Country Club or Hospital?

FYI: The Church isn’t a country club for saints, it’s a hospital for sinners. Here’s a newsflash for you — every person within the walls of the church (every church) is a sinner, having failed to live up to God’s holy ideals.


The Invitation

All are truly welcome inside our walls — just as you are. Many will say that “I’m a good person what do I need to be saved from?” However, in the New Testament we read that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)


If you’re simply a good person, go to Church anyway. If you're having sex before marriage, go to church anyway. If you are a drug addict trying to beat addiction, go to church anyway. If you were out drunk all night the night before, go to church anyway. If you aren't sure what gender you prefer, go to church anyway. If you can't quit that certain disgusting habit, go to church anyway. Church is a hospital for the broken, lost, empty, confused, desperate, and rejected.


Every sinner has a future, and every Saint has a past. The only thing keeping you away from fellowship with God is yourself.

How do we break the chains of bondage to our sins? As they say in twelve step programs, the first step towards recovery is recognizing that you’ve got a problem. The next important step is to realize that we need to be “saved” from ourselves, and understand that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Jesus didn’t come to this world to judge or condemn anyone.(John 3:17) Those outside of Faith in Christ are already lost. Finally, we need to open the door and let Jesus in, and learn to “do the will of the Father.”


There isn't a single person in the 4 walls of the church that doesn't have something they hate or regret about their past. We've all made mistakes, and will continue to, BUT His Grace is enough! There's things that I'd never want to admit out loud about myself, but God knows. And He loves me none the less. So whatever you've done, whatever you're doing, whatever you will do....go to church anyway, it might just change your life!


Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that we suddenly become perfect. However, it does require that we work towards holiness — being willing to put aside our own personal prerogatives, lusts of the flesh and the pride of life, for a higher calling. No. There are no promises that the Christian path will be an easy one. To the contrary, Christians are told to expect difficulties. The world hated Jesus in his life on this earth, we shouldn’t expect less for ourselves.


One of the difficulties most have with Christianity is that Church teachings are distinctly counter-cultural. Few, it seems are willing to put aside their own sense of morality for an outside authority — especially considering the revisionist teachings that embrace worldly, new age wisdom. That may be the reason why we’re told that relatively few will find the path to eternal life in the presence with God.


When you make the decision to be a follower of Christ, that choice needs to be followed up with study, and prayer. It will also become important that you find a church and pastor that is remaining faithful to the historic faith. Sadly, there is NO salvation to be found in modern churches that are denying historic moral teachings. The bottom line is that God still hates sin — ALL sin, and we are admonished as Christians to FLEE from sin and unrighteousness.


The core of our Christian faith is LOVE. We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) Jesus tells us that there are two great commandments, to love God, with all our being, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Those who truly love God, are called according to His purposes. In that mindset, we do our level best to avoid sin and teach others the importance of doing the same. In that understanding, one of the most loving things we can do is to teach others God’s moral imperatives. Christians understand that our lifestyle choices have eternal implications and we cringe to think that anyone would end up in the place that God created for the fallen angels. Many in our day will tell you that if you disagree with me regarding ______, then you must hate me. That is actually the polar opposite from our motivation. We don’t hate anyone. That would be contrary to who we are called to be in Christ, Jesus.

My friends, the Love of God and neighbor is why we’re starting our new home-church. We are a different sort of Catholic Church. We are committed to the historic teachings of the Church. We follow the doctrines set forth in the first thousand years of the Church, however, our worship (mass/liturgies) will be familiar to most Catholics. All are indeed welcome to attend weekly celebrations. We ask that only baptized Christians partake of the Eucharist, and do so with a heart that is reconciled with our Lord.


My prayer is that we’ll see you soon!


++Michael

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