Because I Can’t Kneel At The Altar I’m A Weak Christian?

Meekness Is Not Weakness

I want to jump right into this post to spare details that would require me to rehash feelings and memories that once left me spiritually paralyzed.

But I can’t.

These words need to be written and poured out from the aching fluid in my joints that have crippled my legs.

There was a time when I claimed my spot at the altar. It was an unspoken reverence that relished because I could safely walk forward to the front of the church. I didn’t have to worry about people staring or judging or assuming. I could kneel and figuratively lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus.

The altar is a sacred place. The rich history of it’s versatility is scattered throughout the Bible.  In the church today, the altar serves as a place of prayer, a way to the pulpit, a setting for the Easter cantata, and much more. One could easily argue the functionality.

However when viewed through the broken lens of idolatry, the altar can bring pain.

When Viewed through the broken lens of idolatry, the altar can bring pain.

Before entering into the truth of God’s word by becoming a member of a church of the Southern Baptist Convention, my faith in Christ was defined by the appearance of my stature.

Taking a trip back to those times, I remember that when it was time for prayer, almost everyone in that small country church came forward. Among those left in the pews were a handful of persons that were possibly crippled by their own various diseases. At the time, my autoimmune disease was under control. I was able to walk forward, find my place, and effortlessly kneel down on the floor. It was a special moment.

As time passed by, the false doctrine that was being preached continually pierced my heart. I was under a fake conviction that I had to look and be a certain type of person for Christ to accept me. I honestly believed that if I missed church that God was watching over me in heaven with a look of deep disapproval; not taking into consideration that I couldn’t possibly attend a particular Sunday because I was puking my guts up in the bathroom. It didn’t matter.

I honestly believed that if I missed church that God was watching over me in heaven with a look of deep disapproval…

Prayer is a sacred gift that Christians are given through salvation.

In the midst of a painful divorce, I walked through the doors Ridgeview Baptist Church in  hopes of finding relief from my heartache.

Not only did I find relief, I found new friends, new ministry opportunities, and most importantly, a new doctrine.

The difference in worship, preaching, and teaching was a blaring signal in my soul that I had been duped.

The love that flowed here was not from false pretense of how good I could pray or my attendance record. It was the unconditional type toward which the Bible calls all Christians.

Over time, my beliefs changed and God’s amazing grace became a thing.

Never once did I consider the words from the old hymn as I did when I realized that God’s love for me was not dependent on my physical posture at the altar.

Yes, I still think that if God is calling you toward the front of the church that you should go. I believe that it is still a beautiful response for healing, help, and encouragement.

We are to encourage one another to good works, but, working is not kneeling at the cross. Helping a sister pray through a difficult time looks more like Jesus than bent knees with a heart of idolatry.  Consider the text:

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

—————-

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left…
Jesus paid it all.

Religion has no place in the house of the Lord. Jesus’s death on the cross was the abolishment of such practices that would cause us to fall into the trap of the law.

The law smothers love. It handcuffs grace to the idea that we are good enough to save ourselves.

Because we love Jesus is the answer to those burdensome rituals that press down and squeeze life from our already bruised bodies.

I may make it to the altar again one day.

Until then, I am reassured that God sees the posture of my heart.

Written by Laura Hurd

I can’t talk about myself without first mentioning the people that give me life. I am a born-again Christian. Anytime you read a blog post of mine, know that God is guiding me in my struggles and triumphs.I used to strive for perfection. I have now learned to bask in the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of a loving Heavenly Father. My husband is my biggest supporter in my life. He cheers me on and we truly balance each other in this life! I am blessed to be the mother of two beautiful and unique boys. I have two sets of mothering skills. That of a mother to one neuro-typical and one neuro-diverse child. Or, a normal child and a child with autism. God has allowed me to find joy and freedom in the midst of our very special needs journey. Writing is my outlet and I hope that you find hope, strength, and courage within the walls of this blog!

Writing is my outlet! Find me over at: http://reallifemomsblog.wordpress.com

10 Comments

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  1. So many doctrines are springing up today that people now seem to obey church owners rather than God. Our leaders now make it look like if they don’t approve of you, even God will disapprove you.

  2. Let’s go to the Holy Scripture and look at exactly what God says about “going to an altar to pray: Matthew 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” The word used in the original Greek is ” tam-í-on” meaning: a secret chamber. We are warned by our Lord in verse 5 about how not to come before our Father in prayer! ( I know that this may feel like it just can’t mean what it says, I know I was raised Pentecostal and Church of God, until that “still small voice” of God brought to my spirit the fact that His Word is ALWAYS THE RIGHT WAY!
    Remember that in the Old Testament ( משכן – mish-chán) tabernacle there were altars where there different types of sacrifices were offered and then the altar in on which the Holy Ark of the Covenant was placed, however there is no longer a holy place inside of any building, nor is our Holy God dwelling inside any building that is called a church. If a person is saved by the grace of God through faith on the name of the Savior Jesus Christ, then we are sealed by the Holy Ghost.
    May I suggest a greatly anointed preacher and teacher of the Bible, Dr. James Vernon McGee. Look for him on YouTube.

  3. I came from a Methodist background. It was sacrilege to wear shoes in the chancel area and further. Now I am part of the worship band in a Church of England church. I initially continued that habit until a friend of mine in that church pointed out to me that what you do outside does not matter as much as what your intent inside is.

  4. Hi, Sis’ Laura!! What a very powerful message. I, too, had my own experiences when dealing with the “right” church home. I experienced once, while visiting my friend’s church, that the pastor, while he was preaching, kept pointing at me and repeating out loud through the church: “And you will join this church!” We know what happened next? I never returned back to that church because I’ve felt that sense of being forced by this pastor-dude. Lol. My teenage years were full of many and awkward moments.

    I will tell you this: God understands when we’re unable to attend every church service on Sunday because He knows our hearts. Both me and my mother have Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that effects out nervous system. I, too, was able to move quick, walk far, and kneel down at my awesome “Home of Love” church before my illness in 2012, but after words, everything changed. My pastor said to us that “even if you can’t kneel or anything like that, just sit in your seat, relax, and pray.” Also, anything can happen outside of service. Example: Having to attend a funeral. No one expects this and knows when God calls someone home. All we can do is keep one another in our prayers.

    So to answer the title of your blog, NO. You are not a weak Christian because you are unable to kneel. You have a strong spirit within you that is much brighter and capable to do all the things that your physical body may be unable to do. Jesus knows your heart and He understands it all. Stay strong, Sis’! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your comment! My heart goes out to you because I feel like we are walking similar paths in the sense of dealing with the effects of an autoimmune disease. I’m so glad to hear that you have found a loving home church-one that understands your unique journey! I am saying a prayer for you right now, sweet sister! God bless you.

      • Thank you so much for your thoughtful prayers, Sis’! 🙂 It’s the greatest gift I can receive from anyone. I appreciate it, as I am keeping you within my prayers as well. I also agree with you when it comes to similarities between both of us. While I was reading through your blog, it sounded just like me. Wow! By the way, even if you have to stay home, pray while at home. Again, He sees your heart… and steer clear from anyone that sounds like the “pastor dude” I described to you. We are alive to live and walk by God’s Words, NOT to be interrogated like the pastor has done towards me. Lol. 🙂 Keep that smile and stay strong!

  5. I am born again and your Church sounds like a bad one. God forgives and does not expect anything from us but lo love Him and others and follow His teachings. He loves you if you are you.

    • Hi! Thank you for commenting and you are absolutely right! This was actually a past experience of mine before I came under the teaching/preaching of Biblically sound doctrine.

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