Someone asked me the other day if I can pick the direction the comments in a post are going to go in. I said I thought so. I’ve decided I was wrong. Sometimes I write things, particularly about Christianity, that seem pretty cut and dry, and objectively clear in the Bible, and I get interesting comments that criticise me for making a claim the commenter disagrees with…
That’s fine. I like being disagreed with, I don’t have a monopoly on truth. But the Bible does. Or it claims to, you can take or leave that. If you take it, there’s no room for being wishy washy. The Bible says we’re saved to be part of the family/kingdom of God. You can’t do that alone. It’s not a family of one.
I might be getting the Bible wrong, but if I’m standing on the verses of the Bible that talk about what I’m talking about, and you’re disagreeing with what I’m saying, without looking at what the Bible says, then be prepared for me not to take the disagreement particularly seriously.
Let me be clear what I’m not saying – going to church does not make you a Christian, but if you’re a Christian you’ll go to church. In fact, if you’re a Christian, you’re already part of the “universal church”, the family of God – and you should love your Christian brothers and sisters and want to be with them in church… if you don’t, then questions need to be asked.
There’s a murky area where there are some situations where church is not possible – people in hospital, in permanent care, and who, like the thief on the cross die before having a chance to go to church… but really… there aren’t a whole lot of excuses to not be treating Christianity like a family thing… which means being part of a family. Not going it alone.
Christianity.net.au says something about this probably a little clearer…
“The Christian life was never meant to be lived solo, God has gifted each member of his church to serve one another, you can’t do that solo. It is near impossible to live a Christian life alone, it runs counter to everything God has done for us. However, some people can’t help but live alone. The thief on the cross could not join a church, he had no choice; but where we have a choice, we really should become a part of God’s church.
It’s like someone who gets married, but never moves in with their husband. It is true that you can be married without living together, and there may be extreme circumstances that you can think of where someone may get married and not live together (if someone is on their death bed for example). But a real marriage involves relationship. Becoming a Christian means being a part of God’s family. “
There’s an interesting and timely post on the matter at the internetmonk’s site about the old “Jesus – Yes, Church – No” mentality…
I’d love to see what arguments people could put forward that actually work against the idea I’m putting forward that aren’t pie in the sky hypotheticals. I’m not suggesting that church saves you, but if you’re a Christian there’s just no way I can see how you could reject gathering with God’s people.