I didn’t go to church this morning. And by church, I’m not referring to the building, I’m speaking of participating with the Body of Christ in corporate worship.
My choice was motivated primarily out of two considerations:
- I will increasingly have a harder time doing my best for God the more ill I become. I need to recuperate.
- Subjecting others to whatever yuckiness I may have to share is unkind.
This is not “forsaking the assembling.” In fact, I agree with Dr. Rand Hummel that sometimes sleep is the most godly thing you can do.
But there are plenty of other people not at church today, and many of their reasons are not as advisable.
Thom S. Rainer wrote an article entitled “Eight Reasons it’s Easier Not to Attend Church Today.” Each of the eight reasons named are very real and very applicable. But I don’t think the list is all-inclusive, especially for the types of people I interact with on a daily basis.
I do, however, think Burk Parsons, hit the male on the bed:
“One reason people stay home instead of gathering in worship with others is . . . they feel like they’re making it just fine on their own.”
Church attendance comes down to fulfilling a God-given need. God designed the Body of Christ to fulfill a plethora of invaluable functions . . . stuff that everyone (saved and unsaved) desperately need. It’s only when we disagree with God that we need what only the Body of Christ can provide that we reject it. This is the seminal issue, pure and simple.
Today there are people at home who believe:
- The church is full of hypocrites, therefore it won’t help them.
- Yard work is more important.
- Worship doesn’t have to take place in a group setting, so why bother.
- They don’t need to be sharpened, admonished, rebuked, encouraged, edified, or have any burdens born. In short, they don’t need anyone to love them today.
- The church doesn’t have truth.
- Sports and leisure are more important.
- They don’t need God.
- The church isn’t relevant to their life.
And there are a multitude more. But each one of them expose the same heart attitude – church isn’t that important, I don’t need church.
Of course, not everyone who stayed home this morning is doing so for sinful reasons. I believe I am one of them, and I know there are many more out there like me. But I also am honest enough to admit that there have been times that I’ve forsaken the assembling because I decided that completing homework was more important or that I just didn’t feel like it . . . and that was more important that obeying God. At times we all are tempted to reject the thing God says we need.
A.W.Tozer makes the observation:
“Any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.”
We need the Body of Christ. We need to participate in corporate worship and corporate sanctification. We need to fulfill the one anothers in the context of the local church. We need to equip the saints.
We need church.