I feel that the world is seeping in to church and causing, especially the older folk to stay away or just stick around because church is a habit. I do not think God is deaf, [unless he has become so in the last few years by attending church]…but the hope we should have of Holy Spirit coming to that church is slim to none!!
I have always loved everything church. Being in every possible area of being used, my wife and I brought our two now adults children in everything also. We have loved people, cared for them, cried with them and comforted them in All areas of their lives. We were taught that all mankind is separate until we completed what Jesus said He completed on the cross, by actually repeating a pray and ask for the forgiveness He already gave on Calvery.
We were never told that God was in christ reconciling the world back to Him, not holding their sins against them. It seems that the traditions of separation gain a higher value than what Jesus, as saviour of the the world accomplished for all mankind. So when we find these truths out to be true and nothing can separate us from the love of God, we dont want to go back to CHURCH that tells us we are sinful, headed for hell and will always need the church as our foundation, so we need to come back 3 times a week and never call, our pastor by His first name, no matter how close we get because the pastor is our shepherd.
This is the height of arrogance and elitist and just like the religious folk on earth when Jesus came. He came to stop the I sanity. Yet we are to,d we are still in the situation because of Adam. The church does t believe Jesus is enough. We must add our approval to solidify it.
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The more things change…. You have a few good points here, but a great many faulty assumptions based solely on modern church customs 19th century and newer. Also, you need to use scripture if you really want authority in your points. For the record, spirituality has always been an individual pursuit. While I cannot say that we are to forsake the assembling of ourselves together Heb , that does not necessarily mean Sunday morning services are the only way to meet that criteria.
While it is true that I cannot say I have no need for others in the Body of Christ, attending Sunday mornings has never been a requirement for connecting with the body of Christ at anytime. Remember Matthew Church is wherever believers gather two or more. Online services are often the only way one can find quality and scriptual teaching. That statement is ignorant of biblical history.
Again, you seem to assume that a connection at a different church with different people is shallow and there is no contribution happening. If I go someplace, or multiple some places for church, I contribute in some form or other. It may be an offering, a kind word, changing a flat tire for someone in the parking lot, but that is contributing.
Let me help you with some context of Matthew , because it is not what you are trying to make it. Matthew is in the middle of teaching on restoring a brother conflict resolution, church discipline not a teaching on what constitutes church. Context and the original intent of the author drive our Hermeneutic, not what we want the verse to say.
You meeting with another Christian 1 on 1 might be discipleship, but it is not church by any means. So your entire argument here is not really on a firm foundation since your foundational verse is taken and used out of context. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. You were doing pretty good until your last paragraph. Gathering together for worship is not really why we gather together. Baptism does not require a large gathering although it is public. Communion does not require a gathering. Preaching is to the world that they might be saved and does not require a gathering.
Preaching is proclaiming, whether on a stree or proclaiming truth to another while in their living room. Missions does not require a gathering. All these things are indeed the work of the Church, the ecclessia, but they do not require a gathering, a pastor, a government approved legal entity or a weekly place of meeting. Then, in turn, treating them like a Gentile or tax collector would be treating them like, oh, you know, someone who needs to be loved and invited into relationship with Christ, because we would treat those nasty ole Gentiles and tax collectors like dirt, you know, like Jesus treated Matthew….
Submitting to your leaders???
Ah, yes, surely that can be done within the context of the natural discipleship of one to another. Paul told Timothy to train up reliable men. There are indeed individuals who should be recognized as spiritually mature, wise and someone to heed.
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The point is, NONE of what scripture teaches us, needs to be done ONLY within the confines of an organization, in a building as practiced throughout the west today. However, it CAN be done there as well as elsewhere. What matters is whether they are led and inspired by God, to His will, and with His spirit.
Amen Brother! Not works for salvation but works in response to what we hear via the Spirit, in obedience to the Father. No matter how many times I see something about declining church attendance, I never see the two biggest reasons addressed. There are people in your church that do not believe it is true but go because someone wants them to.
Wow, you make some great points! That seems odd to me. No Hebrews What bothers me is that some of us drop their attendance not because of laziness or consumerism.
Fallen from the Lord
Some people drop attendance because of problems like mental health it is mental health awareness week here in the UK and in many cases the church communities do not look kindly on those when complex mental health problems. Unless they are the ones who shout the loudest. I struggle with anxiety and often find that church is far more scary than it needs to be.
It never used to. I can only go if I have a friend to meet me there. Thanks for having the willingness to share your thoughts Carey.
The Empty, Front-row Seat
I always find your posts challenging and refreshing. This post reminded me of growing up with my father. Sometimes with everyone…sometimes just me and dad. One night in the car I was ranting about having to go back to on Sunday night. Fast forward 25 years and I can point back to critical moments in my faith and this conversation coming to mind. I desperately want them to have a vibrant faith. I see the patterns of people within my church that do.
When I see people deviating from the pattern or using poor substitutes for it and then their faith taking a hit, I hurt for them. In part, because of that conversation with my father. In part, because of the fruit it has produced in my own faith and the fruit I see it produces in others. So, flexing and developing that spiritual muscle is totally worth it every time.
So much wrong here. I am a pastor in a House Church Network, and it is church.
I am pretty sure the Bible in Acts which is the history of the church teaches about meeting House to House, multiple times. I am also sure that Jesus commands us to Go, make disciples. Not to build bigger churches for people to sit. Too much of the ministry happens inside the 4 walls of the church building, when that is just not what happened in Acts. Have you read Acts? I was always exhausted by it. The damaged? All I learned from this piece is that Carey Nieuwhof worships church attendance, which is, funnily enough, a sign of the start of spiritual abuse in most churches.
Good comment. Whom ever the Son sets free is free indeed. And for the abused or burnt out on cults or cult-like churches, that freedom means everything. Especially for those of us who must choose most wisely where we can safely rest our vulnerabilities. Flowery and poetic Carly. Its true cause God said it but be honest the church is ran by the pastor and the board and if you dont fit in they will kick you out no matter how faithful you are.
No matter if you gave your all, all your time and the money you had. What kind of people does the church say they are, and who do they serve? Be honest, church is geared toward and accepting and set to serve families,the married, the dating couples. The never married who does not have kids and are over 40 are seen as a threat and as man or women hunting whores by the pastor, the board the widowed, the divorced and the single parents. The never married who does not have kids and are over 40 are seen as threats to the pastors ministry, to the dating couples, to their marriages and to their families.
I cant start my own church cause God didnt call me to. So whats a girl to do? SS — I am so sorry that you have experienced abuse like this in the church. I am sorry that men and women in positions of power in the church have projected onto you their own sin and insecurities.
I pray that you will find a faith community where you and everyone else in it are welcomed, loved and valued much, much more for who you are, than what you can do, or give to the community.
Thank you Pastor Helen Brereton.
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