Is Not Attending Church a Sin?

Pleasant Hill

I have had the discussion, more than once, about whether or not it is a sin to not attend church.  Often the argument is thrown out that, “I don’t need to attend church to have a relationship with God.  I can read my Bible from my home.”  at which point the opposing side will counter with, “Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves” which is a play off of Hebrews 10:25 which, in its entirety says (this once I’m quoting in KJV so you can see the resemblance between the two quotes), “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

…and thus the argument continues back and forth with no one actually reaching an agreement or decision.  So what, exactly, is the answer?  Well, I’m not sure there is a solid one.  First, there are too many extenuating circumstances to give a blanket answer.  I can, possibly, address a few situations with my opinion and see if that helps.

First, one of my pet peeves is when anyone takes just a portion of the Bible and runs with it.  I think that in order to fully understand what God is trying to tell us then we need to look (at least) at the passage as a whole.  From here out I’ll be  using the Holman Christian Standard Bible.  The passage from Hebrews that is often used to as a defense of mandatory church attendance really should be backed up to, at least, verse 19 and reads like this:

19. Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living      way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house        of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience          and our bodies washed in pure water.  23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who                promised is faithful.  24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not                staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see        the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25 HCSB

To me, this passage speaks about so much more than just getting your butt to church on a regular basis.  It also talks about the emotional experience of church.  Well, what happens when something has affected that experience?  Then where do you go and what do you do?  What if you truly long to attend church (I’m not talking about just slackers, if you are slacking then turn off the tv and get your tail to church-there, I addressed that) but, rather, have had a spiritual battle that prevents you in one way or another from attending?  What do you do then?

Well, I can tell you what my husband and I did.

Figure it out?  That’s right, you keep trying.  Either, you attend your church-despite the spiritual struggles-or you look for a new one.  And, even when you go week after week after week and you still don’t find the one that you belong in, you go again until you hear God speak.  I won’t lie and say that we were faithful and kept trying like we should, but I wish that we had.  If we had, if we hadn’t given up and spent months at home moping, then we would have found the fellowship and love that we have now sooooo much sooner.  I know how hard it is when you have been wounded spiritually, and I know that sometimes you need time at home to talk to God and pray; personally, I think that it’s ok to take that time.  However, I do believe that God intends for us to be in church regularly to hear His Word, to be ministered to, and to minister to others.  God will heal our wounds, if we’ll let Him.

Love,

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A Challenge for a Better America

Munch

I’m loathe to admit this in public, for he is my younger brother after all, but I’m immensely proud of Josh.   I have watched him accomplish things that time and time again people said he would never do.  I stood in the doorway of our parents’ basement and watched him, as a young pre-teen, work on computers.  Now I sit in the back office and work for him at his corporation.  Josh started his business at 11, graduated at 16, has grown his company from a one man show to a threatening corporation that is continually blowing up.  He accomplished all of this while still balancing a personal life that brought a wonderful woman to be my sister and gave me three handsome nephews.

Everything Josh does, he does it with all that he is and with integrity.  Josh is an example of the American dream that if we work and believe hard enough that we can make things happen.  He is passionate about his God, family, and country and will very quickly come to any of those defenses; which is why I was not surprised when he told me last night that he was creating a video challenging Donald Trump to a debate.  Josh sees Trump as a bully, a man who pushes past those with weaker defenses to get what he wants without regard to the consequences or who gets hurt.  Trump is a threat to our country, not an asset, and needs to be put in his place.  I, for one, think Josh can do it.  What we need in this country are people with solutions, not people who parade around shouting that we have problems.  WE KNOW WE HAVE PROBLEMS!  How about coming up with realistic solutions and then working towards their accomplishments?  This is OUR country, I say it’s time we take it back.

Love,

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