One cold Monday morning I was standing in line at the DC offices to get my Identity Card and an old man in a worn out brown suit came over carrying a huge bible and a colorful stick with a cross at the top. This man preached about many things, all the do’s and don’ts in the church, about how bad it is for women to preach or wear pants but he also preached about grace, forgiveness and love. When he finally left, he left me with a question, is that the old time religion that every old age citizen talks about?
The truth is some people don’t want to go to church because they feel like church has been polluted. Women now wear pants in church instead of the original long skirts and dresses, men can now wear jeans instead of the three piece suit, women can now preach and have high positions in the church. Some may argue that this is still the case in mission churches but things have changed in those churches too. There are women preachers in the Assemblies of God churches and Evangelical churches and women are now allowed to wear pants in the Alliance churches. This is to say that church has changed, or to be more specific, the rules in church have changed.
That said, looking at the way people perceive church, everything seems to be permissible. Dating; divorce; singing in the worship team for the fun of it; being in committees just to have a position in the church; giving so you can have more stuff; taking more than one wife and many other issues that are up for debate these days. Issues that give the front page spot to the church and its pastors. The answer people give to this is the usual “people have lost the meaning of church”.
The meaning of church can be lost in these debates about who is right and who is wrong, which pastor is on the right track and which is not. The one place people forget to point their finger is the bible. People will have many reasons for what they do in church but very few of them point to the bible. And even when they do, one gets to realize that this book is read on many different perceptions and therefore has different interpretations. This results in many Christians not seeing eye to eye.
What should church be like then? Should we have more rules or lighten things up. A pastor once said the first person he will run to when we get to heaven is Adam, to ask him why he got us in the mess we’re in. Maybe we will all get the answers to the questions we have in Heaven.