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Sunday, January 24, 2010

just wondering...






just wondering.....

what is church supposed to be like anyway?
how important is it in our lives?
can we be saved and not go to church?
what is God's thoughts on church?


just wondering.....

and seeking Truth!!!

do you go to church? 




34 comments:

Julie said...

Well, from what I understand, I am the church... as are you.... I don't think it's about a building. But I do think that God desires that we have fellowship with others... do this thing called life together.. After all we were made in the image of relationship for relationship...

I would say that you can be saved and not go to church, because I do not have a church building that I attend right now... and I am definitely saved.

Thanks for stopping by the blog and your words!

The Real Me! said...

We went to a Calvary Chapel for 10 years but the more children we had the less appeal the corporate church had. The Lord slowly changed our hearts where we wanted our children to be able to stay in the service with us. Sadly not a lot of churches want that. Trust me we've looked everywhere! It's so hard to find a bible teaching church that doesn't want to shuffle your kids into Sunday School.Even though our children are well behaved and quiet. So we do fellowship on a semi regular basis with other believers, we go to "church" at a baptist church off and on because we still don't agree with some things 100%.

Am I saved? You bet!

When we don't go to "church" we study the bible at home as a family and have praise and worship together.
Big Hugs
Kim
May I ask what brought this topic on?

Mich said...

Salvation is not about church, it is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However, I believe that we need that fellowship with fellow believers to grow and learn.

I couldn't imagine life without church. there are always those days when I'm tired and want to sleep in, but I also look forward to worship, and good solid Bible teaching.

Andrea said...

AMEN to both Julie and Kim's comments. You both shared my heart. I also agree with Mich, but I, too have NOT found a church that fits. We are members of a local church and go some, but prefer to worship on our own given the politics, etc. It is a sat state, however, GOD has certainly broadened our ministries and also given us a house church to attend every other Tuesday night. We love it.
Blessings, andrea

Tara said...

I agree with Mich. We go to church every Sunday unless there is sickness, etc. I just feel like I'm missing out if I'm not there. I need that refueling, I need to sing those songs, I need to hear His Word and I need to be in fellowship.

christy rose said...

Hi Kim, thanks for asking! I love going to church. It has always been a part of my life. I do not think that I would ever not go. But!!! There is always a but in there, huh? I do not want religion. I want Truth and I want to be a part of the body of Christ that God desired for us to be a part of from the beginning. I do not like the idea of church being a corporation or an institution. I feel like God is showing me that it is supposed to be a family unit that reflects His relationship with Himself and His bride. We are in the midst of a church plant right now. We helped to get it started two years ago and when we started, it was a family unit feel and I can see how it possibly could be drifting off into the direction of becoming institutionalized. That scares me a little and I want to go the direction that God wants us to go. My heart has just been pondering His direction and the importance or unimportance of corporate church. I just want for us to go His direction and not the trends of our church culture just because that is the way everyone else seems to be going.

I just want to be real and a part of a real family and not a theatrical pretend one! Thanks for commenting and being interested.

Mighty M said...

Great question. I don't go to church but I think about it all the time. I think we need to try a few and see if we like it. But I was never raised to go to church so I am not sure if I can ever get "used" to that regular habit. I honestly don't think God should care either way....but I agree with those that said the fellowship is often why they go. Have a great week!

RaD said...

Well, I was just blog hopping and wondered by, but my answer isn't going to be much different than above. You certainly can have a relationship with Jesus and not to church and the relationship is the most important part. But I have learned that you really do need relationships and time with fellow believers, i.e. going to church in order to grow and learn.

I wish I could remember the reference to the verses I'm thinking of but one says, "do not forsake the fellowship of the believers," and the other, "iron sharpens iron" meaning we need others who are "sharp" to stay sharp ourselves.

Also I don't know if you know who Peter Furler is (lead singer of the Newsboys) but we went to concert one time where he shared his testimony. He said he was raised in church and did not feel he needed to be there as an adult. He thought he knew it all. But it wasn't the knowledge he was missing out on but the fellowship. He was dry for many years until the Lord revealed to him that he needed to share his life with others and let them share their lives with him. God directed him to go back to church and he said he hasn't felt dry and out of touch with God in a long time.

Sorry my response was so long winded. I didn't intend for it to be that way when I first him the comment button.

Be blessed!

wife.mom.nurse said...

provocative question, Christy Rose!

Joyeful said...

