06 AM  

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