I’m A Good Person, I Don’t Need Church

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I hear this almost on a bi-weekly basis either in my close contact with relations or in comment sections of news articles. Many years ago, my brother-in-law brought up this topic on our way home from the airport. 

He’s not very sympathetic to religion, but he would ask questions. I get this a lot where people ask questions, and I have to try and fish out whether or not they’ve already made their mind up and want to bash religion for fun, or if the origins of their question is genuine

He brought up the fact that there are good people out there who act compassionately and do great charitable acts. They’re not necessarily religious or Church-goers but they’re more hard-working and generous than even most Christians. 

I didn’t really want to entertain the question too much because I sensed too much tension and I was suffering significant jet lag. Even though I knew my response was going to fall short of what someone with no faith would look for, I simply brushed it off saying “it’s done in vain because it wasn’t done in the name of Christ.”

I always felt deep remorse for not dwelling on his question further. Even though I’m just a layperson with no theological expertise, I’ve always wanted to at least have had the opportunity to take another shot at his question. Have you ever felt like that? “Sheesh…you know, I really would have loved to revisit that conversation and have said this.” We do that from time to time, don’t we? 

The simple answer is that we don’t go to church that we might learn to be good people. We go to Church to worship God and save our souls. It’s more about salvation in which the good works we’ve done, in the name of Christ, help further that goal. Now…if you don’t believe that then really there’s no other way I can answer this question that’s going to make you feel the need for Church right? OK. 

Furthermore, the idea that someone engaged in charitable acts somehow makes them a generous person is an incredibly major fallacy. I’m going to be blunt, there’s no such thing as a virtuous person…period. Every single one of us on this planet have the propensity to evil and sin. Even those now considered saints by the Church did great deeds but likewise struggled with sin. 

Some do good things but do it for a reward. When I say that you immediately think of a physical reward. That may be true, but the prize I’m talking about is a different kind. Self-esteem, stroke of the ego and the praise of others are often at the root of charitable acts. 

Unless the charitable act is free from all stain of self-love and desire for a reward, can it really said to be still charitable? No, not even by secular standards. Therefore the act may appear to be useful in our eyes, but the Lord looks deeper into the mans heart. He doesn’t look at what action is being performed by why it’s being done. 

Someone who is occasionally kind to others doesn’t somehow make them pleasant. So when people approach me telling me they’re good people who don’t need the Church, I don’t buy into that. Of course you’re not a virtuous person, and secondly, you’re only ever going to realize you need the Church when you’re ready to develop a relationship with Christ. 

There really is no magic answer here that is going to make a person start going back to Church. If someone’s mind is already made up that they’re already righteous and don’t need the Church, all you can do is lead them there. Are you not ready for the Church? OK, well, Christ will wait until you’re ready. Yeah…It’s actually that simple. 

3 thoughts on “I’m A Good Person, I Don’t Need Church

  1. So true! Well written with very good points. I’ve also encountered this situation with someone close, it’s not easy to explain especially when we are caught off guard. Ultimately, those who know Jesus as their savior enjoy gathering together to fellowship with other believers. Believers are called the body of Christ, and just as each member of our body has a function (the eyes see, the ears hear, etc.), so does each Christian have a purpose in the body of believers. We need each other. We are told, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 The day of Jesus’ return is certainly drawing near. It’s time to be right with God, and be ready for the return of Jesus. I’ve heard so many speak of what you’ve said as well, also some who say you can be just as close to God out in nature, but in the end there’s only going to be ONE opinion that matters and it won’t be ours. God has given us His word, and what He tells us in His word is Truth which never changes. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Many today do not know the difference between holy & unholy. God is Holy & He deserves our worship. If we don’t understand “Who” God is, we can not truly grasp the importance of going to church to worship Him. It’s as we go to church, as we fellowship with other believers, as we read God’s word for ourselves we begin to understand the importance. Thank you for writing this it has deeply blessed me😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, indeed, we can often be caught off guard, yet our failure in this regard isn’t acceptable. I think it’s essential for us to be prepared in any situation to answer the faith. However, nothing is perfect, and sometimes God allows us to fall into error if only to prevent us from being puffed up with arrogance due to our limited knowledge on the subject.

    I think what happens when we get caught off guard is that we tend to seize up. An instance like this one occurs in the playground school fight between two boys. One cannot fight well because fear has overtaken him to the point where his vision is blurry. In my instance above, it was pure laziness. We need to pray to the Holy Spirit to cure this and be the one who speaks for us, not that we are worthy of his presence in that regard.

    God bless,

    Stephen

    Like

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