Matthew 21:12-13 (NKJV)
“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”
It’s not a very large group that refuse to attend a house of worship.
But you have believers that were once regular attendees of houses of worship vowing to never attend church again. Without giving the various reasons, Jews attend synagogues, and Muslims go to mosques.
There’s no question that some of both groups have people that were offended by what took place, made similar vows to never attend synagogues and mosques.
It’s great to get to the root as to why people refuse to attend the true house of worship. The moment that a reason is pinpointed, then a remedy can be issued.
No house of worship is perfect.
On social media, like YouTube and other online sites, you see a picture of a flawless background, professional musicians, and other eye catching activity. It gives the sense that they’re a great “church,” until you get the courage to go to their service.
TV service is a safe place from “People.”
In an actual church, you see the real up close and personal activities of……
It’s clear that in every place, PEOPLE are there and you see things that you never would see on YouTube or other venues.
What tends to happen is that SOME people come in prepared to judge everything.
Nothing satisfies the kind of church they want to see and be a part of.
Within their imagination is everything that they think a church ought to be.
Or maybe they’ve completely put aside “perfect” but still have a high standard that is or isn’t achievable.
The expectations of men is based on a measurement. The measurement is the kind of place it ought to be.
The house of worship is the place where sinners repent of sin and place their faith in Christ ALONE, are water baptized (see Matthew 28:18-20), where true believers assemble to sing, pray, hear the Word of God, be taught the teachings (commandments) of Jesus to become disciples, and fellowship with other true believers in unity and love (see John 13:34-35 and Ephesians 4:1-4).
COVID has become the best reason not to attend. Provided that you’re not lying.
The house of worship is not the place of entertainment.
The house also is a house where believers agree with each other on the very core issues of Christ (see Matthew 12:25-30 and Amos 3:3).
You can’t make yourself agree by suppressing what you disagree with.
Besides. No one is putting a gun to your head to stay. But should you leave, it doesn’t mean that you get to stay home and watch church on TV, the Internet, or your smart phone.
You interact with co workers on the job. You interact with family members.
What’s a good Bible reason not to attend and interact with believers in a house of worship?
A GOOD BIBLE REASON!!!
Find another house of worship where you can agree.
There’s 330,000 Christian churches in the United States. Pick one where you can agree.
If you see or hear something that you disagree with, either you agree truthfully, or you truthfully disagree with it.
Then you have to make a decision to remain or sever ties.
Barnabas disagreed with Paul and parted ways. It was, sad, dramatic, and unfortunate, but for the sake of the gospel, they thought it best to sever ties (see Acts 15:36-41).
Too often, people suppress their disagreement to remain at a place, simply for agreement’s sake, but you’re eaten up on the inside. Or, there’s a place of pride that enters where you can’t go along with what’s been said or done, good and or bad, and you sever ties.
It’s better to be honest about your disagreements, up front, than to remain in a place with a heart that disagrees. You’ll find yourself with constant conflict with people and pastors. It’s an inward struggle and it’s very difficult to navigate church life.
Saturday comes around and you’re struggling to get up on Sunday morning because of something that was said or done. You suppress it for a while. You put up with it. Week after week. And then, the moment of truth comes where the last straw on a million straws breaks the camel’s back.
In fury and in anger, you blow up.
We have to realize that the equation is people.
Either I’m wrong, or they’re wrong, or we’re both wrong.
The warfare of church is man and demonic made.
Ephesians 6:12 clearly teaches us that spiritual warfare exists but it’s only allowed where believers target other believers instead of demonic spirits.
As Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood….”
It goes to a flesh and blood warfare when we choose it to be a flesh and blood warfare.
Galatians 5:16-26 (NKJV)
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Pastors and believers will bash other pastors and believers for missing church, or messing up church. It goes with the territory. The church is never perfect, but the Lord could have never went to synagogue because He was being attacked by religious leaders.
But He came back again and again.
God desires a free heart that comes to worship Him and when offense comes, and you and I will be offended, we’ll learn from it and operate in love or we make a decision, never to darken the doorstep of a house of worship.
And usually, it’s for a season, and then we muster the courage to try again. Or others simply have had enough and remain outside.
“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
Words hurt. But words come from the heart of people. And when the heart refuses to remain disciplined in the Scriptures, when the words come, it will hurt.
Learn well these Proverbs.
Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)
“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
Proverbs 17:27-28 (NKJV)
“He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.“
Finally, if sin is operating openly in the camp, or sin is confirmed to be done, but it’s hidden, it’s clear that a decision to leave must be considered. The house of hypocrites is only a house waiting to be judged by the Head of the church, (see Revelation chapters 2 and 3).
Unrepentant sin in the house is a very good reason to leave. In other words, the pastor and people refuse to repent. And everything has been done to warn the wicked. When you see that they will never turn from their wicked ways, it makes no sense staying in a sinking ship.
Because it will not bode well for them when the Head of the church brings His terror in the house.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.“