As the heartbreaking footage of the Notre Dame Cathedral engulfed in flames flooded the social media waves, I think we were all in shock. Whether you’ve traveled to Paris in person to see this beautiful, historical building or not, it just kinda hit you right in the gut. How could this be happening? WHY are our churches under fire??
I was raised in a little ole community with a little ole country church that was within walking distance and it was the focal point of our existence. Almost every community event that was held took place in this church. Reunions, baby showers, singings, revival, bible school, etc. A lot of good times took place behind these doors. It was all about love, laughter and fellowship. It was the center of our world and I have priceless memories because of it.
The doors of the church were always open during any service. As a matter of fact, before we had air conditioning, the doors stood wide open during the summer months so that we might catch a breeze. Never in a million years would we ever have had to worry about some maniac trying to make any kind of trouble. It was sacred ground and there seemed to be a silent respect there from even those who dared to even visit the thought of any wrongdoing. You just didn’t do that. Period. And there was never even consideration to bring a fire arm into the sanctuary, because it wasn’t needed. You were safe there. Nothing could touch you when you were in the House of God.
A large part of my life took place in that church. I walked down to the altar at the age of 11 and gave my heart to God. I was married there, took my children there, watched many of my family members marry there, and even said good-bye to some of my loved ones there too. Even now, as I only seem to attend on special days/holidays, it still seems like I’m visiting an old friend and I smile to myself when I see its comforting presence come into view.
This is just my story, and I know there are many others who feel the very same way about their church too. yet, every day we hear more and more horror stories about shootings, robberies and acts of arson that take place at our place of worship as evil just seems to overtake the world with these violent acts.
How did we even get here anyway? Some people just say its a sign of the times, but I don’t think that’s it. I think that it’s a sign that we stopped teaching our youth about respect and accountability. Our elders would have tanned our backside if we even tried to talk or laugh during a service. I remember many times when my mother would “pinch a plug” out of me for acting up in church, or even worse, when she would take me outside and make me break my own switch and then stripe my legs with it until the blood would flow. Back then, this wasn’t considered an act of child abuse, it was simply teaching your child discipline. But now, a method like that would most likely end up with charges brought forth or even a visit from DHR. It’s one of the many things that has changed society as we know it.
So, now here we are, with violent acts an every day occurrence, and we don’t even have a safe place anymore. How do we co-exist in a world full of evil anymore? Now, as a bill is currently being introduced for church goers to arm themselves, a lot of churches in Clay County already are. At one time, this would have been considered scandalous, but now it is just a part of life. A sad part of life at that…
The world that existed for me over forty years ago doesn’t exist anymore and that makes me very sad. I’m glad that I was raised in an era where respect was taught to children and the Bible was our guiding light. I’m just sorry that my grandchildren will never know the kind of safety that I once felt in my heart when I entered the doors of HIS House. Please pray for churches and their congregations….
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.