The church, the Bride of Christ, His body, His idea. I loved reading all these comments : ) I was just going to post on this the other day! Of course, I don't have all the answers, but like you, I know that the church is PEOPLE--believers in Jesus-- not a building or a denomination. God places a lot of importance on us fellowshipping together, building each other up, recieving instruction, exhorting one another, sharing psalms and hymn, prophesying, sharing what we have with one another, being a FAMILY. It can be difficult to "connect" sometimes in larger churches, but not at all impossible! I love my church family (and we have over 300 members). When I'm sick, there are those who visit me. When I have babies or lose babies, they pray, they cook, they support me. They've truly modeled what the church should look like. But I've reached out as well. I've determined to do that for others in my church as much as I am able. And I believe that makes all the difference. To BE the church--that special part of the body that God has designed you to be--because the church needs YOU!

heidi said...

I don't think I can say anything that hasn't been said, I guess.

I don't know that there's any set 'way' that church is supposed to go or be. I don't think that one denomination has it right over another or that it has to be uber conservative or super liberal, ya know? I think it's important in our lives. God tells us to fellowship with others of like mind and this is a great place to do that. It's also a time to renew and take a breath, ya know? To be surrounded and to let your guard down.

I think we can definitely be saved and not go to church. The two are not mutually exclusive, IMO. However - I think that the Holy Spirit tugs on your heart to get you to church for all the reasons I mentioned above.

Kristin said...

Great question, Christy! I do believe salvation has nothing to do with if you go to church or not, but rather if you KNOW Him. But, He has commanded His followers, those who know Him, to BE the church. So when people say, that church didn't offer me what I wanted, I believe they are going at it from the wrong perspective. Church should never be an institution in place to serve followers. It should be a group of followers who serve Him! There's a big difference!

It's not about the programs, the buildings, the equipment....it's about followers being the church and going out and serving others and spreading the good news. When it becomes more about what people want to get from the church, rather than what they are going to do for Him, it needs to be reevaluated, because then it becomes institutionalized religion, which I believe God definitely had something to say about. We talked about this on Sunday and I'll be doing my post on it later! Fascinating subject, for sure!!

Our Pastor says church should be "service", not "serve us". I love that!

Miti said...

Growing up, my parents ALWAYS made sure we went to church and as I got older, after getting married, and it was up to me to get myself to church, I went. I also felt like there was something missing if I didn't go. But after having Mason things get a little harder and I don't always make it there. I am Catholic and my husband grew up Methodist so that adds to complications but he doesn't disapprove of my going. This year I'm trying to make sure I go and just the other day he also mentioned that he wanted to start going again. I usually attend a Spanish mass but I think I'm gonna start going to the American mass instead. It's easier for me to understand and hopefully my husband will eventually consider going with me. It's hard watching others go together as a whole family when it's just me and Mason. Maybe one day that will be us. My husband is a wonderful man and I believe that that alone will get him to the pearly gates. He lives his life with such grace and love. To me that's what makes him a great Christian. On the other hand, I feel it's important to attend church because just as you would visit your family and friends because you love them, so should you visit God and let Him know you have the time to give thanks and praise to Him for all He's blessing. But I guess a building is just a building. What it all boils down to for me is that you have to show your gratitude to Him. Come to think about it, there are many people who go to church and they are just there physically and not spiritually. Those are my thoughts.

Oh, btw, I was wondering if you got my email about your header. Just wondering that's all. You can get back to me on that anytime.

Thanks for that post cause I often think about my situation. It's good to hear what others have to say on the matter.

Kim said...

Great post.
"what is church supposed to be like anyway?"
Colossians 1:24 "Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church."

"how important is it in our lives?"
I think sharing the Word of God and living out our lives to glorify Him are what we are here for. I think the physical walls of a church are much less important than the lovers of Christ inside.

"can we be saved and not go to church?"
Absolutely. Being saved is fully believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior and living our lives to honor Him.
But...it is important to fellowship with other Christians on a regular basis for strength and accountability.

"what is God's thoughts on church?"
He wants us to love one another and love His Son...He wants to edify one another...He wants us to share our faith and trust in Him...point simple, He wants a real relationship with each of us, and this is completely seperate of religion

I love you Christy! I have shared in your question in my own heart. It wasn't until I found walls that contained people that cry out for Him that I felt comfortable in a building. What makes it so great to me is that I see sooo many people getting filled up and sent out to fill up others and in my heart that is what it is about.

Deborah Ann said...

Wow, great topic! We haven't belonged to a church for several years. God started calling us to break the chains of religion, and to learn to hear His voice without going through a pastor. To really hear Him and know Him for ourselves. We are loving this. We just had 'church' yesterday with our grandkids and neighbor kids, and the whole time my hands were dripping wet. This sometimes happens when I'm in the Lord's presence. I believe He is showing us the way, and I expect very soon to be seeing many miracles and healings taking place in our home. Thanks for being transparent in your post, Christy!

