Friday, May 01, 2009

The Church and a Smoking Tangent

I'm speaking this Sunday @ PCC's worship gatherings. Topic :The Church. It's one of my top 10 favorite subjects. If you read my blog you know my little slogan, "Don't GO to church, Be the church." I'm excited and grateful to challenge our church family to BE and those who are searching-- to join the mission of God's PEOPLE CALLED OUT! Those three words: People Called Out, are how I describe God's intention for the Church. I'll go into detail Sunday. I'm praying that we become the church God intended us to be, fueled by his power as I've been re-learning about.

I looked for an image with a stereo-typical church building crossed out to symbolize the building isn't the church, the people are. But I couldn't find one, (is that offensive?), but I did find this:
Funny and random.
Tangent-I have to say this about smoking. More churches should put ashtrays near exits of their building, or on their patios so that people who smoke would feel welcomed. Y'know the church should be the kind of people who say come as you are, (issues, addictions, hurts, doubts, questions, etc), experience God and let him change you. Instead, we as the church have dug our own hole turning "church" into a weekly event where people traditionally dress up, act polite, sit, spectate, and go through a religious routine for 90 minutes. Ug. Many people don't want to gather with the church because they are turned off. More on that later....

By the way. I've actually had a few people (mostly teenagers) ask me:
Q: "Does God send people who smoke to to hell?
Everyone wants to know if there behavior will send them to Hell. I try to explain God's more concerned with a relationship and he's full of love and grace but I also like to have a little fun so I've come up with this little saying:
"Smoking won't send you to Hell, it only makes you smell like you've been there. :)"
God loves you: smokers, pastors, addicts, and even the "religious spectators."
God, we need to experience you so we can be changed.

1 comment:

Autumn said...

Hey Tony! Loved the message last night. . .challenging and encouraging. Praying for "the church" out in the world today!