In Josiah's recent post, there was some comments on "hating organized religion." The thought of attending church (a part of an organized group of believers) has been on my mind for a while now, and I wanted to share my findings.
People frequently say that they don't need to take the time and risk missing the football game to go to church or meet with others when they can substitute listening to the radio or a preacher on television for a message during commercial breaks if they remember. They also say that Christian people are not any different for going to church, therefore there is no reason to go. Is this really a problem or not?
The following is a quote by Joshua Shelor
"...How important is it that we meet together? Is it important that we come to all of the meetings of the church? What should our attitude be toward the meetings of the church? Let us begin by looking at a passage of Scripture. In Acts 2:42 we read that the early disciples “Continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles, in the fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.” They committed themselves to all four of these specific gatherings. Why did the early believers feel that it was so important for them to be committed and steadfast in the meetings?"
They met every day! Can you imagine taking time out of your day to fellowship with other believers, every day of the year? That's hard with our busy schedules where we tend to leave God at church and live our lives like the world for the rest of the week. Shelor goes on to say:
"If we look more closely at the context of the passage mentioned above we will see that the purpose for gathering together is always focused on encouraging and taking care of others, not ourselves. We see in Acts 2 that the believers met together daily from house to house. These daily meetings may have been for nothing more than fellowship, but it shows how well they understood how a body functions. We also read in this chapter that they did not hold anything to be their own, but were happy to share what they had with those in need. Well that sounds just like a body. A hand doesn’t say things like, “Those are my fingers; you need to get your own.” Members of a body don’t worry about personal possessions."When you're part of a body (church), you should want to work together and be with the other parts of the body so that you can function properly. Church attendance is a must so that you can fellowship, befriend, help other believers. If you don't attend church your theology can become skewed since you don't have anyone else there to correct or lovingly challenge you. By being part of a church or other body of believers, you have the opportunity to sharpen one another and to be sharpened yourself. Coming away rejuvenated to face another week of the world pushing and fighting against your Faith.
But please don't think you can go to any local church and grow and thrive there. We have been blessed with a local church family that teaches straight through different books of the Bible and uses Scripture as the final authority. Please note that this is not always the case and you need to be careful about choosing a church.
I hope you have seen that the Bible clearly instructs you to attend church and/or be in fellowship with other believers. By being active in your body you can display a more biblical picture of what God has instructed us to do in this regard.
*Special thanks to Joshua Shelor for his resources, thank you for doing all that you do, I'm really encouraged by reading and listening to you.*