Today we hear about the “Big Box” stores that seem to have taken over everyone’s shopping experiences. Gone is the day of the little family operated, Mom and Pop corner grocery where personal service from caring neighbors meant something.
As for “not forsaking the assembling together of ourselves as is the manner of some…” (Hebrews 10:25) We hear this a lot from our church going friends when they find out that we no longer attend their highly organized gatherings on Sunday mornings. I have yet to hear one of them quote the verse just before it which reads, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb 10:24 KJ2000). How much “one anothering” actually takes place during a Sunday service? Isn’t what happens there pretty much one way?
I use to work in a saw and small engine shop. Once in a while we would get what we called a “box job.” It usually was something like a chain saw or a lawn mower which had been torn completely down by the owner who hoped he could fix it, but gave up once they had it torn apart and saw that they were over their heads [it was in parts]. So it came to us to be fixed in a box. THAT is what “organized religion” is like to me. Men have man-handled the Church to the point that Jesus cannot recognize it and then they want Jesus to show up and make it all better so they can man-handle it some more.
The other thing is that the mower or chain saw in that box was technically “assembled together,” but Jesus has a hard time using it for HIS purposes, because it is not assembled together the way HE meant it to be. It is just a bunch of loose pieces that are not interrelated in any form He can use. The pieces are not “fitly joined together” as members of HIS body should be.
So, do we not come together at all? No, we seek organic gatherings where all there can “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” The other thing is just “playing church” while we who assemble in this way get to BE the Church, His body, as the Spirit orchestrates our gatherings in an organic way with Christ as our Head.
“But when that which is perfect [perfectly assembled] is come, then that which is in part [in parts… the box job] shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Co 13:10-11 KJ2000)
“Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” ~ Lenny Bruce