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You say your a christian and don't go to church ??

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Loyal
Uhuuuuh! Okaay. This is a rather legalistic way of laying it on. The organized church is the body. Everybody else is going to hell....Sounds like the way a cult describes their deception. We alone have the truth. Everybody else is wrong, and is going to hell. Nyah nyah!
 
Loyal
Oh yes, the Church is the Body of Christ, but what is the Church if not the people which are to be perfectly fitted together? No building built by men nor any organization established by men is the Church, although some who attend church buildings or belong to church organizations may also be part of the Church or Body of Christ.

Without God's help we all are in trouble. Using only men's definitions [even mine] of biblical ideas or words will get us into trouble.

I am certainly against attending church services, but people can gather together in very large numbers and not be in His Name. If they are not then Jesus is likely not in attendance and what would that do for God or for those in attendance?

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

What does it mean to be IN HIS NAME? It is certainly more than meeting together in place that some people call church.
 
Loyal
Notice the picture at the end of the video depicting the "body of Christ." It is a building with a steeple on top. That is not the body of Christ. That is a building, and it is an organization, and probably a corporation under the headship of the federal government, which makes it a business, just like any other business. And, if the church does exist within that building, i.e. if this is where they meet, and they have incorporated under the feds, then they have unequally yoked together with unbelievers, which God forbids, and they have looked to "Egypt" for protection and support instead of looking to God, and they have turned the house of prayer, the body of Christ, into a marketplace, all three things which scripture forbids. Not only that, but this is speaking of Babylon, and God has commanded his true church to come out of her so that we do not share in her sins and in her punishment, because her sins are piled high to heaven, so joining in with her would also be against scripture, so strike 4.

Since the church is the body of Christ, which is the people of God - not a building, not an organization, not a business and not a corporation - it is not something you go to. We ARE the church. Yet, we do meet together with the body of Christ, like on here, or in houses, or on street corners, in garages, in grocery stores, restaurants, apartment complexes or any other public building or privately owned facility, and on any day of the week or any hour of the day or night. Yet, Christ is to be our only head, not the government, and not some author/book on how to market the church to the world and how to grow your church, i.e. business. We aren't commanded in scripture to go to buildings called church with steeples on top. We aren't commanded to go to businesses and corporations called church, either. We are commanded to not forsake the assembling of ourselves (the people) together, and we are assembling here, are we not? And, many of us have the opportunity here to use the gifts God has given us for his glory and for his purposes which many of these institutions of men do not allow for, in most cases, because it doesn't fit with their business plans, goals and objectives - man-made. BTW, God is against man-made religion, too.

So, to be true to scripture, we should reject man-made religion, worldly churches turned into marketplaces, corporations under the FEDs called "church," and businesses disguised as churches, and we should seek to gather together unadulterated with the body of believers for fellowship, prayer, communion (the breaking of bread) and the teaching of the Word, wherever we can find them. And, we should let Jesus grow his church his way, and we should follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will in being the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and in proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. And, we should trust the Lord to raise up leaders for HIS church who are following after HIM with their hearts and lives, instead of us compromising with the world by joining these man-made business/corporations just so we can satisfy people who think we need to go to an institution of human making in order to be biblical or Christian.

I have come out of Babylon in obedience to my Lord, but I have not forsaken the assembling of myself with other believers. I do that on here every day, and in person with other Christians in our apartment building, and in our apartment or in the apartment next door. And, God is working in people's lives.
 
Loyal
The body of Christ is not a Christian social club as so many organized church assemblies tend to be. You MUST go to church.. Then you go and they guilt you into attending seven services a week, attending every function they have and ignoring your family because your job and your church take up all of your all. No. The body of Christ is/are those who FOLLOW Christ. Jesus did only what He saw the Father do. He said only what He heard the Father say. There is our example.
Forgive me if I sound angry. This legalistic bull fertilizer just gets stuck in my gullet.
 
