When Church-Going Is A Waste of Time

Have you ever spent three or four hours in a church service and at the end of it you could not list one positive benefit resulting from your being present at church that Sunday? Apparently, that is not such a strange phenomenon these days. I must confess that this strange occurrence has been my experience several times in my life.  At one time, it was occurring so frequently that I had to do something about it. But when does church-going become a waste of time?

  1. The worship is too long and repetitive and lyrics do not inspire faith in Christ.

The congregation stands for close to an hour singing choruses and songs that most of the time bear no resemblance to scripture. Some of them are like secular love songs. Each song or chorus is repeated ten to fifteen times for no better reason than to make one sick and tired. From an onlooker’s standpoint, it seems like the people up front are “worshipping”, laying on the floor, raising their hands with contorted faces and obviously are experiencing an altered state of mind. Those closer to the back are less involved. Some were sitting, while others were singing or raising their hands or both, but the activity of the front does not reach the back rows.

The whole worship experience is based on emotion rather than on faith in Christ and the living hope that Christ has promised.  Karen Clark summarises this emotionl abandonment in one of her songs that they sing. Let us forget our worries and have a good time the songg encourages.There is no corporate reading of scripture.

The word of God seems not to be too critical in the life of this congregation. Every little thing is taken care of during the service. They allow time for announcements, birthday and anniversary greetings, visitors with connections to the ministry are allowed to address the congregation, the taking of the tithes and offerings is never left out, but the word of God is not read corporately. Neglecting the corporate reading of scripture during church serices is disgraceful, especially when they claim to be listening to and following the Hol Spirit.

Substituting for the word of God, some man who calls himself a “prophet” gets up and rattles off some illogical foolishness and at the end, he says, “thus saith the Lord.” I often wonder which lord is intended.

  1. The sermon has little Christian teaching.

The preacher gives a motivational speech laced with empty promises of prosperity and/or encouragement to “take authority”. He gives messages that provoke noisy responses from the congregation but he neglects to emphasise to the congregants the importance of holy living. Often the preacher wanders off into babbling in “tongues”. Who knows what he is saying? He does not want us to know. He seldom takes time to teach the major doctrines of the Christian faith. There is also evidence of inadequate sermon preparation and often he is recycling old worn out, irrelevant topics sermon preparation and too often they are recycling old worn out, irrelevant topics. There is no proper exegesis of scripture.

When there is a chance to listen to a visiting preacher, the hope is always that he would bring some relief by watering the flock  with the precious word of God. Instead the preacher gives a talk about his books that would be available for sale after the service. Is this what Christians must endure (2Cor.11:19-20)?

  1. Nonsensical culminating activities

After the sermon there is more mood altering music and a call for those who want more of the Holy Spirit to come forward. They are asked to perform some stupid ritual like pulling down blessings from heaven or pretending to be drinking the Holy Spirit. Sometimes there is a  healing “show” where no one receives healing, yet persons testify that they are healed. Then the preacher, under the influence of the “anointing” imparts power for various purposes.

By this time three or four hours have passed and one can only think of getting home to eat and rest. There can be no meaningful time for fellowship with the brothers and sisters. Generally, everyone is out of the building at the last word of the benediction. All these things make church-going a waste of precious time.

At some convenient time after a church service, I sit and reflect on the time spent at church. I ask myself these questions. Did what I hear, see or participated in at church assist me in having a closer walk with Jesus? Was I inspired to greater love for God and my brothers in Christ? Have I been challenged to let the Holy Spirit change me into the image of God?  Did any of the unbelievers who were present convicted that he was a sinner and that Jesus Christ was amongst us (1Cor.14:2-25)?  If these questions cannot be answered positively on a regular basis, then church-going has become a waste of time.  Any Christian, serious about his relationship with God, and caught in such a situation, will have no choice but to take immediate action. The Holy Spirit will guide you accordingly.

 

 

 

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About veldaville

A retired special education teacher with a Masters Degree in Education from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and professional certificates in Educational Management and Teaching Deaf Children from the University of the West Indies. Possess many years experience supervising teachers and instructing children in a church setting, planning and supervising day camps for children. My ambition is to proclaim Jesus Christ to all and especially to those who have fallen into error. My hope is that they may see the light and be saved from those who prey on their souls.
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7 Responses to When Church-Going Is A Waste of Time

  1. The situation you describe in your first point was very similar to the church I used to attend. I think it might have started me on my journey to atheism.

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  2. I can only speak to my own experience. I used to go to church looking for something.I wanted a sign, maybe to hear something inspiring. As I e grown older I use my time in church both for reflection and a reminder. I reflect on the past week. I acknowledge my weakness, my failures and allow myself to feel gratitude for the things I’ve done better. I remind myself I am a work in progress and that hour in church is the reminder that I am accountable for everything I say and do. It’s amazing how every experience can be so different for each and every one of us. Just wanted to share mine with you. Thanks for the post!

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  3. First time here to this blog. I absolutely love what you wrote here! The Lord rescued me from this kind of teaching in 2006 and since then, has been exposing its unfruitfulness. I came here by way of latest blog post so you can see why I wrote that. It’s so tragic to me that so many sincere believers are duped by this foolishness. How can they grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? By the way, you might want to correct the numbering of your points. They all say #1.

    Liked by 1 person

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