In our last community newsletter we invited you to submit any questions that you might have about faith, life or God.
Below you can read the question and answer from our Spring/Summer edition submitted by local resident Elanne Christie and with an answer offered by the St. Columba Minister Scott McRoberts. If you have a genuine question you’d like to ask for our next newsletter please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st October 2013
Q:There are so many “brands” and different denominations of Christianity all emphasising different parts of Scripture to instruct followers to the correct path to God. You can’t all be right! So how can anyone pick the right church or is church in all it’s different varieties just “window dressings” – in which case as long as you believe, does it matter if you go to church at all?
A: Nobody likes window dressing less than me. I don’t have time for wasting time. So if church is a waste of time, or I might be wasting my time in the wrong one, then I need to give it up (and, in my case, get a new job). It’s perfectly true to say that churches can vary a lot in their emphases from Scripture. Many churches have emphasised their differences rather than the life-saving faith that unites them. I for one am sorry that you’ve all had to watch that.
But churches are all committed to live under Scripture’s lead – otherwise, they’re not churches. And yes, we can divide on our opinions over the most faithful way to understand that lead but the whole church across the world is remarkably united about the basics of our faith – God made us to know Him. We rebelled against Him, and ended up stained and broken. Jesus lived, Jesus died, Jesus rose again. If we trust our whole life to that, accepting God’s rescue to be remade for life knowing Him, we can have life to the full, now and forever.
So if that’s what is important, does it matter if we go to church at all? Jesus didn’t go through all that just for us to privately believe it, sit on our hands and wait to die so it could all get better after that. That’s a very individualistic, self-centred idea of faith – and it’s not the one in the Bible. Christian life has to do with relationships, here and now, as well as beyond death. The Bible describes church as a community of people growing in their relationships with God, with one another, and with the world around them, through their relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s not window dressing, that’s farming food for daily life, and building for eternity. Scott.