And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Once, the brother of a friend of mine mentioned that he’d learned more about God since leaving the church.
So his question was, “Why attend church?”
You don’t HAVE to go to church to be a Christian, and in his mind, it had actually done him harm. The setting wasn’t one where I could talk openly about this with him. But if I ever get the chance, here’s what I’ll ask him:
Which God do you refer to, the God of the Bible? The same God that commands we stay involved with His Church in a body of believers to encourage one another and make sure we’re staying true to His Word?
(Hebrews 10:23-25 ESV) How have you learned about God, through trial and error, personal experiences, or observing others (who may or may not be true followers)?
When you do read the Bible, do you understand what you’re reading?
Do you comprehend the overall message?
How do you know you’re interpreting it correctly?
Can you tell the difference between historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, or wisdom literature?
I’d ask him how he knows I’M not leading him astray. In other words, what’s he anchored to, the Word, or his subjective experience and opinion?
I’d ask him this to make the point that there are no “Lone Ranger” Christians.
Nobody gets to go it alone and make up whatever version of Christianity suits them.
Christianity is a team sport; it must be lived in concert with other followers to ensure we haven’t strayed from the true faith.
Dear Lord, I want to know you fully as you know me fully. I don’t simply want to know about you, I want a personal relationship with you so that you can live through me. I want you to be the first one I run to when trouble comes, not a last resort as some do. Amen.
• Hebrews 10:23-25
• Acts 2
• Ephesians 3:4-15
Spend some time today thinking about your relationship with God. Is He some mysterious figure you go to church to learn about and to get some spiritual sounding nugget to get you through the week? Or do you long to know Him as Father, and worship with a body of fellow believers, perhaps even serve them in some way?
Dwight Baker is a Christian freelance writer in Houston, TX and owner of Lone Star Freelance.