While taking care of personal business one day, a person with me asked a young lady a few questions. So here is how the conversation went. “How are you?” “I’m fine!” she says. As the conversation became comfortable she was asked, “Do you attend church?” She stated, “No I don’t.” She was then ask, “Why don’t you attend church?” She indicated, “I feel that I don’t need to go to church, and besides people are…” she was interrupted… “You can’t let people stop you from going to church!” She proceeded, “well…it’s not only the people, I just don’t believe it takes going to church to be a Christian… besides I can watch church on TV.”
Has the saying, “God accepts me where I am” gotten out of hand? So freewill choice means, I am a Christian and I can go to church if I want, or if I choose not to go, God is a loving God and he understands me?
Some folks, the old as well as the young, do not believe attending church regularly is a God given requirement. Is it? Ok… I know what you are probably thinking, “All churches want is money!”… Some churches…yes, but not all churches. Some churches establish a financial plan that works within their means of consistent givers, while establishing community base programs as well as reserved finances for the church up keep, and they only ask for additional funds when needed.
Ok… you might think, “I can learn the bible by myself, cause, most folks that I have encountered who profess they are believers in Christ and attend church regularly have shady ways. They are manipulators, liars, pretender, cheaters, and the list goes on… Well, most churches that Paul dealt with in scripture had shady folks in the church. These types of folks will always find a way into churches, even sometime working their way up to high positions.
Like many folks that don’t regularly attend church, this young lady’s decision not to attend church could have been a number of reasons that were unbeknownst to us. Maybe she had heard a minister fabricate the word of God; maybe she was a believer and fell into tremendous trials and temptations which forced her to shy away from her experience with God; or could man-made fictions about biblical principles confused her; maybe she never had a personal experience with Christ; or maybe she became a believer and had a bad experience in church that made her recant her confession to Christ. Don’t have the answer, but the fact is she believed going to church is not a requirement to be a Christian. When asked did she believe in Christ, she timidly said, “yes.”
I’m not one to judge a person’s experience or walk with God and for sure without facts as to why they have made a decision not to attend church. But know this; we must not base our biblical decisions on personal interpretations, opinions, emotions and/or what “seems” right or wrong. A true relationship thrives to interact on a regular basis and does not act alone or independent of one another, but work together in unity.
A believer of Christ should desire to interact with other believers. In the book of Acts, when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, the key elements were, they were in one place, and on one accord…not on an individual island to themselves, but “they were in one place”… After their experience, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship; to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common,” (Act 2:42-44).
Fellowship should be the life of a believer, it strengthens their weaknesses. A believer must be taught the word of God by a leader, and not teach themselves. Self teaching leads to self-interpretation which distort the true meaning of the word of God.