1. New: Christian Forums Staff Recruit Video.- It's that time of year again. We are having our annual Staff Recruit Drive. Simply ask any staffer to help you apply and enjoy the video...
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
  • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
  • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
  • Access to private conversations with other members.

We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Is not going to church a sin?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by gailmac, Sep 4, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gailmac

    gailmac New Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    6
    Faith:
    Christian
    I know the word says to stay in fellowship (not forsake), but what if you are in between churches. Do you feel it's a sin if you don't go to the building, but continue to fellowship with other believers say on the phone or by computer...or listen to sermons on the radio rather than in person?

    I would love to hear from you all on this matter...thanks!
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  2. Father Rick

    Father Rick Peace be with you

    Messages:
    8,100
    Likes Received:
    765
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Utrecht
    I think the question shouldn't be whether or not it is a sin but whether or not it is good for you.

    For example, it's not a sin to go without sleep, but if you do it long enough your body just doesn't have what it needs to function properly.

    Same with church. There is someting about the comeing together of believers for corporate worship that you just can't get anywhere else.

    Pax Christi!
     
    Telrunya and jsimms615 like this.
  3. Rich48

    Rich48 Legend

    Messages:
    39,303
    Likes Received:
    2,990
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Constitution
    Faith:
    Christian
    There is nothing wrong, per se, with fellowshipping with other believers via the internet and/or the telephone. Or, for that matter, with listening to sermons on the radio or tv.

    But there is something special about corporate worship. It brings us together, as one body. If you, or anyone is "between churches". then the only way to find a new one is to attend some on Sunday mornings!

    I speak from experience. A few years back, I felt the need to change churches. Without going into details, the church we were attending was having serious problems, and had lost many members. My daughter was, in fact, the only one left in the youth group (which at one time had some 30 kids in it). So in order for her to have others her age, we had to move on. It took several weeks, but not once did we skip a Sunday morning service. We visited churches of all kinds-from a VERY contemporary to a KJV only Baptist. We did settle into a church that fit our needs-a mixture of music (hymns to comtemporary), nice size youth group, but most importantly sound Bible teachings.

    My suggestion would be as soon as you are comfortable doing it, try other churches. There are a lot of wonderful Christian people out there!;)

    Rich
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  4. muffler dragon

    muffler dragon Ineffable

    Messages:
    9,908
    Likes Received:
    353
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Judaism
    Not attending a church is not a sin.

    m.d.
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  5. Glaz

    Glaz Obama '08

    Messages:
    6,141
    Likes Received:
    505
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Other-Religion
    Nope, not a sin. To me though, I get the same thing out of 'church' as I do anytime I fellowship with another Christian(s), whether in a building, in a car, on the phone, the internet, etc etc. Thats where the sin would be I think, not having fellowship with other Christians in some capacity. The popular notion of 'church' is nice though, find one you like and enjoy it, theres nothing wrong with that.
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  6. gailmac

    gailmac New Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    6
    Faith:
    Christian
    I actually like one on one fellowship more. It seemed as though everyone got all dressed up on Sunday to put on a good Sunday show, but after Sunday was over...nothing special.

    To be honest, I am enjoying having a break from church....Not God....just the church games.

    I ask God to show us a church that we will fit in to.
     
  7. Anthony

    Anthony Generic Christian

    Messages:
    1,595
    Likes Received:
    41
    Faith:
    Christian
    Church is worship of God
    Fellowship is with other Belivevers.

    Two different things.

    Sin is being off the mark. A bullseye is perfect, no sin. Anything which missing the target is a sin. Missing Church is missing the target. Missing Church is a sin.
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  8. Glaz

    Glaz Obama '08

    Messages:
    6,141
    Likes Received:
    505
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Other-Religion
    Ridiculous. If I fellowship with other believers, and we spend our time praying and worshipping God, how is that any different than what goes on at a 'church'? Indeed, what is worship if not joining with others in prayer to Him?Christ is with us even when only 2 of us gather in His name, which is all fellowship is, gathering in His name. No doubt church can be a postive aspect of Christianity, but going to church makes you about as much of a christian as going to a garage makes you a mechanic. God can be worshipped by all Christians at any time anywhere, God is no longer confined to man made temples.
     
  9. Rich48

    Rich48 Legend

    Messages:
    39,303
    Likes Received:
    2,990
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Constitution
    Faith:
    Christian
    Perfectly said. That is the point I was attempting to make. Christians need the fellowship of other Christians. And what better time than Sunday mornings!

    Rich[​IMG]
     
  10. Bomber2k

    Bomber2k New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Faith:
    Christian
    I can see how it sounds ridiculous (that's a bit harsh), but from what you're saying, i seem to think you are mistaken.

    Surely not going to Church - not meeting with other Christians.. is a sin because it says in the bible we need the strengthen with other believers. I don't think it says clearly in the bible "it is a sin not to go to church", but since God has said to do it... if you don't go, that is disobedience. When it comes to the point of... "I'm not going to go to Church because I don't have to anyway.. I'm fine by myself (Jesus didn't say we must go anyway...)", it is a sin.

