Not going to Church a sin?

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
User avatar
UsagiTsukino
Valued Member
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:10 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 6 times

Not going to Church a sin?

#1

Post by UsagiTsukino » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:10 pm

I'm not saying we should never go to church and in fact the word church simple means for believers to gather but what if we don't go do to something important. For example I'm in college and something I over sleep.

User avatar
PeteSinCA
Valued Member
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Location: Silicon Valley
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#2

Post by PeteSinCA » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:04 am

I can't give a simple answer to the question in the title of this thread.

Acts chapters 2-6 and 1 Corinthians 11 & 14 make pretty clear that gathering together for teaching and fellowship was the norm for believers, and that they customarily did so weekly.. Hebrews 10:24-25 goes a step further, and commands believers to meet together.

Unless I've missed it, Scripture does not command: meeting on Sundays; meeting weekly; celebrating communion at every meeting. Consequently, denominations/associations (e.g. Catholic, Church of Christ) that require their members to meet weekly and celebrate communion weekly - and tell them it is a sin not to - go beyond what Scripture instructs believers to do.

Never (or very infrequently) meeting with other believers for teaching and fellowship (unless prevented, e.g. by a health condition) is disobeying what Scripture commands.

Paradoxically, members of denominations/associations that teach that God requires weekly meeting and believe that teaching do sin if they refuse to obey what they understand to be God's command. The sin here, though, is not in the not meeting, but in the refusal to obey what they believe to be God's command.
Soapy Pete's Box

So I'll stand // With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One Who gave it all - The Stand, Hillsong United

"To a world that was lost, He gave all He could give.
To show us the reason to live."
"We Are the Reason" by David Meece

"So why should I worry?
Why should I fret?
'Cause I've got a Mansion Builder
Who ain't through with me yet" - 2nd Chapter of Acts

ChristianScientistAnn
Recognized Member
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:34 am
Christian: Yes
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#3

Post by ChristianScientistAnn » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:18 pm

Here's what I go by:
Luke 4:16 And he [Jesus] came to Nazareth where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

If the Son of God made it his custom to go to synagogue regularly (whatever the service may have been like in his view...), I certainly must go to church regularly too, as one of his followers. There should be a good reason if we stay home, like that we have to care for an ailing friend. Laziness and poor priorities and sleepiness are not good reasons not to go. It needs to be put first, and everything else second. We NEED to worship collectively. I always walk out at the end of the service feeling better than when I went in. Going regularly provides a necessary structure to my life.

User avatar
Gman
Old School
Posts: 6081
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 10:36 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Northern California
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#4

Post by Gman » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:09 pm

UsagiTsukino wrote:I'm not saying we should never go to church and in fact the word church simple means for believers to gather but what if we don't go do to something important. For example I'm in college and something I over sleep.
I don't believe anyone goes to Church because they have.. People go to church because they want to. Also going to church of following G-d's commandments does not make you holy.. It's Christ that makes you holy.
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

User avatar
Philip
Board Moderator
Posts: 8213
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:45 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Betwixt the Sea and the Mountains
Has liked: 388 times
Been liked: 611 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#5

Post by Philip » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:04 pm

First, the church is not a BUILDING or PLACE - it is the worldwide body of ALL Christians. And any assembly of Christians coming together to worship and fellowship in the Lord is "doing" church, are part of the Body of Christ. And on whatever day we want to make our Sabbath - as long as we have one.

But, unless there are NO reasonable choices for regularly fellowshipping with other believers, why would any Christian avoid it? Why would they not relish and opportunity to regularly meet with other Christians? It really doesn't matter what that fellowship or place of fellowship looks like - it might be in a house church, meeting together in a restaurant, or in a park. Yes, other Christians happen to be people - they can be messy, difficult, some are hypocrites (and you name their sins) - but we all can be some of these. These are precisely the kind of Christians that may well need your influence. And you many need theirs. Oh, you may have been church hurt - sad, regrettable - but don't let that stop you from finding a fellowship of believers right for you.

Proverbs 27:17: Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

We need other Christians and they need us!

Hebrews 10:24: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works

The level of impact we can have on the world multiplies many times over when Christians come together in one Spirit and on purpose. No "Lone Ranger" Christian can accomplish for God near what a fellowship of them can. Which is one reason why God gives different spiritual gifts to different people. One person's gifts alone may well be insufficient to what God can do with the gifts of more than that one person.