Active
The whole of the New Testament - directly or indirectly - can be read as an answer to the questions 'what is the church?' and 'how do we live out being the body of Christ?'. This passage, Acts 2, is a description of the very earliest days of the church, so a good place to start in thinking about what church should be.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Do we have common ground here, or is there a better passage to use as a foundation and starting point for discussing the essentials of being the church?
 
Loyal
The whole of the New Testament - directly or indirectly - can be read as an answer to the questions 'what is the church?' and 'how do we live out being the body of Christ?'. This passage, Acts 2, is a description of the very earliest days of the church, so a good place to start in thinking about what church should be.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Do we have common ground here, or is there a better passage to use as a foundation and starting point for discussing the essentials of being the church?
Yes, a good place to begin, and a good role model. We need to go back to this model.

The problem that exists today, at least here in the WEST where we have not yet had the persecution these believers had, is that we have this concept that the "church" is a building, an institution, an organization of men and a corporation, and it is run just like that, and in many cases they are following business models rather than scriptural models. So, if the Lord leads one to leave the institution, on biblical grounds, and to return to the NT model, but those who have also done so are few in numbers and live far and wide from one another, we can't yet have all the structures in place as the NT church eventually had. We are not in the same place as they were then, not yet anyway, but I believe that is coming. So, we meet with believers wherever we can find them, and a good gathering place has been on the internet, for now, and the body is functioning more like 1 Co. 12 and Rom. 12 and Eph. 4 on here than it is in these business-model churches which are following marketing schemes to build and grow their churches, rather than doing what the early Christians did, as led of the Spirit of God.
 
Active
Breaking the Acts 2 passage into it's separate elements, the people who belonged to the very earliest expression of church...
  1. devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching
  2. devoted themselves to fellowship
  3. devoted themselves to the breaking of bread
  4. devoted themselves to prayer
  5. witnessed wonders and signs being done by the apostles
  6. were together
  7. had all things in common
  8. sold their possessions and goods and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need
  9. spent much time together in the temple
  10. broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts
  11. praised God
And as a result they had the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

I think that this ought to be a huge challenge to all of us - whether we worship in established churches or not. It strikes me that much of this is not even aspired to let alone lived out.

How could this model apply today? I'm looking for creative, practical answers and the wisdom that comes from experience.
 
Loyal
Something is necessary but is too seldom mentioned or emphasized is the need to serve God continuously, to use a modern expression: 24/7.

"Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing." I Thess 5:16-17

In the end of the matter there should not only NOT be any breaks or vacations from God, there will be none. If we are not moving toward that goal, it is unlikely that we will be around Him in the end...

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt 11:28-29

Give God the glory!
 
Loyal
Breaking the Acts 2 passage into it's separate elements, the people who belonged to the very earliest expression of church...
  1. devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching
  2. devoted themselves to fellowship
  3. devoted themselves to the breaking of bread
  4. devoted themselves to prayer
  5. witnessed wonders and signs being done by the apostles
  6. were together
  7. had all things in common
  8. sold their possessions and goods and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need
  9. spent much time together in the temple
  10. broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts
  11. praised God
And as a result they had the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

I think that this ought to be a huge challenge to all of us - whether we worship in established churches or not. It strikes me that much of this is not even aspired to let alone lived out.

How could this model apply today? I'm looking for creative, practical answers and the wisdom that comes from experience.
On point #9, they were on the temple property, for sure, but they used it to devote themselves to the apostles' teaching (New Testament, basically), to following Jesus Christ in obedience, to prayer in the Spirit to God via their relationship with Jesus Christ, and to fellowship in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. So, they were not part of the Jewish religion and practices, for God had called them out of that. They were not part of institutional religion or man-made religion, either. And, the apostles taught much on the separation of Christians from following after Jewish practices and traditions (See parts of Romans and Galatians and some in Colossians). The temple courts served merely as a place to meet where people gathered together to pray and to worship God, but they were separate in doctrine, faith and practice from the Jewish religion.

