With all the focus on Christianity as of late due to the popularity of Tim Tebow and Justin Bieber , it’s easy to get confused. Some are attacking them for being so vocal but many are applauding them for their courage in sharing what they believe. This week I will be focusing on some of topics this brings to light. Today, I want to focus on the question: Is it important for Christians to attend church?
This morning I was listening to the radio on my way to work. The DJ asked the question, “Is is important for Christians to go to church.” She said that she was inspired to ask the question based upon a recent interview where Justin Bieber stated, “A lot of people who are religious, I think they get lost. They go to church just to go to church. I'm not trying to disrespect them, but for me, I focus more on praying and talking to him. I don't have to go to church." Some speculate that Bieber was saying church isn’t important. I don’t see it that way. I see it that he is saying that church isn’t what makes a Christian; it’s having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, Bieber is regularly on the road so attending a traditional church is not a viable option for him.
Anyone who knows anything about Christianity is most likely familiar with John 3:16, “For God so loved the world,a]'> that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV) Contrary to the belief of some, going to church does not make you a Christian. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is what makes you a Christian. This does not mean that attending church is not important in a Christian’s life.
I happen to think that being in community with people of like faith is very important. A quick look at Hebrews 10:23-25 reveals the importance of Christian community: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Throughout the years “meeting together” has taken on various forms. There were many rituals practiced in the Old Testament and a much more laid back setting in the New Testament. Some people have community by attending home Bible study groups while others attend full blown church services complete with music and preaching. I’m not going to go into great detail or say which is better. There are many books covering this one subject. What I will say is that I believe community is important. I think we need to meet with other believers, hold each other accountable, encourage one another, study God’s word and pray. I really don’t care if you do it at someone’s home or in a cathedral; I just encourage you to do it. What are your thoughts about church?