God pours His truths and insights across His Church. This means that there are limits to what spiritual growth and insights you can gain BY YOURSELF. There is important spiritual knowledge and growth that will never occur without you regularly spending time with other believers. Their is great power in coming together regularly with other members of the Body of Christ. I say don't shortchange yourself or what God would like to accomplish through your and your fellow believers. And note that God's example for regularly spending time with other believers is the Apostles. Why would we do any different?

A better question might be: "If God wants to accomplish and teach me things through my regular fellowship with other believers, and He has thus equipped each of us differently but complementarily, to do so - then why would I avoid it? Is resisting and avoiding God's purposes for uniting and using Believers for His purposes a SIN? I'd say, "yes!" Even the Lone Ranger needed Tonto. And we NEED regular fellowship and worship with fellow Christians. I would venture so far as to say that, without such regular fellowship, we are short-changing God, ourselves and other Believers. But why would we do THAT?

And I say all of the above as someone who, for a long time, stayed away from church and seeking out fellowship with other Believers. Reversing my attitude in this changed my life - and brought many precious Christian friends into it. And I've been far more able to use my own gifts in conjunction with those of other and similar gifts. And I've grown and been blessed in ways otherwise impossible.

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#6

Post by jlay » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:00 pm

There is no law for the NT believer. Sin is defined this way. "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17)
When you say 'go to church,' our concept of the church meeting likely looks nothing like our first century brethren. So, oversleeping is no excuse.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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." (Heb. 10:24,25)

A meeting could be a traditional Sunday morning service, but it could be on any day at any time. There may even be meetings at the college you attend. Where do you go to school?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

PaulSacramento
Board Moderator
Posts: 9034
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Location: Ontario, Canada
Has liked: 120 times
Been liked: 341 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#7

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:24 am

Some people need the fellowship and the organized worship and others don't.
Let all be convinced in their own conscience.

The church is the Body of Christ and it is NOT and never has been ANY building but has always been the body of believers.
Where are two or more gather in my name, I am there.

The thing we need to ask ourselves is WHY do we go and we do we NOT go?
Why do some people NOT like going to church and why do others feel they need to go?

Personal expression of our faith is just that and I don't think we or anyone has the right to dictate how that faith is expressed.

There are times I go and other times I don't, there are times I need the strength of others and other times I simply want to worship on my own, just me and Christ.

User avatar
Philip
Board Moderator
Posts: 8213
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:45 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Betwixt the Sea and the Mountains
Has liked: 388 times
Been liked: 611 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#8

Post by Philip » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:23 pm

Some people need the fellowship and the organized worship and others don't.
But that is not Scriptural! And it's not true, either. Scripture tells us to NOT forsake gathering together (which is organized worship). But that organization might be as simple as three friends meeting regularly to pray. But ALL Christians should be involved in SOME form of regular meeting to worship and build each other up, in Christ. How much of Scripture talks about the Church, and how to do it, what it should be about, how to handle differences, etc, etc? Notice God didn't tells us that only SOME people need constant Christian fellowship. What is our example and exhortation in Scripture?

Did Paul and the other Apostles foolishly risk their very lives to build God's individual fellowships of believers, that make of the collective Body of Christ / THE Church? The very fact that God reveals things and truths through fellow believers shows us that to neglect constant gathering is to shortchange ourselves, other believers, and God and His purposes for the Church. This is an enormously important part of being what God calls ALL Christians to be. God Himself is a God of relationships - that is what He wants in our relationship with Him and with each other. Long-term, "Lone Ranger" Christianity is tragic, as you'll never be the Christian God wants you to be if you avoid consistent Christian fellowship. And many others whom might benefit from frequent proximity with you will be deprived as well.

PaulSacramento
Board Moderator
Posts: 9034
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Location: Ontario, Canada
Has liked: 120 times
Been liked: 341 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#9

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:07 am

Philip wrote:
Some people need the fellowship and the organized worship and others don't.
But that is not Scriptural! And it's not true, either. Scripture tells us to NOT forsake gathering together (which is organized worship). But that organization might be as simple as three friends meeting regularly to pray. But ALL Christians should be involved in SOME form of regular meeting to worship and build each other up, in Christ. How much of Scripture talks about the Church, and how to do it, what it should be about, how to handle differences, etc, etc? Notice God didn't tells us that only SOME people need constant Christian fellowship. What is our example and exhortation in Scripture?

