Is it necessary to go to church by TaraCory


									Philosophy on a Napkin                                                           

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         June 4, 2012 Articles 2 Comments

         Is it Necessary to Go to Church?

         Please don’t berate me for attempting to take on this topic. It has been a growing controversy over the last 20 years. It is especially questionable in the
         age of technology where one can simply download their favorite sermon from a podcast, put some worship music on in the background, light a candle
         in the living room and call it church.

         After all, downloading a great sermon can leave us more satisfied and spiritually uplifted than this whole messy business of going to church. What is the
         church anyway? Aren’t WE the church?

         As of late, it’s hip NOT to go to church. The church is dysfunctional and ineffective, so why bother when you can listen to better sermons online and
         avoid all the drama?

         I am going to give you 5 short and sweet reasons why I believe attending a local church on a regular basis is important……..nay crucial, to our spiritual

         1. Church is more than simply illuminating our minds.

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Philosophy on a Napkin                                                         

         The Director for Spiritual Formation from the Methlick Parish School in Scottland said, “Once we reduce the Spirit’s mission to bringing us knowledge
         of Christ (rather than bringing us into the heart of the Trinitarian life), then we are on shaky ground.”

         Before the 16th century and the invention of the printing press, Christians did not have access to a Bible. Gathering for church was more than just a
         ritualistic duty, it was THE means for a spiritual experience. Since the King James Bible was placed in the hands of everyday Christians, our
         spirituality has become much more private and individual.

         Church is more than a sermon, and gathering is more than just an intellectual meal.

         2. Going to church involves interacting with people. Although messy, God’s plan has always been to use real people in a real world.

         Many of us became Christians not entirely based on newly acquired knowledge, but moreover, based on newly acquired relationships.

         Julie Canlis says, “Every time we go to church, we declare that we are not individuals—as the culture around us would have us believe—but rather are
         made up by these new relations (which are not always easy nor comfortable). We are not communion itself (as is the Trinity).”

         “When we are suffering from doubt, we can let others who are full of faith stand in for us. When we cannot attest to God’s personal presence in this
         phase of our life, we can let those who are experiencing God in particular ways stand in for us and give us hope. When we are unable to pray, we can let
         the prayers of those around us, and who have gone generations before us, carry us to the place where once again we will be able to do so.”

         This unity of the Spirit is unable to be experienced from home.

         3. Yes, the church is messy. Yes, the church has problems. Yes, many people within the church have wounded one another. However, Peter and John set
         an example of devotion and commitment to the local body in Acts chapter 3, as they attended the temple regardless of its problems or personal offenses.

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Philosophy on a Napkin                                                        


         Do you remember what happened just a few chapters prior at the end of the gospels???

         Yeah, the local body crucified their best friend.

         Talk about a messed up church.

         Talk about a reason never to go back.

         Peter and John understood that the church was God’s hope for the world….regardless of its state. They understood that commitment to the local body
         was crucial, and despite their opinion of the place (which I can’t imagine was quite positive), they attended.

         4. The collective church is a foretaste of the Kingdom of God.

         “Every time we go to church, we declare that the whole church—not my individual self—is the bride of Christ. We are forced to cast our glance around
         us at relations which—like it or not—are part of us because we are all part of Christ.”

         You can’t experience a foretaste of the Kingdom of God on your own.

         In thinking about corporate gatherings in this way, the quality of the sermon and the sound of the worship team may pale in comparison to the notion of
         communing together with our extended family.

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Philosophy on a Napkin                                                         

         5. Spirituality is a discipline. Going to church is a discipline.

         When we think of the Spirit, we think of the free, unexpected, and unknown encounters with God. While this may be so at times, the Spirit’s domain is
         also the known, the physical, and the routine.


         Because God chooses to use institutions. The sanctifying Spirit also longs to teach us patience. Therefore, the logical conclusion states that church HAS
         to be boring sometimes in order to teach us patience and long-suffering =)

         (clip from above) Sermon Survival Tip: If during the sermon you drift off to a peaceful slumber….and your wife gently nudges you, pretend you were
         praying and just quietly say…”AMEN”.

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Philosophy on a Napkin                                                          

         In conclusion, it is important to go to church…regularly…with the same people.


         Many say they hang out with Christians and that is suffice. Usually we hang out with those like us. That defeats the purpose of true unity. And how
         “regular” do they meet with these Christians? Church needs to be regular and with people who are different from us who challenge us.

         It’s outrageous, isn’t it?

         ……that I, a broken person, can go to THAT place seeking wholeness THERE with THAT group of people.

         A God, decided to reveal himself to THAT group of people in THAT place at THAT time in history.

         The gospel is so offensive.

         This is also why is it a stumbling block to many, and foolishness to the Greeks. But to us, it is the power of God.

         2 Responses to Is it Necessary to Go to Church?

            1.        Bob says:
                 June 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

                 “You can’t experience a foretaste of the Kingdom of God on your own.” Not sure I completely agree with this point #4. In solitude we can get a
                 taste of heaven, but it will be a different aspect than presented in a church service. Both sides are needed and necessary.

                 Believe me, point 5 about being a discipline is sometime the only thing that gets me there…

                 great article to make us think!


            2.        Derek L. Hastings says:
                 June 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

                 Very Excellent Tara!

                 You write with a style that is easy to read.



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Philosophy on a Napkin                                                 

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