Why go to church?
How many times have we heard some well-meaning friend tells us “I can worship God just as well sitting by a brook in the woods and contemplating God as those who are going to church.”? And usually, there is some mention of all those “hypocrites” who are putting on a show by regularly attending worship services. What about all of that?
Hebrews 10:25’s admonition to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together stands on its own as motivation and explanation, but I believe we can also throw in some common sense and experiential wisdom on the subject of “Why go to church?”
For one, what other functioning organization (organism) is there that exists for the sole purpose of worshipping God, including praying, teaching the inspired Word of God, and encouraging believers? I can’t think of one! It is a place where we raise our children in the faith, teaching them Biblical standards. And of course church has become one of the very few places where we are free to exercise our constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of religion without being shackled by the rigid cuffs of political correctness; and make no mistake about it, Christianity in its pure form has become politically incorrect. Christian churches preach an exclusive entrance to Heaven, a definite creation of the world, the existence of a conspiratorial power and individual (Lucifer), and moral standards that are as unchanging as our Saviour, which are all politically incorrect. We share testimonies of the grace of God in our individual lives and our thanks to God for His grace. Every story is different, but every story is the same, and hearing those testimonies is a thrill, a strengthening, and a motivation. Then, there is a short (??) sermon from the pulpit, and the tender heart always finds something there to carry throughout the week in spiritual consideration.
And our brothers and sisters in our church family are sure to hold us up in prayer when the inevitable trials and tribulations of life come our way. Out in the woods by the brook may be nice and even inspirational, but the essence is still fishing.
The essence of going to church is always and forever Jesus Christ. And there is no alternative substitute.
Love to all,