I am not abject in my thinking about "church." I know that church has many faults. The church, when it fails to be true to its faith and calling, it obviously disappoints many. People turn away from the church when they have experiences of its failure and hypocrisies.
But, the church has many positives, often very simple, though not always thought to be noble. It has community. A surprisingly deep fellowship of friends. It is full of quite good-hearted folks. It's a place to meet good people. Churches are often the first people ready to reach out to people in need. People from far countries who need to find freedom in a new land. The church loves children and is usually the first institution to seriously teach children manners, common decency, right from wrong, and surely, "the greatest story ever told," of faith. The church goes out of its way to give a wise understanding of love and faithfulness in marriage to those who come to it to be married. The church cherishes the meaning and value of human lives and is usually ready to arrange and conduct memorial services for those who've died. It offers counselling for dealing with life's problems. It teaches faithful, moral, selfless living.
On the other hand, church proclaims weekly the call to love one's enemies, to do good to those who hurt you - all because of the life and death, and resurrection of Jesus, whose selfless life was the most admirable in the history of the human race.
And, when you're down and discouraged, grieving and lonely, no place is better for you than the church. Try it!
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES