Recently I picked up an edition of College Avenue magazine on campus and read a piece about people flocking to churches for help in the present economic crisis. In this context, churches are used as resources for support and aid rather than spiritual guidance.
It seems necessary to say before I continue that I am a Christian and have accepted Jesus as the Savior of my soul. When I was saved, like many of my new friends, we repented.
Repentance means a heart change. Believing in Christ is not only a mental acceptance of God’s existence; belief in God is shown through actions and by the fruit of your labor.
The spike in attendance is good to see, but I am concerned about the newcomers’ intents. The choice to be a Christian is a permanent decision and not one to be taken lightly.
An analogy that I hear a lot is that many people who claim to be Christians use God as a “spare tire,” meaning they only go to church or pray or turn to God in any way when they run into trouble and can’t gather their own strength.
This is not how the church is meant to work; God is not a last resort, He should be sought after first and diligently in all things. Christians should rely on Him completely.
That is not to say that you shouldn’t do anything except pray and let God do all that work for you. We, Christians, need to work hard in order to allow God show Himself to us and to others around us through our lives — hence the reference to being a candle and to shine with the light of God from within.
For anyone who thinks I am judging people, please keep in mind that I am not trying to judge — only God can do that. I am just trying to warn people about the intentions of their hearts.
I am in no way condemning people for attending church more and more, nor am I condemning people for using the resources that churches have to offer. It is a good thing that in times of trouble people run to churches for help. It is a chance for the church to grow and continue to spread the good news of Christ.
But the church is supposed to be more than aid and resource; the church is a community that is in a deep, committed relationship to God. For those who are attending church and praying more only until God gives you what you want, I would recommend that you take this opportunity to give Christianity an honest chance. Really listen to the sermons and make friends in the congregation.
If you are someone who has truly repented then I say to you, welcome brother or sister. If you have found a church that you are comfortable in, then you have found a good thing, and I would encourage you to develop strong connections within that cProxy-Connection: keep-alive
rch. If you have repented and you are not in a church, then I would encourage to pray and ask God to show you a church that suits you and to do the same.
Good luck and God bless.
Scott Callahan is a sophomore undeclared major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.