If you identify yourself as a Christian, then I assume it really matters to you whether or not Jesus wants you to attend church. After all, He is your Kingā¦.not just your advisorā¦.or your buddyā¦.but your Lordā¦.and your God. Right?
We live in a day where many professing believers are being tempted to ditch the whole "church thing." In some cases, it's because they had a bad experience in a church. That is understandableā¦.because it happens. Just as divorce takes place in marriages, pain is also experienced in certain church situations. So what's the solution? Should you dump churchā¦or instead, get connected to one where you will grow?
Wellā¦.let's think about why Jesus instituted His church in the first place. He knew better than anyone how weak His followers can becomeā¦.and how much we need the strength and wisdom of the Scriptures, and the friendships and encouragement of other believers. Hence,...
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Thanks for your kind and helpful response, God bless you brother.
UnimaginablyProfitable Servant Frank I appreciate your discussion in this matter.
In my humble observation there is a lot of propaganda and pressure put on people to blindly attend church, coming out of modern day so evangelical ecumenical "Christianity".
IMHO Satan love for people to get on a religious merry-go-round where he abuses Biblical issues, like this one, to distranct and lead the gullible around by the nose to keep them blind to the reality of what is going on, in this case the wretched apostasy in modern day ecumenical evangelism that provokes the All Holy God to wrath.
U.S. I don't disagree with you in theory. Like I said in my original post, I have nothing against assembling, but against assembling for assembly sake. An example, what if I considered registering as a 501C3 to be heretical? Should I then attend that church? Notice, if I ...
The scriptures teach we should separate from heresy and from those who have perverted the gospel in the strongest terms. But some might object to me saying it is wrong to attend a church that has perverted the gospel or the main tenets of Christianity; that is what ecumenicalism and pragmatism would teach. Okay, I will use what I call an argument of absurdity to prove my point. Yes, scripture clearly teaches that we should assemble together as believers, but just as clearly that thought canāt and shouldnāt do away with all other scriptural thoughts concerning assembly, truth and unity.
Hebrews 10:23. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24. and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25. not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
But surely this doesnāt do away with the call to prove and test all things.
I would add one more admonition to those who chose not to attend church. One that I know I need to be careful to heed. One day, by the grace of God, we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account. One of the commandments in His Word, was not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. What answer will you give Him when He inquires as to why you chose to obey not this command? I understand people are often providentially hindered in their attendance (i.e. shut-ins, work obligations, etc) and am not even looking for you to answer the post for who am I but one who is an unprofitable servant of my God. Just admonishing you as a fellow servant of Christ to give it some consideration. "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (I John 5:3)
BroBill wrote: I was a lifelong attender of churches but it wasn't until I was on my own that the Lord opened my eyes to the truth of His word and I was truly "Born Again". My personal study and devotion feeds my spiritual growth, augmented by sound teaching from certain radio preachers. I am not a church member but I love getting together with like minded believers. Why does it have to be at a church? God gives us gifts to bloom and grow where we are. If there is no "church" worth attending you will still find communion with other believers in other setting and you and they will be edified through God's gifts. This forum is always a blessing to me.
Bill. Thats an interesting perspective. One of the things which happened to me is that as I grew in my "personal study and devotions" I noticed that many of the people in our congregation couldn't discourse Biblically with me to any great extent. I'm not trying to insult them and I'm fully aware that not all folks in the pews read as enthusiastically as some. But in a sense I found myself ostracized because the conversations became decidedly worldly, local gossip etc. I wanted to share with "like minds" and couldn't find them in church.
I was a lifelong attender of churches but it wasn't until I was on my own that the Lord opened my eyes to the truth of His word and I was truly "Born Again". My personal study and devotion feeds my spiritual growth, augmented by sound teaching from certain radio preachers. I am not a church member but I love getting together with like minded believers. Why does it have to be at a church? God gives us gifts to bloom and grow where we are. If there is no "church" worth attending you will still find communion with other believers in other setting and you and they will be edified through God's gifts. This forum is always a blessing to me.
It seems to me there is a world of difference between attending church services and being a church. Most seem to focus more on the former than the latter. Indeed, the NT blueprint for the latter seems to have got lost in all the fuzz.
Unprofitable Servant - Luke 17:10, I sometimes refer to you this way to show others why you use that moniker I want to thank you for your kind and conciliatory remark. Your goal of making me feel like a brother while still letting me know you disagree with me did not go unnoticed by me or by our Lord and Savior. There was no judgment in the tone of your comment. For over 30 years I attended church faithfully and when I saw others not going, I would often think negatively about them. Then one day I was one of them and believe me it caused me to ponder with introspection why I had changed. You are correct, I enjoy reading and meditating on scripture and that includes this topic. I have nothing against those who disagree with me, (iron sharpens iron). But unlike many I am not afraid to write something that is not in line with mainstream Christian thoughts. I always think the Lord knows our hearts and to say, write, or agree with something that we donāt truly believe is silly. Believe me I am not a hermit. I would never discourage someone from attending church as was noted in my previous posts if someone reads carefully; unless the church was heretical. Thanks again for your entire comment!
