When I write, it is my opinion. However, make no mistake that I stand behind every word of every column I have written. Whether you agree with me or not is up to you. That is one of the beauties of living in this free land of ours. Every person has a right to believe as they wish and I will always respect that freedom.
The Rev. Nelson Price wrote a column in the Cherokee Tribune a week ago about the decline of Southern Baptist churches. He also mentioned the decline in attendance of people that go to church. the Rev. Price had statistics to support his position. One of the issues he discussed was the many things there are to do on Sunday such as sports games and practices.
I’ve done nothing to hide to fact that I believe in God. I have also alluded several times that my relationship with God is personal with my worshipping done in private. This stance has garnered a few emails from church-going folks. And I respect their opinions.
Like the Rev. Price, I am a Baptist. The word Baptist can mean several different things with an array of beliefs. I liken it to someone telling me they are a Republican or Democrat. That never tells the whole story.
I will tell you that I agreed with the column written by the Rev. Price. There are many things that keep folks from going to church.
This column won’t provide you with statistics. But it will provide you with another perspective that doesn’t take anything away from the Rev. Price’s writing.
As someone that went to church faithfully for many years, it is my opinion that there are other reasons in addition to outside activities that keep people away from church.
Going to church doesn’t make us good and not going doesn’t make us bad. My life isn’t good enough to judge either group. Again, I support and respect everyone’s right to do their own choosing.
I am no Bible scholar. But I have studied it. In all of my studies, I have never found anywhere it tells me that it is OK to judge others. But there are many instances where it teaches us just the opposite.
Trust me when I tell you that not everyone agrees with this as I learned rather pointedly a few days ago. And although I respect this person’s right to believe as they wish, I wasn’t swayed.
I believe in preaching and teaching the entire Bible. I believe in preaching and teaching against sin. I believe in preaching and teaching about the pathway to Christ.
I don’t believe however in anyone who claims to be a Christian that picks and chooses the sins they deem to be the really bad ones. They pick from their list of bad sins, which leads to finger pointing and gossiping. This has steered many away from organized religion. I don’t have statistics to prove this and don’t really need them. Just ask around for confirmation.
Horses come to the barn about the same time every day to eat. Sometimes those trips to the barn include doing something unpleasant to the horse for its welfare. If you beat those horses every time they come to the barn, eventually, they will choose starvation over another beating.
There is nothing good about me but my soul that God saved and sealed years ago. It is that and that alone that gives me a place in heaven.
We are fortunate in Cherokee County to have people of many religions. And I am confident that when we get to heaven, people from every one of those religions will be there. Every one of us will have sinned many times while here on earth. And even though raised a Baptist, I respect the other denominations different than my own.
We have some that don’t believe in God. Since He gave us the freewill to choose, we should remember that before judging them.
In the Book of James, 3:8 it says, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
Hearts full of love and forgiveness fill church pews. Wicked and gossiping tongues empty them.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.