Thursday, August 12, 2010

3 Reasons To Go To Church(?)

This was recently posted on a friend's status message in one of the online social networks:
Three good reasons to go to church. 1. Because I want to! 2. Because I get to! 3. Because the Bible says to! Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near. NLT

Although I appreciated the heart behind the post, I must admit I cringed when I read the verse that was thought to back up the "you must go to church" mindset. Even when steeped deep in the throes of church rules and regulations, I've always seen a red flag when I'd hear preacher preach the sermon of we "must" go to church because of Hebrews. I've read that verse and read that verse, and I find no mention of it dictating that we must go to a corporate church meeting on Saturday or Sunday; then again on Wednesday or Thursday (or any other day of the week)

What it says, is to not neglect meeting together. 

Now, before your blood pressure skyrockets, let me assure you that I am not advocating to NOT go to church; I'm just saying that we're not obligated to go to church. Many a time I found myself going to church, for no other reason than I thought I 'had' to go. I was in a foul mood when I got there, foul mood throughout the service, and a foul mood when I left. 

God has since taught me that 'church' is so much more than the meeting in a central location. Rather it's the body of Christ. It's so much more than having a denomination slapped across your church threshold, and even a non-denomination name is still a name that separates a group of people from all the other groups of people who are also separated. The good thing is, when those that are in Christ can cross those limited barriers and realize that the Body of Christ is made up of believers--regardless of where we plant our bodies on any given day of the week. 

Haven't you ever ran into someone you knew as a Christian in a department store? School meeting night? Friday night ball games? Were you able to share some encouragement? Give a praise report? Guess what.. you and the other person were just living out Hebrews 10:25. No need to limit that on Sundays or Wednesdays. 

It's such a blessing to me, personally, now that my Christian life isn't compartmentalized anymore. Used to, I had my week planned out: Church on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights; and Wednesday nights, work Monday - Friday, Girls club meeting the first Sunday of every month; piano practice on Tuesday evenings (for kids' choir and piano lessons of course!) and I really found myself up in arms if ANYTHING threw a monkey wrench into my schedule. 

It's much more different now. Now, I live my life as I go, although not I, but Christ in me, and as I go about my day, there's a very real consciousness of Christ in me, living the life. If we happen up on someone that we can share with? Great! If not, that's fine, also. Christ is still in me, and is my hope of glory. 

A group of friends and I don't 'go to church', but rather, we meet online and encourage one another, and see what God has in store for us. We are living out Hebrews 10:25. We've not found any local assemblies that teach that the Cross is a final thing. It happened, it did what it was supposed to do, and now it's a done deal. The local congregations that I've visited around here, want to take us back to the cross. Very little, if any, talk is given to taking us to the throne of God, where we can find help in our very time of need. Our Savior is no longer at the cross, nor is He ever going to go back to the cross. No need to "kneel at the cross" Jesus WON'T meet you there--He's already been there. He'd rather meet you where you're at. But I digress... that's a thought for another posting...

So, meet with other believers in Christ somewhere because 1) We want to, 2) We get to, and 3) Hebrews 10:25 encourages us to. 

Let me re-interate, I am not advocating NOT going to church, what I AM advocating is to encourage one another in Christ, regardless of where you happen to run into each other. 

Corporate worship isn't the idea behind Hebrews 10:25; encouraging the Body of Christ is the idea behind Hebrews 10:25. 

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