Monday, May 5, 2014

Does the Church Need Screen Doors?

By Jim Faughn

     Most of us are used to a somewhat climate-controlled environment.  When the temperature gets a little too warm or too cool for us, we simply adjust a thermostat.  
     That wasn’t my experience when I was growing up.  We had one stove in our house.  It was not all that close to my bedroom.  I can remember getting very cold in my bed-room on some of those winter nights. 
     I can also remember those hot summer nights when our one window fan did not exactly “do the trick.”  Some of my friends had air conditioning, but we did not.  I remember wishing that we did.
     At the same time, I also remember something about those hot summers that might be advantageous for the church today.
     I remember screen doors.  
     It was difficult to go in or out of our house without somebody knowing about it.  Screen doors had those springs on them.  It didn’t take me long to find out that I could just turn loose of the door and it would close all by itself.  As I remember it, my parents were not as thrilled with that discovery as I was. On those somewhat rare occasions when I did manage to not let the door slam shut behind me and make a noise, the distinctive sound of the spring itself would announce my entrance or departure.  
     Now, when our grandchildren are at our house, people can often go in and out of our house without anybody knowing.  That is due in part to the fact that some of them have never learned the fine art of closing a door behind them, so there is no sound to announce their entrance or their departure.
     Not only can people go in and out unannounced, but some of the “climate control” on the inside finds its way outside.  Also, some of the outside elements (and maybe a varmint or two) find their way inside.  
     It might be helpful if we had screen doors on our house.  We would at least know who was in and who was out.   
     It occurs to me that it might be helpful to have screen doors on the church.  I’m not talking about the church building, but the church itself.
     In far too many cases, we may “leave the door ajar.”  Because of that, it is difficult to know who is in and who is out.  People “drift in” with little fanfare and “drift out” without anybody noticing.
     According to Revelation 22:14-15, the Lord has no trouble distinguishing between those “…who may enter the city by the gates…” and those who are “outside.”  While our level of discernment can in no way compare with His, it seems to me that many of us could increase our interest in, and concern for, each other.  
     Wouldn’t it be encouraging to know that others care whether or not I am enjoying the fellowship of other Christians or am “out there somewhere” where my soul is in danger.  Does anybody know and does anybody care whether or not I “…have the right to the tree of life…” (Rev. 22:14)?
     Would it help if we had screen doors on the church? 

- Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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