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Mandatory church attendance is not scriptural

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Melody, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Many Christians believe we are required to attend church and use the following verse as proof that this is biblically sound:

    Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
    Hebrews 10:25

    However, Hebrews 3:13 shows that we are to "exhort" our fellow believers DAILY. How can we do that if we assemble once a week? Perhaps Hebrews 10:25 has more to do with surrounding ourselves with fellow believers so that we can help and encourage each other in our spiritual growth. Consider....how do we "exhort" one another when we go to church and listen to a sermon from someone standing on a platform?


    While I would not argue that christian fellowship is necessary, I do not believe it was meant to be in brick and mortar buildings with hundreds or thousands of members who have little chance to have more than a passing acquaintance, if that, with their fellow members. First, God has no need of a "building".

    However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says:
    Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?
    Has not my hand made all these things?

    Acts 7:48-50

    Second, we won't get special blessings or grace just because we have the largest church membership around. I sometimes feel that these huge churches feel that they are somehow higher in God's esteem because "look at all the people He's bringing to our church." And yet.....

    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
    Matthew 18:20

    Finally, did you know that the Greek word for preaching is dialegomai which means "dialogue". Do we have a dialogue in church? No...the pastor gets up and gives a monologue with no chance for the congregation to discuss what is being said. For good reason, chaos would ensue should hundreds or thousands of attendees try to hold a conversation. Conversations are best held with a handful of people.

    If you get something out of church worship, then by all means you should attend....but that's a far cry from telling someone they are not obeying scripture when they choose not to worship one day a week in a building that happens to bear the name of a religious denomination or saint.
     
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  2. angelmoroni

    angelmoroni Member

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    The church did meet together oft to fast and to pray to speak concerning the wellfare of our souls. The church did meet together of to partake of bread and water in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. This is in Book of Mormon. It clarifies the Bible. You should erad it sometime. Its another testement of Christ written by ancient prophets just like the Bible. ONe day a week thats all he asks. Dont you think you can give HIM that.
     
  3. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    To a Catholic, the "requirement" to attend a weekly service is based on a bit different principle.

    I used this before, but I like it so I'll quote it again:

    First and foremost... to understand the Mass, you must understand that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. To attend Sunday Mass (in my opinion) has less to do with keeping the Sabbath or other traditions, but more to do with being physically united with the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, truly present under the appearance of the bread and wine.

    The Mass is an action of thanksgiving to God. The greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.

    The Mass, Sunday or any day, is quite simply the source and summit of Christian life. It is why I am a Catholic. Period. You can find a "relationship" in another Church, you can lead a "good Christian" life in another Church, you can find salvation in another Church, but you simply CAN NOT become one with Christ physically ANYWHERE else. Our entire way of thinking is based on this physical Sacrament..... our thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.

    Once a person comes to know this.... to understand this..... to want this in their life.... to be united with Christ in a way NEVER before experienced.... to be without the Eucharist is agony. It is quite simply painful..... sorry to be dramatic, but it's the truth. When I miss Mass (yes.... it's happens.... I'm a sinner too!) I feel a longing that I can hardly describe. I miss Him..... I miss Christ....... and I long to be physically one with Him soon.

    That is why we go to Mass...... not because of law..... not because of Commandments,



    ..... because of LOVE.

    Scott
     
  4. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    Wow. Well said. That is not why I want to be Catholic, exactly, but it is part of it. I think as much as I dread it I want to confess. It isn't that I feel guilty, particularly...just that I think it is right to "confess your sins one to another." That is something else you don't get a lot of in other churches.

    My church tried it but stopped after someone was murdered.
     
  5. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Angel,
    Just as I do not accept the Quran, so do I not accept the Book of Mormon. Which is why I am neither Muslim or Mormon.

    No, God does not ask for one day a week. He asks for every minute of our lives....and I am willing to give Him that. I don't store up my worship for just an hour on Sunday morning.
     
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  6. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Scott,

    All I have to do to agree with your post entirely is swap Mass with Divine Liturgy and Catholic with Orthodox. I think it's safe to say that this is something on which Roman Catholics and Orthodox totally agree (except for the bit about whether Mass or Divine Liturgy is the only you can physically become one with Christ - I would say my Church, you would say yours).

    James
     
  7. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    There is a Christian Church not far from home; I used to sing in the choir there (they were glad to have a bass-baritone), but the few people who attend the Church services struck me as very sad. I guess the Church in town (ten minutes walk (before the gammy hip)) draws the crowds - it is beautiful.

    I am still trying to pluck up the courage to go.:)
     
  8. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Scott,
    I understand what you're saying about *why* you go to church, but my argument is not that people are silly for going to church...but that mandatory church attendance is not scriptural.

    Even with the "breaking of the bread and wine", this is not something that has to be done by a select group of ordained people. The bible says we are *all* priests which implies that we have all the duties and responsibilities of educating ourselves about the word of God and teaching others...and able to have communion in our home with ordinary bread and wine or grape juice. It is not the items, but the motivation in the heart.

    Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
    1 Peter 2:5

    But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
    1 Peter 2:9

    And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
    Revelations 1:6

    Organized religion has set up this air of mystery around being a priest or pastor when the bible clearly shows that we all are ministers of the faith.

    Again, if you feel the need and enjoy going to church then by all means go. I can't say I'll never walk into another church. I'm just saying that we can fulfill the requirement for keeping the Sabbath holy without attending a traditional church.

    Scott, all of the reasons you gave for why you attend church? I have all of that with private worship (meaning not with several hundred people).
     
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