Why Christians Should Go to Church
Yesterday, while sitting in a cafeteria, I overheard a nearby conversation. It was a group of about five people, and one woman was explaining her views concerning church. It went something like this.
"I don't have to go to church.", she said. "I can worship God at home."
"There's no verse in the Bible that says we have to go to church."
" When I was young, my parents always made me go to church, and I hated it. We went nearly every day of the week. I don't do that to my kids. I don't push religion on them. I give them the freedom to figure it out, on their own. If they want to go to church, then that's fine. But I don't force them to go."
Another person spoke up, saying, "It's the pastor's kids who are always getting into trouble. They're the ones who were always doing drugs and stealing."
As I listened to the conversation, I couldn't help but cringe, and I really wanted to say something. However, I clearly wasn't part of the conversation, and the woman seemed fairly adamant with her views. Could I say anything without seeming rude and confrontational?
Ultimately, I finished my meal and walked away. However, I continued to think about the incident, long into the night. I don't often feel comfortable interjecting myself into someone else's conversation, but what good am I if I keep silent, and never say anything?
I thought about this, for a while, before finally deciding to write this article, and post it on my website.
I have strong feelings concerning everything in that conversation because my experience, and knowledge, is almost the exact opposite of what I was listening to.
I grew up in a Christian home. Family circumstances resulted in me being raised by my grandfather, aunts and uncles. When my siblings and I started living with them, it was then that we started going to church on a regular basis. We went every Sunday morning, and would sometimes go to the Wednesday evening service.
My grandfather often said "Cease not to assemble yourselves together." I didn't think much of it, at the time, but he was quoting Hebrews 10:25.
My Good News Version, puts it this way:
"Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer."
So the woman is wrong when she says that the Bible doesn't say that we should go to church. My grandfather understood the importance of it, and so did the early church.
The early church took this topic very seriously. The book of Acts shows us that they not only spent time worshiping together, but many of them sold their property and gave the money to the church. They were a close-knit group, and did a lot of sharing. My Bible says the following.
"The group of believers was one in mind and heart. None of them said that any of their belongings were their own, but they all shared with one another everything they had. With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God poured rich blessings on them all. There was no one in the group who was in need. Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money received from the sale, and turn it over to the apostles; and the money was distributed according to the needs of the people.
And so it was that Joseph, a Levite born in Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means 'One who Encourages'), sold a field he owned, brought the money, and turned it over to the apostles."
If you think about it, this shouldn't be too surprising. Consider what all of them witnessed, and the persecution they all faced. I can only imagine that sticking together would seem quite natural. They personally witnessed Christ and his miracles, along with the persecution, which followed. None of it could be taken lightly.