From what I have witnessed throughout my involvement in many “churches” is they say the latter but it is really the former that is more important to them.
If they really sought to help the person to Christ they would have established long ago a method of outreach to those asking for God’s help and salvation. This lack of outreach is a major reason “churches” are shrinking and also why many look down upon Christianity as a whole.
I am reminded of the line from the movie “God is not dead” in which the professor says “The most ardent Atheist was once a Christian” (this may be paraphrased so forgive the inaccuracy). The reason behind this falling away is these people come into a “church” and they see people saying one thing and then living a life totally opposite that which they say they are doing in “church.” This is called hypocrisy and is the core of what is called a “lukewarm.”
In Revelation 3:15-16 we see what Christ thinks of the “lukewarm.” He said it would be best to be cold or against God then to be lukewarm. For He would spit out from His body those that are lukewarm.
This hypocrisy is not limited to those that go to many places that call themselves “churches.” It is also found within their leadership who have become no better than the Pharisees of the time when Christ walked upon this planet. For what is more important to them is not their congregation, but the money in the tithing. The almighty dollar is now their god, not the true God they feign to represent.
This is extremely noticeable in large churches where it is easy to have nonsense sermons that do not give any real growth for those listening. They encourage any and all to attend for their goal is not the soul but a new house or car or even more bling.
Many of today’s “churches” really aren’t. They are simply a type of social club and within them are their clichés and status structure, but no real nourishment of the soul and its need to connect with the Creator of the universe, God.
People use them to network and plan events meant for the world but not God. Instead of teaching what is sin and the need to stop sinning these social clubs encourage and even celebrate sin. All the time thinking they are one with God, but in reality are on the highway to hell.
This is what those truly seeking Christ come into these places and all they see is the world and so they turn their back upon God not realizing that what they witness was not Christianity, but what it actually was…. the world. So they leave disheartened and discouraged not realizing that it was not true Christianity they had witnessed, but the lukewarm.
To Christ the lukewarm are so distasteful to him that He rejects them yet they go on living as if they are fine with God living in their hypocritical lives.
This is exactly what Satan wants to see and so makes it easy for the lukewarm to be placated and content in their fantasy they call “Christianity” For they have fallen for the fable and are happy to be one with it. These social clubs are worse than prosperity churches, for at least with prosperity churches you can easily see the lie, but in the social clubs it isn’t that easy for the lie is just under the surface hidden just under true scripture, but these scriptures never tell those going that they are sinning against God for to say anything bad would make people leave and with them their money.
What is really sad is that there are more social clubs then real churches and so those that see the hypocrisy and have found the Lord leave them. Seeking to find a true church home, but rarely do. So those that can truly help those seeking to find Christ are not brought together as they once were when a church was the church which causes those that could have been saved or saved sooner to suffer in their loneliness and sorrow.
Which is more important? The person sitting in the pew or the soul of the person