Church should make you feel good

“Church should make you feel good” (Tammy Faye Bakker Messner).

Well, yes, Ms. Bakker. When we look at the cross and see the love of the Lord exhibited there, that feels good. Being forgiven feels good. Having someone listen to our prayers feels good. Being with other people of faith feels good. Is there something to celebrate when we worship God? Absolutely everything! No Super Bowl national championship compares with the grandeur of being in God’s presence.

Church should make you feel good.

But one should not feel good about everything. There is another side to that old rugged cross. While it definitely exhibits the love of God, it also bears eloquent testimony to the cost of sin. Sin was so unpleasant, so consequential, that only the death of the son of God would pay for the damage it caused. That should not make us feel good. Our sins, and the manner in which they hurt those around us should not make us feel good. The knowledge that there are many souls who are still lost should not make us feel good. Pride and division still exist in Christianity. We should not feel good about that.

Worship does indeed contain elements of joy and celebration; yet there is also a legitimate and needed place for mourning.

As Daniel once prayed: “We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and to all the people of the land ” (Daniel 9:5).

This Sunday, kneel at the cross. And from that posture, seek grace for the sins you have committed. That. Too, is what we should feel at worship.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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