The church was (the people were) now the temple of God, and now the physical temple was not the temple of God, because the Holy of Holies now dwelt in the hearts of Christ's followers, not in a physical building. Yet, there is nothing wrong with meeting in buildings, but it is wrong to follow man-made and institutional religion that follows after humans and marketing schemes rather than the purity of God's Word. And, it is wrong to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers via partnership with the US government, which puts the government as head over the church, i.e. the corporation. Remember Jesus told the woman at the well that a time was coming, and had come, when we would no longer worship on this mountain or that mountain (a reference to the temple mount and to idolatrous worship, respectively, I believe), but we would worship God in spirit and in truth. Location or building does not matter. It is irrelevant with regard to having to go to a building called "church," in other words. We can meet anywhere at any time of day or any day in the week. The point was not that they were on the temple property when they met, but that they dedicated themselves to meeting together for the purposes of teaching, prayer, fellowship and the breaking of bread, wherever that was.
 
Loyal
Breaking the Acts 2 passage into it's separate elements, the people who belonged to the very earliest expression of church...
  1. devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching
  2. devoted themselves to fellowship
  3. devoted themselves to the breaking of bread
  4. devoted themselves to prayer
  5. witnessed wonders and signs being done by the apostles
  6. were together
  7. had all things in common
  8. sold their possessions and goods and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need
  9. spent much time together in the temple
  10. broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts
  11. praised God
And as a result they had the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

I think that this ought to be a huge challenge to all of us - whether we worship in established churches or not. It strikes me that much of this is not even aspired to let alone lived out.

How could this model apply today? I'm looking for creative, practical answers and the wisdom that comes from experience.
In all practicality, we need, as a church, to return to the basics of scripture, reject institutional and man-made religion as our model, and follow the leading of Christ and his Holy Spirit and the teachings of Christ and those of the apostles (NT). We need to repent of known sinful practices in our lives, and turn to making Jesus Christ our Lord (owner-master). We need to throw out our idols, and truly worship God with our lives on the altar of sacrifice, living lives holy and pleasing to God which is our reasonable and acceptable worship of him; no longer conformed to the patterns of this world, but transformed in the renewing of our minds of the Spirit of God.

The church needs to be revived, in other words, so that the church is following Jesus and not the world, not idols of men, and not man-made religion. They need to be seeking God and his righteousness instead of running after the things of this life, and we need to be a light to the world and the salt of the earth instead of focusing on entertaining ourselves and appeasing the world. So much of the church has gotten so far off track that they need a spiritual cleansing of all that is working against Christ and his kingdom so that they can worship him in spirit and in truth. Then, the church will operate as God intended for her to operate, because she will be operating in the Spirit of God instead of in the flesh of man. I am speaking here of the overall church in America or in the WEST and not of each individual congregation which may or may not be operating in the Spirit. We need a spiritual renewal so that we can see what God has for us, and so we can be that city on a hill whose light is not hidden.
 
Active
That's a repetition of what the church should not be. My question is: how today could we live out the model set down in Acts 2?

Rejecting institutions is unbiblical. Every example of church in the New Testament has institutions of elders, deacons and so on. The first verses of Acts 6 show that the apostles took seriously the task of appointing people in roles of responsibility and authority.
 
Active
Actually I have a friend who am trying to invite to church ie. gatherings of believers and she just ignores me, she said she was a believer but she doesnt act like it..have never seen her come to a worship service in all the time Ive known her except ONE time my water baptism.

As far as I kniw she doesnt go anywhere else and never gathers with others not even to have the Lords supper so am really concerned for her salvation. And her husband is not a believer so its not like she fellowships with him.

So when people on here say they dont ever go to church well where do you fellowship? How regular do you worship with 2 or 3 gathering in his name, breaking bread and celebrating His goodness with OTHERS? Which elders do you call upon to pray when any of you are sick? Are you looking after children who are not your own immediate family..widows and orphans?

Maybe america or the west is too big I dont know but dont make an excuse just cos you live in america to not ever gather or set foot in a church...I dont think thats the answer either. New believers have no idea where to go, the best place for them is where other christians go, and that place is of worship where believers gather is church. I mean im not going to a shopping mall every week esp on a sunday I can tell you that. And bible studies and prayer groups often meet...at church! We dont all have huge homes where we can invite everyone.
 
