Question:

I'm having some issues right now. We just moved into a new area, and are trying to find a church. There's one that we went to today that I really like, and feel like I really connect to, but my parents don't like it. My dad says thathe doesn't like it because there isn't a piano during the singing (it's all acapella) and the prayers are long. Ihave no problems with these.I'm a freshman in high school, so it's not like I can just drive there myself yet. I havesome friends that are seniors who go to thischurch as well, but I wouldn't want to be a burden by asking for a ride.What should I do?


Answer:

I have problems with people who pick a church to attend based on what they prefer over what is right. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6), but it appears many believe they can select whatever pleases them and somehow the Lord will be pleased with their choices. See Cafeteria Style Religion.

Your dad wants a church that has a piano, though instrumental music was not authorized by the Lord in his churches. See The Amazing History of Instrumental Music in Christian Worship. He doesn't like long prayers -- makes me wonder what he would have said to Jesus when he prayed in the Garden.

But you are doing something similar. You tell me that you like this particular church because of how you feel. I would have been happier to hear that you liked this church because of how you know it follows the Lord. "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me" (John 14:23-24). I'm assuming that the church you liked is a church of Christ, I'm glad you really liked worshiping there, and I hope you continue to enjoy it. But remember that worship is about serving God and not ourselves. If this is a church that God is pleased in, then we all ought to be pleased in it as well.

Selecting a church because it teaches and practices the truth also makes your position stronger. Right now it is your likes versus your dad's likes. Both are equal preferences. But when we start measuring against what God wants, then the choice becomes clear.

So what do you do? You call up and ask for rides. You'll fine that the members will be happy to make sure you have a way to church until you are able to provide your own way.

Yes, it is a church of Christ, and I love the way it teaches. A lot of churches use a bunch of random stories to help supplement that day's sermon, but this church just preaches straight from the Bible, which means I don't have to pick through everything to find the message.

I'm just worried that my wanting to go to a different church than the rest of my family is going to push us apart. We get along, but it's kind of a fragile relationship. I'm hoping that I've convinced my mom to let us try going to it one more time, so maybe it'll be OK. I hope.

Thank you so much!

Now you are giving me good reasons! :-)

"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Mathew 10:37).

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26).

The problem is when you make excuses for not doing what you know is best, the possible excuses are endless. I would suspect that you finding a good church that you attend regularly and which helps you learn to make good choices in life will actually improve your relationship with your family in the long run.

Even in general, it is not a good idea to make decisions on what might be. It is better to focus on what you know to be true.