Which Church Is Right?
This is a question that’s been around for a long time. Incidentally, it was asked by the founder of the Mormon movement, J. Smith, in about 1830. Another question is – why care? Well I think we should care because this age of our calendar time started in A.D. 32, after the resurrection of Christ, is considered by Christianity to be the “church” age, or the age of the Holy Spirit. God prepared this age by appearing as a man, then teaching, then demonstrating his love for us by dying on the cross for our sin. Ignoring the church in the church age is in my opinion a grievous insult to God. The New Testament clearly bears this out for all who read it and think. So which church is right? – There are hundreds of churches who all claim to be the “one & only,” and almost have a monopoly on God.
-- Mormons claim to be “Latter Day Saints.” The rest of us are “gentiles” or outsiders.
-- Catholics have the mother church position and the Pope, and lots of ceremonial formalities.
-- Baptists are fundamental and "right" about the Bible. They are patriotic too.
-- Charismatics have the Holy Ghost and the “power” that brings the victory. Praise the Lord. . .
-- Methodists are open-minded and allow more freedom to do one’s own thinking.
-- Church of Christ has the best name above their door.
-- Seventh Day Advents have the "right" day of worship.
-- Nazarenes have the second blessing of entire sanctification and a “standard.”
This list could go on and on. And considering the conviction and fervor of each persuasion, the title question above is a very good question. So to SIMPLIFY the matter, maybe the question should be, Which Church is Right for ME?
I believe answering that question is a simple mathematics formula of time. There are 168 hours in a week. If the average religious person above spends 2 hours a week in church, then 2/168 = 1% of ones time. (99% out of church) The right church for me is the one that promotes my maximum Godly mindedness during the 99%. The 1% time in church should teach, encourage, & spiritualize us to experience & reflect Godliness in the 99% spent in the real world. If that isn’t happening, we should go elsewhere for our spiritual needs. (Of course, there are folks who aren’t in church for spiritual reasons and none of this matters.)
There are essential doctrines which should be considered in this church age. These probably define that “Godly mindedness” mentioned above. All groups have their favorite doctrines but there is a core that must be present if one wishes to be considered “Christian.” (If we aren’t pursuing Christ and His Spirit, then anything goes in religion.) The Bible is capable of speaking for itself:
-- Acts 2:38-39 Peter said to them. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
-- 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,...”
-- Galatians 2:20 “ I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
If the groups we identify with have the essentials and we are feeling blessed and legitimate during the 99% block of the week, then maybe our church is right and it’s a good fit. I personally made a commitment to Christ BEFORE affiliating myself, so I/we have participated in many denominations as we moved around the U.S.. Maybe this is why I/we look seriously at that 99% block of time & its spiritual “fragrance.” Anyone can “smell” good in church during that 1% scrap of time.
Lets be asking, Which Church is Right For Me. For some there’s no question – they are born & raised_____, and walk firmly in that brand of God’s light. Others like myself have had more of a search. I suppose a prayer for guidance would help anyone. But of course the first thing is accepting the risen savior. “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Choose Jesus, He is alive. See link #9 “Serving God.”
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net - Link 1 is Index * * F. J. Stone * *