This week we are taking look at 1998’s Addams Family Reunion. Amid this movie Gomez Addams gave a fantastic speech about how Addams are a family and meant to be together. This speech is actually an excellent jumping off point to discuss a common question, “Can you be a Christian and not go to church?”
A common phrase that people will give when they’ve been asked, “Hey, why? Why aren’t you in church? Why don’t you go to church on a regular basis?” And that phrase is, “Well, you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” While that is technically true in the film “Adam’s Family Reunion,” Gomez Adams gives a fascinating analogy that explains why that’s actually a really dangerous statement.
Let’s talk about that today…
It is Addams Family Month here at Geek Devotions, where all month long, we’re taking a look at Addams Family movies and different renditions, and we’re using them to let you know you’re loved and cared for. And today, folks, we’re looking at Addams Family Reunion. A very controversial Addams Family, one that was so disliked that you can’t find it. I dug for hours trying to find this film so that I could create today’s episode. I finally happened to find it, but it was in Russian. And boy, that was fun watching.
I finally found it in English, and here we are today. If you’re unfamiliar with this little piece of cinematic. The storyline is very, Adams family is Gomez has contracted a company to come up with his entire family tree, and he finally gets the book. He’s excited about it. At the same time, his grandparents show up who are abnormally “normal.” Gomez is very fearful about what is happening here in the situation.
So, He has this fantastic idea. Let’s surround his grandparents with fellow Addams to reignite that Addams Family spark. The problem is that an “Adams” family reunion is taking place, but it’s the wrong Adams. It’s the entirely different, wrong Adams family, and they don’t know it. Through a series of unfortunate events that all goes awry.
Gomez and Morticia are in jail. Fester is in a sanitarium. Thing is in a dog pound. Lurch is six or eight feet underground, and the kids are in foster care. This is not a good situation at all. But while in jail, Gomez has a fascinating conversation with Morticia. As he’s lamenting the situation, he brings up the fact that Addams’ are meant to be one unit.
They are one body, and you cannot just sever the hand, and it exists on its own. He then goes, “Well, except for under certain laboratory circumstances,” and this is where things get interesting. Because he said something very interesting at the end. “But even then, only for a short while.” This idea of communities existing as one body is not new.
Why We Need Community
In fact, the Apostle Paul talks about the body of Christ and us as Christians, that we are one body. He brings out some interesting points within that conversation about how we should all celebrate when one in the group is celebrating. When one member of the body is in pain, we all suffer with them.
We protect each other. Help each other out. That’s what the body is supposed to do. But, unfortunately, there are times when people get separated from the body. Sometimes it’s through legitimate church hurt. Sometimes it’s through hurt feelings. Sometimes it’s through situations outside of your control. Perhaps you’re moving, you’ve gone on to a different city or a different state, and you’re not really sure where to go to fellowship with the body.
Has it been a while since you’ve been part of a Church?
Perhaps something legitimately has taken place in your church that’s really tragic. Because of this, you need to get away from that particular group of members of the body to heal. Sometimes it’s a worldwide event that ends with the number 19 that causes you to be separated from the body, whatever the situation is.
Yes, it’s true. You don’t necessarily need to be within the community to be a Christian. However, as Gomez said, it’s not good for you to be separated for long. The church isn’t perfect. I’m, I’m going to be very real with you. At times, things that occur in the church are frustrating and sad.
Some people make mistakes, and they are big, monumental mistakes sometimes, and sometimes it hurts. But in any family, there’s hurt. There’s pain that can take place. People make mistakes. The question is, are you willing to walk through it? See, we need the body; We need the church as a whole to hold us accountable to the gospel, to hold us, uh, accountable to what the word is saying and how to.
To help us to understand what the Bible is saying, to help us in our most challenging times to celebrate with us in the greatest of times. We need community. You and I need to be in a church with Bible-based believing Christians. People who are there for us and that we are there for them. It’s a give-take situation here, but we need this.
No church is perfect. No community of believers is going to be perfect. And if you’re waiting for that, I’m sorry, that’s an excuse, and it’s not a good excuse. You need to step into a place. Find a place that has, again, Bible-believing, believes in what the word of God says and stands on it and operates in that, that helps disciple you and helps you to grow and become what God has called you to be.
To the Church
Now to the church at large, I need you to understand that we’ve done no favors for some of these people. There are people that the church has legitimately hurt, people who have had their feelings hurt because we’ve overstepped our bounds. So we have to make a change. We have to examine ourselves, humble ourselves, and repent.
We need to reach out to these people and bring them in. No, we’re not going to bend a knee to pop culture. We’re not going to sacrifice Biblical values as we do this, but we need to recognize that perhaps we’ve put up road bumps that were never meant to be there. I heard a story once, which is pretty benign, but it also quite illustrates the situation.
The Woman Who Lived Across the Street
A church in southern Missouri went through this massive transition from being a very old school, you know, necktie, stained glass windows, which, if that’s your thing, that’s cool. I’m not knocking it, but that was their thing. As they made this shift in their culture, they said, “You know what, If you like dressing up, that’s fine. If you want to be a little more relaxed, that’s fine too. We want you in the body of Christ. We want you in the church. We want to love you and walk through things with you.
And so they made this shift as a culture in their church. And as they made this shift, one day, a woman came to the church one Sunday morning. The greeting team did a great job. They actually talked to her and said, “Hey, how’s it going? Welcome to our church!” And they invited her to be part of things. And the woman fell in love with the community.
And so they asked her, “Hey, where do you live? How did you get here?” The woman responded, “I live across the street.” Surprised, they wondered if she had just moved there. The woman replied, “No, I’ve lived across the street from your church for years and years.”
Astounded, they inquired how she came to be there that morning. She said something that to me struck me. She said, “I didn’t think I was allowed to come. I didn’t think I would be welcomed here. I didn’t own dressy clothes like what I saw everybody else wearing. I thought that if I came to church and weren’t dressed up to the nines, I would be asked to leave. The pastor’s heart was broken for that woman. Unknowingly they had set up boundaries. This was a very benign small thing. Yet it kept that woman from having a biblical community that helped her grow and become the one of God thatGods called her to be.
So I’m asking you, church, to evaluate what you’re doing. Are there people that have separated from the body for one reason or another, and we’ve made roadblocks that keep them from being able to come back into the community? What are those? How do we fix those? How do we repent and move forward?
And those of you who are separated from the community, examine yourself; examine your hearts. Why are you separated? Are you genuinely separated because of genuine church art? Please understand there’s a difference between church hurt and you just simply having your feelings hurt. There’s a difference between a pastor and leadership doing inappropriate things, like attacking you and them lovingly, correcting bad behavior.
Are you not part of a church simply because you’re busy? Are you just not making time for it? Are you not part of a church simply because you’re out of the habit? Maybe it’s time for you to make a move. Maybe it’s time for you to make a shift and start today. Be part of that community that is there to help you grow.