Often times, in this age that many refer to as “post-church,” it is suggested that one can be a good Christian without going to church. Among those who do attend church regularly, there are those for whom the concept of membership seems hopelessly outdated. After all, they contend, “membership” is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. For others, belonging to a church holds great significance. Perhaps it is the idea of standing with a certain set of doctrinal beliefs. Perhaps it is done for accountability. Or, maybe, it simply helps to meet that innate human desire to belong. This week, at least two pastors have taken to the blogosphere with their answers to these questions.
Pastor Randy Butler, of Salem Evangelical Church in Salem, Oregon, makes “A Case for Going to Church,” listing his reasons for church attendance. He includes reasons like gratitude, fellowship, prayer support, and personal tradition. In his fifth point, he speaks volumes, writing that ” I go to church because it is a good positive counter against a world filled with negativity and pessimism. I leave church being reminded that God is sovereign.” Read the rest of his blog here.
From the other side of the country, renowned pastor and author John Piper offers reasons to join a church. Assurance of orthodoxy tops Piper’s list, followed by the good it does for others, church leaders, and the church member himself. Accountability and perseverance are included, ad he sagely observes, “covenanting with others now not to let you wander from the gospel, without pressing hard to bring you back, may one day prove priceless for your perseverance in the faith — and your eternity with Christ.” Read more here.
Both pastors agree that church attendance and membership are important to our Christian witness to the world, with Piper remarking, “A lone-ranger Christian doesn’t make the best witness for Christ. Rather, someone who is grounded, has a home, and is part of a solid covenant community of support is best prepared to draw others into the kingdom,” and Butler similarly observing that, “I go to church because I believe it speaks volumes to my culture in a day when going to church is becoming less and less.”
Good blogs, good reads, good points.