Loyal
That's a repetition of what the church should not be. My question is: how today could we live out the model set down in Acts 2?

Rejecting institutions is unbiblical. Every example of church in the New Testament has institutions of elders, deacons and so on. The first verses of Acts 6 show that the apostles took seriously the task of appointing people in roles of responsibility and authority.
That's a repetition of what the church should not be. My question is: how today could we live out the model set down in Acts 2?

Rejecting institutions is unbiblical. Every example of church in the New Testament has institutions of elders, deacons and so on. The first verses of Acts 6 show that the apostles took seriously the task of appointing people in roles of responsibility and authority.
Clearly I was speaking in terms of institutional and man-made religion, the institutions of men, not of God, and of institutionalized church, for the church is not an institution but a living organism.

With regard to my previous post, these are the things we must DO in order to live out the model set down for us in Acts 2. It is all about what the church should be (see: post #13).
 
Active
My friend who am concerned about, I dont want her to come to church for any ulterior motive or to inflate numbers or anything. I want her to come so she can meet other believers and be encouraged and also to freely worship Him and share in His goodness. It doesnt matter what church As long as she is connected with one.

Otherwise shes on her own and basically me and another friend are the only ones praying for her. Her parents are in another town. My other friend doesnt go to the same church I go to.

People who profess belief and then refuse to go to church I dont see they are very strong in faith and when crisis hits it hits them bad.
 
Active
Well.. look think of church like school.
Yes we all know that even if you go to school you might not learn a thing. But its better to be in school than on your own on the streets. Unless you have parents that are teachers and willing to homeschool, well good for you..but most of us do not!!
 
Loyal
Actually I have a friend who am trying to invite to church ie. gatherings of believers and she just ignores me, she said she was a believer but she doesnt act like it..have never seen her come to a worship service in all the time Ive known her except ONE time my water baptism.

As far as I kniw she doesnt go anywhere else and never gathers with others not even to have the Lords supper so am really concerned for her salvation. And her husband is not a believer so its not like she fellowships with him.

So when people on here say they dont ever go to church well where do you fellowship? How regular do you worship with 2 or 3 gathering in his name, breaking bread and celebrating His goodness with OTHERS? Which elders do you call upon to pray when any of you are sick? Are you looking after children who are not your own immediate family..widows and orphans?

Maybe america or the west is too big I dont know but dont make an excuse just cos you live in america to not ever gather or set foot in a church...I dont think thats the answer either. New believers have no idea where to go, the best place for them is where other christians go, and that place is of worship where believers gather is church. I mean im not going to a shopping mall every week esp on a sunday I can tell you that. And bible studies and prayer groups often meet...at church! We dont all have huge homes where we can invite everyone.
Lanolin, we the body of Christ are the church, so we can't set foot in a church, unless you can physically enter into human hearts and lives. God does not dwell in buildings built by human hands. He dwells in human hearts. A building is just a building. There is nothing about a building with or without a steeple on top that makes it any more special than any other building. Wherever 2 or more are gathered together in Christ's name he is in the midst of them, and that can be anywhere. The early church met from house to house as well as in the temple courts. And, they didn't meet as part of that physical temple, for they were now the temple of God. Most of what passes itself off as church these days is a far cry from the early church model, and many are now given over to following worldly, business, marketing and even ungodly and sensual models for how to "do church," but that is not the church. The church is believers in Jesus Christ meeting together for prayer, fellowship, the teaching of the Word and the breaking of bread, though all these don't have to happen every time the church gathers together, though whatever we do should be centered around Christ and his Word. Just because Christians go to these man-made organizations and buildings called "church" does not mean that what takes place in these buildings qualifies as "church" by God's standards. Many are given over to entertaining and attracting the world, and that seems to be their primary focus, so they dilute the gospel to make it more acceptable to the world, too, and that is a serious issue. So, I would not invite anyone to attend one of those types of gatherings. Where to go then? Why not start a Bible study in your home and invite people?
 

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