The question keeps coming up, as sure as Spring follows Winter, "If
I’m a Christian, do I have to go to church?"
Well, let’s look around. How about the person who loves
music, but won’t listen to it. The guy who loves old cars, but won’t go to an auto show. The CEO who loves the
big pay, but won’t go near his company. "Just mail it to me, and thanks, guys."
And I would mention
the International Rotary Club with its fine public service projects. It stresses club attendance, and goes so far that if
a member has to miss a meeting, he or she is strongly encouraged to attend a meeting elsewhere as a make-up.
If a person
wants to join the club, but notes that he won’t be attending meetings, how do you suppose a vote would go. A person
loves boating, but won’t go near the water. Enough! Enough! Uncle! However you slice it, it doesn’t compute. Jesus,
talking to Peter, one of His disciples, said, "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it." If the Church was so important to Jesus, shouldn’t we agree? How difficult it is for a Christian
to live and work among sinners, never going near a place where Christians gather. How can a Christian keep the faith, when
all around him are people who want nothing to do with "his crowd." How can he or she keep God in their heart when
the only time they hear his name is in a curse.
If you love a woman, you want to be near her. If you love chocolate,
do you buy licorice? Have I made my point? If not, I suspect that you need to get more serious about your religion. Churches
not only are a meeting place of like minds; they also have practical purposes. Your wedding and your funeral, for example.
One of the best reasons I’ve heard, though is this: "going to church" on TV and feeling satisfied is like
seeing a big Mac burger on TV and feeling full.
Somehow, this little poem comes into my mind more often that you’d
think: "Each time I pass a little church, I pay a little visit…so when they carry me inside, the Lord won’t
say, ’Who is it?’" Be honest with yourself; Christians belong in church.