LisaShaw said...

Hi Christy,


I could share so much with you BUT probably 90% of what I would say has been intertwined and shared in every message above in some way.

Love you.

Just Breathe said...

I believe that God wants us to worship in His house. Now saying that I haven't been a regular at any church in 3 years since I moved away from a church I was going to for 14 years. I haven't found one I like nearby yet. Does God still love me and hear my prayers. You bet He does. I talk with God each and everyday, my relationship has not changed. I was raised in a church but didn't start going again until 14 years ago. Was God with me before that time, of course He was. He has been with me since the day I was conceived.

Wylie said...

I think of it like this: we are the church & He is the head. It is not about a building, or a religion, but a relationship with Him.

Paul reminded believers that we need eachother & to gather together in Him. He warned us to not become lazy in gathering together. The enemy wants to get us separated from the church & vulnerable in our lonliness.

When you find the church family that is in God's will for your life - you begin to experience Him in amazing ways. I am so thankful for my church family & the love and encouragement we all are to eachtother. It is such a blessing. We found our church just 2 years ago after so much searching & God has transformed our lives through this amazing body of believers. The Holy Spirit is in the house!

I also think of 1John, which talks about the fellowship of believers - the "koinonia" fellowship found in the light & how we have fellowship with Jesus in that light because He is in it. How in the light, His blood purifies us from all sin.

And, so in a long winded way, I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe in the body & I believe in the blessings of a faithful church family & the accountability in it as well. We need each other. We need the church & the church needs us.
Blessings to you!
Wylie

Crown of Beauty said...

Thank you Christy for such a thought provoking post.

Lovely picture, too.

I have always gone to church, even as a child. LIke you, I love going to church, i love church, I love my pastor, and my church family.

And like you, I love church...but I don't love religion.

It is GOd and my brothers and sisters in the Lord that I love.

Lidj

Katie said...

Interesting question!

I do attend church on a regular basis, and when I miss a Sunday, my week feels off. I like attending because, like others have said, it is a time set aside to focus on spiritual things. My church is very participatory; there are many opportunities to share, and to hear. I love to hear about other people's experiences and have learned a lot from my fellow church-goers. :)

He & Me + 3 said...

I am a regular church attender. I don't care for denominations, but I feel like church itself holds us more accountable if we attend and are surrounded by other believers. Do you need to go to church to be a Christian...I don't think so. But I believe it grows us in our walk which is what God wants from us. I believe that church can be where two or more are gathered in HIS name.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Collective gathering of flesh and blood wrapped around the Presence of the Living God. No physical temple needed; just Him in our midst... in us... unifying us in one accord for one high and holy purpose.

The kingdom.

peace~elaine

Yaya said...

Hmmmmm...very interesting thought. Too much for my lil 'ol mind to process tonight! ;)

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Yeah, my computer is letting me leave a comment today! Let me first say, that no, I don't believe going to church equates being saved. I've spent a lot of years breaking away from religion but learning to embrace the Body of Christ, no matter if God places you in a house church or a mega church. I think going to church is about learning (even if you are a teacher) and accountability, both being very important in the Christian walk. If it gets away from that, I think it is definitely time to re-evaluate. I'm praying God will give you clarity regarding your situation.

Love,
Jackie

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

When I think of church, I think of the people, not the building.

It's more than Sunday.
It's more than music.
It's more than worship.
It's more than wooden pews.
It's more than an altar.
It's more than a sermon.

It's people who gather (in any place, at any time) in His name.

Jesus said: "Where two or more are gathered, there I am with them."

Thought-provoking questions, Christy Rose.

momstheword said...

Did I go to church on Sunday? Well, you already know the answer to that one, lol! I did manage to get in on the last song!

I am not even going to comment, as I left one but it just go to long and involved. I think you know where I stand anyway, lol!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

I agree with Julie. The children & I are very active in my home church. Hubs is notsomuch. I'm Methodist & he's Baptist. However, he rarely attends either, which drives me crazy, but he is strong in his faith. And lots better Biblically-educated than me.

Loren said...

