The same routine plays itself out Sunday after Sunday. Some members make their grand entrance, sitting in their “self assigned” pew. The services are called to order with a song from the choir, the opening prayer is given and we begin the same “Order Of Services” as directed by the Church Program. We seem so lost without a program telling us what to do next. I get it, we need order. Hmm, order or control?
Now that everyone is in the parking lot and God is locked in the church until next Sunday,
Where were you when the church doors were open? That’s a question that makes the “AWOL” church member blush with guilt because of what others may be thinking. Somehow church attendance seems to correlate with your “spiritual maturity and depth” in the Lord; I say that sarcastically.
You Know What The Bible Says!
Oh my, here we go; that infamous line quoted by clergy and pastors when members begin to miss a Sunday here and there. The Bible, says to “forsake not”. I fond it interesting how you only get a part of what is written. Short of an exegesis of the scripture (which I won’t do ), let’s take a look at the word “FORSAKE” which means to leave, flee with the intention of never returning. Can that be said about you for missing one Sunday? No, can it be said about you for missing five Sundays? I think not. How can the preacher know your intentions? He doesn’t. So how can anyone say that you have forsaken the assembly of your self when you missed one or many Sundays? If you show up in church 2 years later, did your forsake the church? Only you know that. Was your intention to never return? Not if you’re sitting there during a Sunday or weekday service.
When a person makes the conscious decision to never return to the company of or the gathering place where the saints are, this is what scripture is referring to. I realize that many believers relive or remember the hurt inflicted by careless leaders, but we the believers need a place to fellowship and grow in the strength and knowledge of the Lord. You are the church; the building is not, where two, or three are gathered together in Jesus name,He is there also. In our current time, we gather together for other reasons than fellowship in the name of Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is why there is so much confusion, manipulation, and desension in the modern place of worship called church.
Stop Feeling Guilty!
The building is where the church (body of believers) meets or congregates (hence the word congregation. Many pastors mock the phrase “I am” Or “you are the church” and they don’t want to hear this, it undermines their influence and power they like to exercise over the people, it also impacts the revenue of those in it for the money.
So, you did not go to church this Sunday or the last Sunday! You have a Bible right? “Read it! I am sure you have a phone! “Call another believer on the phone, pray for and encourage each other.” Go to where other believers are and just fellowship where other believers are and just fellowship!
Stop feeling guilty and bound and worship God every day with your living and interaction with people and let them see the God in you that you know, love and worship. You became a part of the body of Christ the moment you committed to Romans 10:9-10, you became a part of the ecclesia.
You didn’t go to church this Sunday? So! What’s the problem? Worship God Where You Are!
Going Against The Grain