Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches


Not Good Enough For Church? 


"I couldn't possibly come to Church. I'm not holy enough".   When I first heard that comment, I wanted to cry. Then I wanted to scream. Then I wanted to apologize. I wanted to ask the person who made that comment to forgive the Church for communicating the idea that we have to reach a certain level of holiness before we qualify to visit a Church let alone join a Church.  


For someone to say that they are not holy enough to go to Church is like saying that they are not well enough to go to hospital! Think about it for a moment.   The primary qualification for admittance to a hospital is sickness, not health. In fact, good health would disqualify a person for admittance to a hospital. The primary qualification for involvement in a Church is personal need, not self-righteous achievement.   The Head of the Christian Church, Jesus Christ, said it better than anyone else. "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  


To belong to the Christian Church is not a claim to have "made it" or to have entered a superior realm that is "holier-than-thou". On the contrary, so far as I am concerned, belonging to a Church is an admission that I am a needy person who is finding that my deepest needs can be met by God through my involvement in that community of faith.  


May God forgive those of us in the Church who have allowed or promoted the idea that holiness is a requirement if a person is to be accepted into the Church. Such a concept denies and betrays the attitude and actions of Jesus who welcomed those who knew they were anything but holy.   In fact, it was the people who prided themselves on having achieved a high level of personal holiness who put themselves on the outside by refusing to acknowledge that they needed deep inner healing and forgiveness.  


It's more than time that the Church once again became a place of acceptance and wholeness where weary, broken and despairing people found healing and new life. In other words, where they found Jesus among His people.    

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