Why go to church? Church stinks. People are either rude, looking down their self-righteous nose at you, or they are nice and in a hurry. I hardly ever have a significant conversation at the church service, it is just “Hi,” or “Good to see you,” or “How’s the family?” or something churchy and pithy like that.
Teaching? Yes, the sermon is great. But can’t I just listen to someone on the radio or download the podcast? Really. What is the difference?
Fellowship? Do not neglect the gathering together of believers, I know. But is that talking about a gathering together at a church building? Why can’t I just hang out with some Christian friends, going to dinner and maybe having a Bible Study at the house. What is special and unique about gathering together with them at a church building? It seems so shallow in those walls.
Taking of the Lord’s table? Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me.” He did not say where we are to do this. Are we limited to a church building? Do elders, pastors, and/or deacons have to distribute the elements? Why? Where do you get that? Why can’t I just do it at my house or at Starbucks?
Giving? Isn’t giving primarily said to support those who labor in teaching and for the poor? I cannot think of any other way it is described in the New Testament. Can’t I just do this on my own, giving to others who are laboring in teaching that I am benefiting from elsewhere?
I am tired of being judged by whether or not I go to church. I heard that the Catholics say that if you miss Mass without a valid excuse you have committed a mortal sin and, if not confessed, no matter how much you love Christ, you are still going to hell. I have been to Protestant churches that seem to believe the same thing (although they would not put it that way). I actually heard someone say that if I don’t go to church I am not a Christian. If that is true, I am not that type of Christian and want nothing to do with it.
I think that the modern idea of going to church is rather legalistic and can cause people to miss the point entirely. I love Christ. I have Christian friends that I love and hang out with. We are the church, but we don’t go to a church. Isn’t this enough? What am I missing?
These statements are not mine, but are typical of many people that I know. In fact, many of my closest friends think this way, they are just scared to admit it.
How would you respond?