    The difference you are trying to prove: is that going to Church is equal with fellowship with other Christians, right? Wrong. It talks of the Church in the bible as being a strong foundation... therefore people can grow according to scriptural truths rather than scriptural truths + whatever the `fellowship group` is feeling at the time. Lets face it, the church is a *really* good place to grow because the foundation is strong (there are lots of members willing to help you/talk with you, good preaching that will inspire). On the other hand, a small group is much easier to fall apart, the devil can attack it much easier.

    Fellowship (as in with a few others) is NOT Church - Jesus never said such a thing. Don't let the devil trick you like he has me other times... ("you don't have to go... just read the bible and pray with your friend").

    "Yeah I'm here... `fellowshiping` with other members at christianforums.com. Well that's enough for me this Sunday, no Church necessary!!!!!!!" It doesn't matter whether you're online, chatting, reading the bible, singing songs with others - it is still not Church. There is a difference!

    I can't stress this enough to gailmac - it is certainly not God's will for you to start thinking like this.
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  11. helmikaarina

    helmikaarina Pearls of Life addict

    Messages:
    3,016
    Likes Received:
    62
    Faith:
    Christian
    There are thousands and thousands of Christians in our world who has no possibility to go to church (a building). In spite of it God is with them when they meet (sometimes in secret) e.g. at homes as did followers of Christ at first too. What we are doing might be more important than where we are doing it.

    There are also thousands of Christians who are not able to attend services e.g. because they are handicapped or old or without anyone who takes them to church...

    I'm going to church and attending services because I need it. I'm worshipping God, but maybe it's more important to me that I'm served by God with his word and sacrament.
     
  12. New_Wineskin

    New_Wineskin Contributor

    Messages:
    11,081
    Likes Received:
    464
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    You cannot "go to church" . We ARE the Church . Wherever we *are* , the Church *is* . Being a member of a single group and refusing to see others in other groups is far more "forsaking" than anything else that I know . The "forsaking" idea is not sound and contradicts the letter that contains that phrase .
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  13. gailmac

    gailmac New Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    6
    Faith:
    Christian
    I appreciate your concern, but have you sold everything you have as well? That is in the Bible, and are you disobeying if you haven't sold everything?
     
  14. Bomber2k

    Bomber2k New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Faith:
    Christian
    Nope of course i have not sold everything... where in the bible does it say to do that? Perhaps in the old testament in context to something there, but its definetely not what we should be doing today.

    If God honestly told me to sell all my things i would do it. At the moment he is not.

    Selling everything you have is foolish because then you have nothing that can help others. Plus, it is not God's will for you to be poor. As it says in the bible, God wants to fill you overflowing! - that means in all aspects of your life.

    It is not a sin to have money, but to love money. Money is one of the keys to saving this world.

    While I disagree with what you have said about me not selling everything I have, I agree that I am a sinner and I have disobeyed many times in my life.

    About church, Church and Youth Church is awesome and it is awesome! to be able to worship God with a lot of people!! If its just with a small group eg. 'homegroup', over the internet chat, radio etc, its kinda not giving God the respect he deserves. Do you have any reason NOT to go to any church?

    A good thing to do with you fellowship group would be to start a church from it and invite ppl that you know!


    Thats a big mistake in my view. There has always been the church, even in the old Testament. Jesus did remind people that the Church is not the building but the people in it. I can see where you think that we are the church and therefore wherever we are the church is, but that does not make sense on its own.

    Just because I am with my christian friends somewhere does not mean we are the church then and there. What about the pastors, elders etc talked about in the bible... eg. go to your church elders to sort out a bad situation
     
  15. Entertaining_Angels

    Entertaining_Angels New Member

    Messages:
    5,919
    Likes Received:
    520
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    I agree. I really realize how important this fellowship is now that I am in a wonderful church. Funny how, when I'm between churches, I don't miss it as much but I also find I am not usually walking as close with the Lord as when I am attending church. I just know it blesses the Lord and what an honor for me to be able to do that.
     
    jsimms615 likes this.
  16. Ziwei

    Ziwei a servant of Jesus Christ

    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    7
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    Be honest with yourself. I do not think you sin when not going to church, but I compare you to the soil that is rocky. The seeds land, and with shallow roots, you are vunerable to be blown. I already know some Christians that have fallen after thinking church more trivial than it really should be. I used to get nothing out of church, but now I see its worth. It offers the following:

    worship(singing, offering), sermon, and Sunday school and Friday fellowship may be considered fellowship.

    The concern, once again, is not about sinning. It's about your relationship with God. If you cannot give just 3 hours on Sunday, then trouble awaits.
     
  17. Cordy

    Cordy “In case I don't see ya…”

    Messages:
    5,072
    Likes Received:
    787
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    There are some bad churches out there (teaching false doctrine, legalistic, abusive etc.). I went to one of these. It was such a horrible experience. I needed a break from church - not from Christians, not from my sweet Creator, but from the whole “set up” of church as we tend to know it in North America. I took a long break because I needed time to develop my discernment and to have God lead me to closer to Him so I could truly listen to what He had to say. I needed that time of healing from leaving a bad church before coming into weekly fellowship with a new one. I didn’t want to simply jump from the pot into the frying pan. I wanted some quiet time with God to learn where He wanted me to go.

