Forsaking the Assembly

Posted: November 2, 2013 in From Me To You
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The ChurchI recently met a man who said that he does not go to church. Instead, he said that he “follows Joel Osteen, because [he likes] the way Joel puts things.” We had talked about churches in general and his connection to churches in the past. His mother goes to a large church in Michigan and is apparently very excited about it, though he’s only visited that church with her a few times. He had grown up in a Catholic school because of the lack of quality in the public school system where his family lived. He didn’t offer any specific reason for not going to church anywhere, but I have some guesses as to why that is the case.

Over the course of our conversation, he mentioned some things that would bring frowns and advice to change were he to reveal them to those within the church. Is that a bad thing? Depending on how it is done and who does it, absolutely. But on the other hand, we are also called to hold one another accountable to a Christian lifestyle. Certainly, we are not called to be accusers and condemn everyone who tells us about the things they do, but we are also not to let harmful behaviors go unchallenged if the person claims to believe in God.

The church (done well) is the best way to encourage and admonish one another, especially in a world like ours. As 2 Timothy 3 notes, men will be motivated by wrong desires, “holding to a form of godliness” without actually acknowledging God’s power. Not only is all scripture good for teaching and training, but it is also good for reproof and rebuking. Where can you find this done properly? Hopefully in the Church. If we deny participation in the Body as important, we lose out on the most effective means of growth and conviction in our lives. Therefore, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Clicking the proverbial “Follow” button doesn’t count.


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