Come to Church to sin

Now could you imagine any minister saying to any congregation, “Come to church to sin”? Well could you?
There is a verse in the Old Testament, Amos Chapter 4
verse four, where the prophet says just that.
He says to the people, ‘come to worship twice in the day, give a tenth of your money every third year, and give more besides as a freewill offering, and in it all you’re sinning.’
We can’t be hearing right, surely, but when you read the verse you see that he tells them to come to worship at Bethel and Gilgal which were places where the golden idols had been set up as the people’s object of worship.
So whatever good they thought they were doing was made bad by the fact that their god at the centre of it all wasn’t real; it was a god that they had made themselves, a god of their own success and it’s a very easy and comfortable thing to worship one of those idols.
To worship the living God is a searching, demanding, testing activity, which can be most discomforting.
But then, the symbol of our faith is a wooden cross not a golden calf, and the one who stands at the centre says -
“Take up a cross and follow me, and come and be healed”.

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March 2018
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