I believe the forum we use here and the sermons and books we listen to from this site are additional means of grace that God can use to help us to pursue holiness in our lives. Frank, all of us appreciate your helpful insights that you share from a view that has been clearly arrived at by a student of the Word. I, too, will pray that you will find, if you have not, a good church in which to fellowship.
Frank wrote: Do you think that when you and I exchange thoughts about the Christian walk and scripture that glorify our Lord, that we are not coming together? Do I have to see you? Thanks for your kind response and concern.
I certainly believe we can learn and share in many ways where we don't see each other. However, it's still not worshiping as a community. While I know you are not alone in you acceptance of a private Lord's supper; there is no example of such a thing in the Bible. Even in the case of a home church, many believers gathered together to break bread.
If you seek out a Biblical church and find a good one that doesn't share all your beliefs, you don't have to immediately rule it out. I know at my church all are welcome to attend. To join one doesn't have to subscribe to all the doctrines, so long as they profess Christ and are willing to be educated on why the church believes as it does.
I pray that you find a church you can attend, if there truly are none - perhaps it is time to consider a move. I know when I last changed jobs this was a major consideration.
Hebrews 13:7 "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct"
Hebrews 10:25 "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ..."
Plus all the one another verses, exhort, pray for, admonish,love, etc. Hard to fulfill these verses outside the local church. Unless you are Providentially hindered you should attend church. It is a mute point that the church is not the building that is a given. Don't know about y'all but I need all the spiritual feeding and help I can get to effectively battle the sin, self and Satan.(world, flesh and devil) Also, second Michael's comment to John Y, the church you chose to attend says mountains about the faith you claim to have, what fellowship has light with darkness
MiChris wrote: The issue with this is that you cannot participate in the Lord's supper in any regular way. Additionally you lack any real oversight, who is there to correct you?
You are trying to correct me now. Thanks!
While all may not agree, I believe I can participate in the Lord's supper privately or publicly. But, I like and understand your comment. I have a much larger problem with baptism. I of course went through believer's baptism and I don't see how that could have been done unless I was attending a formal church, which I was, or a house church. I don't believe I could have given a public testimony privately.
The churches you speak of were probably house churches that adhered to the teaching of the Apostles. But, your point is well taken.
No, I know of no church in my area that I would join. but, I haven't ruled out attending one. I do miss the music and the atmosphere (the proximity of other believers).
Like I said, I have nothing against those who join a church or who attend a church. Do you think that when you and I exchange thoughts about the Christian walk and scripture that glorify our Lord, that we are not coming together? Do I have to see you?
Frank wrote: I have nothing against those who attend a local body and fellowship and love their brothers and sisters in this manner. I could go into reasons why I donāt attend a local body, but that might not be productive. I live in a populated area, and I know of no church that I would attend, much less join.
The issue with this is that you cannot participate in the Lord's supper in any regular way. Additionally you lack any real oversight, who is there to correct you?
Reading the Bible it always written to God's people as a group. While yes we are part of THE Church, look at the letters in the New Testament - all but one are written to Churches. The apostles went out to preach Christ and set up churches.
Is there really no Church - even within an hours drive you could attend and join? If this is really so, have you searched for denominations that you agree with and send out Church planters?
While it is not a requirement of salvation to join a church, I believe that is what scripture teaches we should do as followers of Christ. We are to come together and worship our Lord.
Like America said in the first post, I believe a building has nothing whatsoever to do with the church. It can consist of a local congregation, but that is simply a gathering of believers.
The church is made up of born again believers wherever they may reside. For instance, I communicate with a Pakistani pastor that I have never met, and we pray for each other and exchange thoughts; we are brothers.
On SA and other sites, I can listen to Pastors who are like-minded, so I can be spiritually fed in this manner. I can communicate with my brothers and sisters using this media and I often pray for some of them and have been told some do that for me. I offer my fellowship to anyone, by posting my email address. Some have taken me up on that, but none last very long with me.
While not being a formal member of a church, I have had ample opportunity to serve the body of Christ in many ways. And, I always pray the Lord will bring people my way.
I have nothing against those who attend a local body and fellowship and love their brothers and sisters in this manner. I could go into reasons why I donāt attend a local body, but that might not be productive. I live in a populated area, and I know of no church that I would attend, much less join.
"But it's not just a matter of "attending church." It's really about belonging to a fellowship of believersā¦.where you are fedā¦.and you growā¦"
Dan Delzell's arguement in this article is that we "need" to join a church for purely human relational reasons, eg analogy of family or fellowship etc.
No mention of God or Christ or the Holy Spirit being reason to attend a worship group on Sunday's.
Then in todays apostate (Liberal) church increase in western nations - no mention in the article about being sure that the church we might attend is actually a Biblical doctrine church/denomination.
Many towns and cities today have a myriad of churches which do not teach/preach sound doctrine. They are unBiblical heretical or just plain daft like the Liberals. - So where do we go??
1Cor 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. v9 ye are God's building.
1Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
And remember; 2John v10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: