An article is circulating that lists five sins that the author claims are not really sins. Some of what they list, I never thought of as sin, like saying, “No” to a ministry or opportunity or disagreeing with a church leader. One of the “sins” they listed as not a sin is “Not Assembling with the Church” or “Skipping Church.” I take exception to this one. Giving up on church is not an option for Christians.
Giving up on church is not an option for Christians.
I recently read an article on ChristianHeadlines “5 Reasons You Should Stay at Church (Even When You Want to Leave)” The author quotes from another source, and I really think they make some valid points. Here are their 5 reasons not to give up on church along with my own commentary on these reasons:
- The Church is Jesus’ Bride. Paul draws this picture in Eph 5:21-33. The picture is that we belong to Him are in one with Him. He is working with us and through us to help us to become a glorious bride without spot or wrinkle. We may not be there yet, but at the marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:6-10) we will be. Why would I as a Christian not desire to be a part of the assembly that will join with the Lord for eternity?
- The Church s a Family. As a family or the household of God (1 Tim 3:15) as children of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Gal 3:26-4:7) we are part of one another. The church exists partly to encourage each other, build each other up, to bear each other’s burdens. We do that as a together family, not as separate individuals.
- The Church is a Diverse Community. We are no longer strangers, aliens, Jew, Gentile, slave, or free. We are part of a community joined by our reliance on God’s grace. In the congregation I serve, we have four generations of people gathered together. There are college professors with PhD’s and folks with a G.E.D. There are conservatives, progressives, Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. There are extroverts and introverts, business owners, college athletes, students with full academic scholarships, homeschool students, private school students, and public school students. There are teachers, nurses, engineers, unemployed, special needs, single, married, divorced, and widowed. There are people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. But we all have this in common: we gather to worship the Creator, seek truth, and seek grace for our sinful nature. (Eph 3:11-22).
- The Church Teaches us to Love. The greatest of commandments is to love the Lord God with all that we are. The second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:36-40). According to Jesus. the badge of discipleship is our love for each other (Joh 13:35). Love grows best as we sped time together. The whole concept of fellowship (koinonia) is sharing and togetherness.
- The Church Needs You. As a Christian you are part of the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:14-18). The community (body) suffers when a part is (or parts are) missing. The body can compensate, but has a disability. You part may be something grand or it maybe less grand, but your role is important to the body at large. Your presence may just be the encouragement someone else needed that day. I recently received a text from a young mother who struggles in a number of ways. She mentioned the encouragement she received just by seeing to older disabled members making extra effort to be a part of the church. These two members may not know how much their participation in worship impacts young lives. Your participation of lack of participation affects other members of the body.
Just somethings to consider this weekend. I’ll look for you Sunday at Central.