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Topic: Church Attendance

The Church of Your Choice

by Darrel Cline

In considering the issue of attending church, I want to consider the most popular notion in our culture regarding this biblical requisite upon those who name the name of God: that we should attend the church of our choice.

This idea is truly American. This vast nation that has become the greatest debtor nation in the history of the world, that has made its boundaries socially broad enough to accommodate every kind of world-view (except maybe pedophilia--which some of our industrious politicians are working on), that has enabled more wealth to flow to the trash heap than most nations can gather on the dinner table, that embraces as its bottom line the thesis that freedom is the principle thing, therefore get freedom no matter who gets run over in the process, and that actively promotes every religious idea except Christian fundamentalism--this nation truly believes in the idea that we should attend the church of our choice. It is an American ideal.

Therefore, God hates it. Luke 16:15 says of Jesus, "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." It is a shocking thing for men to read that God despises what they think most highly of--but it is true nonetheless.

The problem of attending the church of your choice is that you will choose the church that meets the majority of your desires. This means that church attendance will be a heavily committed idolatry because it spins on the axis of your desires. The only valid axis in the universe is that of God's expressed wishes. And God does not wish for men to attend church for what they can get out of it. Rather, He has expressly commanded that people attend church for what benefit they can communicate to others. The Church is supposed to be a place of worship (where men give God the glory He deserves), of giving (where men give others what they need to promote the Kingdom of God on the earth), of serving (where volunteers deliberately commit themselves to helping those who cannot help themselves), of learning (where men commit themselves to becoming biblically literate enough to do the work of the ministry themselves), and of rejoicing (where men learn to give God thanks for everything and in everything, as the Bible says). This is, obviously, not the character of the vast majority of churches in existence. So, most people cannot please God by attending the church that they prefer--because their preferences are not God's.

Therefore we see that the Bible does not support our popular American ideal. Liberty is not the principle thing. Love is. But love can/will get you killed (remember, Jesus loved more than any man who ever lived, and it led Him straight to Calvary). And, who wants to die? Interestingly, every original apostle of Jesus except the apostle John, died the death of a martyr--precisely because they learned to love. If they had succumbed to the American ideal of personal freedom above all, we would never have been given the gospel of eternal life. So, don't go to the church of your choice: seek God for His choice for you.

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This is article #126.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.