Saturday, July 03, 2010

"I don't attend a church--I worship God in my own way by..."

Living in the "Bible Belt" all my life I've heard this statement (above) countless times--even said it myself before the Lord saved me almost 30 yrs. ago. It is a statement that gives evidence of our man-centered theology and how we create and serve a god of our own design, rather than the One True God who has revealed Himself in the Bible.

Consider this, if we as individuals do in fact serve and worship the One True God of the Bible as we claim doesn't it stand to reason that we would seek to serve and worship Him in the manner He has revealed and prescribed? J.I. Packer rightly points out, "The New Testament assumes that all Christians will share in the life of a local church, meeting with it for worship (Heb. 10:25), accepting its nurture and discipline (Matt. 18:15-20; Gal. 6:1), and sharing in its work of witness."

So how then do we explain the fact that professing Believers make such claims and purposefully avoid being part of a local body of Believers? I humbly submit to you that there is no Biblically justifiable explanation. As a matter of fact J.I. Packer reminds us that, "Christians disobey God and impoverish themselves by refusing to join with other believers when there is a local congregation that they can belong to."

I've heard some claim that they've previously 'had a bad experience' in a church. I do not question or doubt this because of the Biblical fact that as a result of Adam's sin ours is a Genesis 3 sin-cursed world--people are going to sin against each other, it happens everyday, multiple times. Additionally, we fail to remember--and remind others--that "Jesus taught that in the organized church there would always be people who thought they were Christians and passed as Christians, some indeed becoming ministers, but who were not renewed in heart and would therefore be exposed and rejected at the Judgment (Matt. 7:15-27)."

In both cases--sinning Believers or deceived/false professors--God has clearly instructed us how we are to behave toward one another and how we are to address their sin as well as our own. Consequently, we must realize that the actions of OTHERS does not justify us separating ourselves from regular corporate worship and service to God.

I humbly ask you, are you disobeying the God you profess to believe in and profess to serve by avoiding regular corporate worship and fellowship with other commited Christians? If so, I am compelled to remind you that as a professing Believer you are commanded to do what is pleasing to God--that includes active and regular participation in corporate church life.

(If you don't know where or how to look for a Bible-believing church, leave a comment and I'll provide some suggestions for you to consider.

1 comment:

Skyla said...

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless--I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."--C.S. Lewis