Christy,

Can we be saved and not go to church?? in my humble opinion ~ ABSOLUTELY!! It has nothing at all to do with being in a building on Sundays or Wednesdays but everything to do with a relationship with the Lord.
We attended a wonderful Christian church for 10 years and then moved to a Spirit filled church and we were right where we were suppose to be ~ growing in our relationship, learning more and more of HIS ways and then the Lord called us out into a house church and WOW did we ever learn to HEAR from HIM, Grow deeper in HIS Word and not depend upon Man to teach us OR OUR CHILDREN any longer! We learned what it meant to truly seek HIM and grow in our Spiritual gifts like you can't believe. There was no agendas to go by...no preplanned sermons and no politics. It was UH MA ZING to experience. It has been truly a gift and we are so very thankful. We have been out of the "church building" now for 3 yrs and I know without a doubt
#1 I am definately saved &
#2 I have a wonderful relationship with the Lord

If you want an interesting book to read about what people think about church look in to
Jim and Casper go to church....very interesting. but as a church planter I think it would give you wonderful insight into not making church an institution or a business!

Much love to you my friend

-stephanie- said...

Love these comments. I don't think I could add anything different.

Yes we go to church.

Lesli said...

Christy... I agree with many of your bloggers... yes you can be saved and have a personal relationship with Christ without attending a church every Sunday but I do think think it is a good thing to be involved in Church and that's what God wants us to do...etc..

okay, I loved your comment on my last post.. but I did want to say that I made sure the water was clean..lol.. before I grabbed my camera and then I was like, "what do you think you are doing?"...its so hard to get mad at them!!!

Oh and thank you for the award.. I will post it as soon as I am feeling better, I was lucky to get a stomach virus for the last two days and I just found out that my son broke his collar bone snow boarding today so please keep him in your prayers!

Hope you have a great week!!!

Lesli

Darcie said...

Hello there Christy,

Sorry it's taken me so long to response to your post on church. You received so many comments already and very encouraging too. I don't feel like I have a lot to add but just wanted to tell you a little bit about my experience.

My first reaction when I read your post and then your comment in the comment section was...it brought me to tears. I truly feel your desire to find truth and what God really wants for your life. What a beautiful heart you have my friend.

Maybe I could share a little bit of my experience with you. I have never been to church in the sense of a church building....yet I have been every Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday night. We have never lived by our family in 17 years of marriage and have lived in 4 different states...yet I have immediate family wherever I have gone. To me it is a beautiful thing.

We gather in homes on both Sunday mornings and Wednesday evening, and our ministers rent a room to have services on Sunday evenings. We are truly a family group that avoids the corporate structure of churches. People have asked me often how I can move so much and still be far from family...it has been so hard for me to explain...I have family wherever I go. I have never had to look for a new church in a new town, but have always known that there will be an open home wherever I go.

I probably didn't help much, but just felt moved to share my story with you...keep searching and asking God to reveal what is right for you...you know He will.

Love, Darcie

sister sheri said...

Hi Christy! Thanks for stopping by theleakingwindow! Great question! And really great answers, too.

What I find interesting about going to church is that we start to think that how we do church is law. ie you have to dress a certain way or have service a certain way or have ushers with blue blazers or use the NIV or pray with your eyes closed... and we can become legalistic. I wish churches would teach us how to be flexible and open to different things so that when something does change we don't stomp our feet and leave that church to go find one that is like how it used to be!

Thanks for stretching my brain tonight!

Anonymous said...

Hi my wondeful sister,

Wow so many comments on an interesting question. I, too, wondered what caused you to ask it.
My relationship with Jesus and my understanding of His love for me has not come from going to church for 41 years. It has come from my personal daily abiding relationship with the One that meets my every need and fills me with who He is.


I also enjoy going to church, but I know that most the time people just look to the Pastor and it replaces their personal relationship with God. I've seen it when I look into the eyes of God's people who have gone to church for many years and still don't really know the One Who loves them unconditionally. Why is it that people go to church, put on their church face (like I did for many years) get a feel good experience, and go home empty?
It's because they lack that daily personal relationship with Jesus.

Honestly, I have talked to people who have quit going to the organized church and have found more peace in their relationship with God because it forces them to look to Jesus for revelation and understanding instead of a man.
The Bible makes it clear that we need christian fellowship to sharpen and grow in our relationship with God, but personally, for me, this has happened at bible study and home fellowships, and just going to lunch with friends talking about Jesus.

Church does not save us, Jesus does! and if I never went to church ever again, I am fully persuaded that nothing can separate me from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus my Lord. I belong to Jesus and nothing can snatch me from His hands WOOHOO!

your sister who loves you!

Connie

Paula said...

I now go to a very unchurchy church. At first I loved it. These days I'm missing some of the stuff from the other churches we attended--like great youth programming and a chance to join the choir or women's Bible study.

But the church is us, right? And most of all I just need real people involved in our real lives and loving, supporting, and pointing us to Christ and allowing me to do the same.