November 16, 2012

“Church”. Well, that conjures up some thoughts doesn’t it? When you think about “church” what comes to mind? Long, boring, irrelevant sermons… Hypocrisy…Inner strife…Being quiet as a child? Or maybe your thoughts are more positive… Friends, social life, true worship of God, loving people, bible study… Are you aware that fewer and fewer people are attending church these days? Even folks who call themselves Christians and claim they have had some sort of a “born again” experience have slowly begun to make other choices in their lives other than involvement in a local church. Usually there is some sort of a self justifying excuse that goes along with the decision to skip organized worship… “I don’t like the pastor”, “I don’t like the way we do worship anymore”, “there is too much politicking in the church these days that I don’t like”, “someone offended me there”, “where does the Bible say I have to attend church”, “I get my church on my own”, “I’m too tired to go”, “It’s my only day off”… and a thousand other excuses. I should add that there is a little problem with each of the previous statements… they all have some reference to “me”, or “I”. I need to be honest and say that the faith and our involvement in a local worshipping body is not ultimately about “us”.

Honestly, these excuses are often legitimate and may cause us to stop attending a particular church… my question is this- Christian person…. Where do you attend then? It’s one thing to leave a church… it’s another thing all together to simply stop worshipping corporately and to quit being around other Christians in a worshipful environment. Frankly… From one Christian to another… not attending some sort of corporate worship is very likely sinful… and at the very least it is spiritually dangerous. We are not designed to be spiritual islands. It just doesn’t work. We will drift away from the faith and we will more readily accept the worlds values. If you think you cannot be deceived… you have been deceived already!

Hebrews 10 says this: 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 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.

Certainly this note is not intended to harangue folks… but it is intended to say that as Christian people we need to be with other Christians, and I believe part of that needs to be in corporate worship. You may not be able to attend your longstanding church any longer for whatever reason… okay… but find another one. Take your time. Find a place that will meet your spiritual needs and that will have people who will care for you and embrace you. Stop using excuses to stay away from church… I really believe you are in spiritual peril if you do.


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