    Having a break was a good experience. I spend time studying on and thinking about what the Bible says rather simply than what the doctrine of one church says. I stayed in regular weekly contact with close accountable Christian friends and family and talked to them about what I was learning. Now I am back in church, and feel great about returning. If I had just started church shopping instead of taking my break, I would have felt as though I was loosing myself in the crowd. I needed that break to just spend time with the One I love, to learn where He was leading me etc.

    The Bible says don’t stop fellowshipping with one another – it doesn’t say stop going to a church building every week.

    I *DO*, however, think church is as we know it is a VERY good idea, and a great foundation for our faith - but sometimes we need breaks to discover where He wants to plant us.
     
  18. Glaz

    Glaz Obama '08

    Messages:
    6,141
    Likes Received:
    505
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Other-Religion
    Matthew 19:21...."Jesus answered 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me"

    A rather famous answer from Christ to a man asking how he could be perfect. Not necessarily a commandment, simply an example of how one can acheive perfection.

    Apparently not so foolish to Christ, as I have shown, he felt selling everything you own was part of becoming perfect, and indeed is even rewarded in Heaven for doing so. I've seen this 'its not Gods will for you to be poor' line of reasoning before, usually from a TV preacher trying convince people to send him more money so he can get a new mercedes. Christ was concerned with being rich in spirit, not with worldy success and riches, with building heavenly treasures and not earthly. Worldly riches meant nothing to Him, and honestly, they shouldn't mean much to us, this life is short and you can't take it with you. As the saying goes "man does not live by bread alone....."


    Of course, we all know it takes money to get around in this world, to print bibles, to make videos, etc etc. Where money becomes a problem is when we fail to put it to good use. When we decide to spend it on our selves for luxury and not to help others. Most of us probably fail miserably at that. Christ probably looks at our country and wonders how we can allow so many to be poor when we have so much. Something for the Christians driving fancy cars and living in nice big houses, and even myself with my nice thousand dollar computer, to think about. What we own and what we choose to do with our money should have purpose with Christ. He didn't give it to us just so we could have a merry old time making ourselves feel good.

    Those are great things, as I have said church can be a postive experience and Christians should seek it. However, the question is not whether we should go to church but if not going is a sin. As I said before in this thread, whenever we gather in His Name, He is with us. Doesn't seem the stuff of sin to me if your only a few and Christ is there with you all, no matter where you may be. Whats important is that you gather in His name, that you have fellowship, praise and worship Him, not the place or number of people or the organization you do it with.

    Bottomline is, going to our modern notion of 'church' can be a good thing. But a better Christian or a worse one it does not make. Each of us decides that alone, it is not decided by our ritauls but our faith. I have never done anything worth doing at a church that I haven't been able to do alone or with a handful of friends joined together in His name. Indeed, when my wife was too sick from cancer to go to church anymore, we would pray together at home, we would praise His name; she would sing to Him and I would listen. We would study the bible, and try to learn from it, try to understand it. I got just as much out of that as I ever got out of going to what passes for church in our country. We decided to do that, we chose to, the sin would have been if we had not chosen to do so at all, not that we didn't do it at the local 'church'. The upside of church is that it presents an environment where we can thrive as Christians, it helps us keep our focus on Christ and God. I could never truly argue that going to church is bad, I simply take issue with anyone who argues that not going is a sin. Be careful what standards you set for others, because God will hold you to them.
     
  19. Ave Maria

    Ave Maria Ave Maria Gratia Plena

    Messages:
    71,606
    Likes Received:
    1,444
    Marital Status:
    In Relationship
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Catholic
    I think all depends on your situation. For some people, there might not be a church within driving distance that is good for them. For others, they might be in a nursing home or in a situation where they simply cannot go to church. Personally, I think it's up to the individual. However, I do believe it is best to have some sort of fellowship with other Christians. Remember, the earliest Christians did not attend "church" as we know it. They met in each other's homes.
     
  20. DanielRB

    DanielRB Slave of Christ

    Messages:
    1,973
    Likes Received:
    128
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    Hi Gail, :wave:

    I've been in this dilema before myself. I think fellowship with believers--regardless if its Sunday monrning worship or not--is important for spiritual health. If you continue that fellowship but aren't currently attending Sunday services, there is probably no problem. However, trying to follow Christ in a "Lone Ranger" way, without the support of fellow believers, will probably not be so good for your spiritual health.

    I would encourage you to plug into some group, where you have face-to-face interaction with fellow believers (not just tuning into a radio or television Church service). It may be quite informal. But we are a body, we each have been given gifts that we are to pass on to our fellow believers (1 Cor 12:7, Eph 4:11-16)--and if we hold those gifts to ourselves, I think we're being disobedient to Christ.

    In Christ,

    Daniel
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...