Did Paul and the other Apostles foolishly risk their very lives to build God's individual fellowships of believers, that make of the collective Body of Christ / THE Church? The very fact that God reveals things and truths through fellow believers shows us that to neglect constant gathering is to shortchange ourselves, other believers, and God and His purposes for the Church. This is an enormously important part of being what God calls ALL Christians to be. God Himself is a God of relationships - that is what He wants in our relationship with Him and with each other. Long-term, "Lone Ranger" Christianity is tragic, as you'll never be the Christian God wants you to be if you avoid consistent Christian fellowship. And many others whom might benefit from frequent proximity with you will be deprived as well.
Scripture also states, EXPLICITLY, where ever two or more are gathered in my Name, I am there.
People, don't make this an either/or thing.
It isn't.
We are ALL in fellowship with the HS, even right now as we write about this and discuss this, we are in fellowship and we are strengthening each others faith.
There is no "lone ranger" in Christianity because the HS unites us ALL, always.

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#10

Post by jlay » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:48 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Scripture also states, EXPLICITLY, where ever two or more are gathered in my Name, I am there.
People, don't make this an either/or thing.
It isn't.
We are ALL in fellowship with the HS, even right now as we write about this and discuss this, we are in fellowship and we are strengthening each others faith.
There is no "lone ranger" in Christianity because the HS unites us ALL, always.
Whatever, SINNER!!!! :roll:

On a serious note. We all likely need to have our ideas of "church" examined.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

User avatar
1over137
Technical Admin
Posts: 5197
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 6:05 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: Slovakia
Has liked: 128 times
Been liked: 284 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#11

Post by 1over137 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:03 am

I plan to end up in some church. But now I do not haste. I believe God will bring me to some in the right time. My first try was not successful. I was disappointed. It may be that, I expected too much. I do not know. I was so eager. Also, I was eager to be baptized. Well, I hope I will be in the right time.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

ChristianScientistAnn
Recognized Member
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:34 am
Christian: Yes
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#12

Post by ChristianScientistAnn » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:48 am

When anyone wonders what church to go to, I always say it doesn't matter, just go somewhere. After that service or a couple services, evaluate it. If there was anything you didn't think was right about it, don't go back. Go to another church somewhere else. Keep trying out churches until you like one. Stay there until you don't like it any more. Move on. God is definitely guiding.

We all need this collective worship - like hamsters all piled up on top of each other for warmth in the corner of the aquarium at the pet store! Together we do better. Like Canada geese: They fly in a V formation. Because of that V formation they fly 71% faster.

User avatar
Philip
Board Moderator
Posts: 8213
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:45 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Betwixt the Sea and the Mountains
Has liked: 388 times
Been liked: 611 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#13

Post by Philip » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:24 pm

When anyone wonders what church to go to, I always say it doesn't matter, just go somewhere.
Um, it sure wouldn't hurt to check out what a church's doctrinal views are - how do they view Jesus? Is He God in the flesh, crucified and resurrected, still alive/coming again, His sacrificial act crucial to our salvation and ability to RECEIVE eternal life with Him? A lot of churches have great programs, fantastic music, etc, are doing many good works, but they are teaching a highly compromised Gospel - or a totally false one. They can offer many good things and yet be dead as a doornail. The quicker you know some of these things, the more efficient and rewarding your search will be. Most good churches nowadays will have a doctrinal statement / "What We Believe" on their website.

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#14

Post by jlay » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:27 pm

ChristianScientistAnn wrote:When anyone wonders what church to go to, I always say it doesn't matter, just go somewhere. After that service or a couple services, evaluate it. If there was anything you didn't think was right about it, don't go back. Go to another church somewhere else. Keep trying out churches until you like one. Stay there until you don't like it any more. Move on. God is definitely guiding.

We all need this collective worship - like hamsters all piled up on top of each other for warmth in the corner of the aquarium at the pet store! Together we do better. Like Canada geese: They fly in a V formation. Because of that V formation they fly 71% faster.
I think believers take too little care in analyzing where and why they should fellowship. Therefore, their attendance is often based on the most shallow motives. "I like the music, the location, etc.". Regardless, these can be (no always) very superficial and self-serving things. I'm more interested in believers getting engauged in meaningful study where they can learn to discern God's word for themselves and discover their ministerial callings. And yes, all believers have ministerial callings.
I'd say many if not most members have little to no idea regarding church polity or doctrinal positions of the church they attend.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

ChristianScientistAnn
Recognized Member
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:34 am
Christian: Yes
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Not going to Church a sin?

#15

Post by ChristianScientistAnn » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:11 pm

I agree that it is preferable to carefully check out doctrines/ beliefs, and have motives that aren't shallow.
Indecision, indifference, and apathy prevent attendance sometimes, that's all.
I say, just start somewhere.
Going to church is a right activity. I am blessed by just going and I bless others by just being there. It is a two way blessing.

Post Reply