The Danger of "Going to Church."

In response to the concern of the individual who sent me "5 Spiritual Dangers of Skipping Church" (some denominated segregated meeting in a building on Sundays"), I maintain that the real spiritual danger is not skipping church as he defines it...the real spiritual danger is "going to" such man-made institutions and believing it is the Church that Jesus said He would build.

I apologize for the length of this post but, feel it is necessary because of the confusion as to what Church is.

I don't know if many church-goers realize it or not, but...“Going To Church”...is Not a Biblical practice or tradition, even with the translation errors contained within the Bible. Its initiation, practice and tradition is totally a man-made concoction and id nothing like the church that Jesus said He would build.

There is nothing righteous or holy about a segregated denominated name-tagged building. Ironically most people give lip service that the building where people assemble is not the church. It’s ironic however, how most people will emphatically nod their head and say “Right, the building is not the church.” But, then if you point to a denominated religious building with a steeple on top and say, “What is that?” They’ll say, “It’s a church.” There is NO "a church"...there is "ONLY" The Church.

Jesus said, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart” (Matt 15:18). Out of their mouths, people say, “We are going to CHURCH”, or “Would you like to go to CHURCH with me,” or “Haven't seen you out to CHURCH lately,” or "come out to Church for this is God's house...because...THEY BELIEVE in their heart that it’s The CHURCH. If there is some reason the building can't be utilized on a given Sunday, it is announced that "church is canceled! You might say, “Glenn, don't be such a nit-picker, it’s just what we call it, we really know that the church is the people and not the building.” Mmm, is that so?

Let's examine church-goers assembling in a traditional segregated denominated church settings. They go to a name-tagged building for a hour and a half Sunday-programmed-event-driven-meeting, and some attend a 1 hour prayer-less midweek "prayer meeting". The segregated denominated steeple-ed building is outfitted with the traditional identifiers of the denomination, from the sign over the door to the dunk tank in the building. Inside, the building there are long cushioned pews for the pew-warmers to sit on to watch the performance. It has a raised platform stage at the front for the performers to perform on. It has a nice pulpit for the denominational puppeteer to preach behind. Behind the pulpit sits the dunk-tank to baptize members in. While in this building, people are to talk "christian-eze" and conduct themselves in a christianize manner. 

There is a special reverent code of conduct expected from you as you are in this "holy" segregated building called the "House of God". Eating and drinking is frowned upon while in the meeting area. This room is considered sanctified and holy, and called the sanctuary...which means that this room is set apart for God. This sanctuary is viewed as though God Himself lived there. 

I wonder what wold happen if the buildings framework were dissolved.

Let's remove the name-tag over the door that identified the denomination. Now nobody knows what denominated group it represents...how many religious believers would go there? Next to go is the preaching pulpit followed by the padded pews...how would this affect the assembling? Let's say a fire destroyed the building...remember now...everyone agrees that the building is not the Church...what would the response of the members be? Would they say that our Church burned down...how would this affect their assembling for fellowship? Would they now act as if the Church is "NOT" the building?  Would they really believe that the Church is really just the people? Suppose the paid denominated professional lost the "tithe income", from which he gets his salary, what do you think would happen to "his call"...he would lose his calling quickly and ride off into the sunset looking for greener financial pastures instead of working for his living and still ministering to the Church.

We all give verbal consent to the concept that the Church is the people and not the building...but only in concept. If you were to take away, change, mess up, or alter people’s denominated building, or the tithing dried up, the church would disappear because people associate the building, the pews, the pulpit, the steeple, the baptistery, a paid professional pastor...as necessary with “having a real Church.”

When Jesus ministered His earthly ministry it was primarily outside of buildings, He taught people in the middle of their daily living. He met people where they were. Some people were probably on their way to the market with their livestock and saw the crowd listening to Jesus teach and joined the the crowd. They would stop to hear what Jesus was saying and had their cows or chickens with them as they listened to the good news gospel. No one was dressed up in their "Sunday-best" or dressed in religious garbs. When Jesus spoke, there may have been cows mooing, sheep baa-ing, babies crying, people in filthy clothes, and people walking around in the midst of the crowd.

Was it considered the Church in action when Jesus would teach to the crowds? Of course it was! Jesus said that “Where two or more are gathered together, there I am in the midst.” Do we really believe that? Be honest now… would you still feel like you have to obey God's admonition of assembling together by going to the denominated building programmed-event-driven meeting on Sunday morning? Would you still feel like you have to dress up, be a pew-warmer, and listen to a "demonized"...sorry...I mean a denationalized sermon in order to feel like you’ve been in Church?

Our actions betray our Biblical understanding.

Our religiosity runs deep. It’s all we’ve known, it’s all we’ve seen, it’s all we’ve been taught. It’s what we’ve believe since we believed…even though it is un-Christlike and unbiblical.

Once you see and understand the truth of the Gospel and what Church really is, you will see that it is NOT DENOMINATIONAL BUILDINGS. In fact, they hinder gospel truth. Also, once your eyes are opened to the sufficiency of Jesus, you will stop associating “being fed” with that of listing to a denominated sermon by some seminarian professional once a week. The New Testament believers were not “fed” by a three point sermon once a week by a paid denominated professional, they were fed by the Spirit of Truth, men who preached Christ and him only.

What is the purpose of our scriptural assembling? The purpose is to be built up in faith, and to edify one another in Jesus. When this happens, He feeds us. He edifies the Church. We are built up and encouraged and He is blessed. The reason for our assembling is more easily accomplished as we keep being Christ centered and exclude all the man-made doctrines, rituals and practices.

Scripture never uses the phrase “go to Church.”  I wonder, is that because you cannot go to something you already are. You may say, "Get real man, it’s just words, stop playing with semantics". The words we use express what we really believe, and we live according to how we believe. Let’s look at the absurdity of our practice of “going to church” and how it negatively affects our lives.

The word Church in scripture is the Greek word ekklesia...meaning...“the called out ones.” If you further study the word, you will observe some interesting meanings. The word also has with it the meanings of a family, a people or an assembly. The church is the family of God.

After a long day at work, you were heading home to eat supper with your wife and children, and then retire for the evening. Would you say, “I’m going to family?” Of course  not. You would say, “I’m going to be with my family.”

Sadly, religion has made Church a function that we go to on Sunday morning rather than our "BEING" the Chruch in daily living. Church has become an event instead of being who we are. The word Church has forfeited its meaning of family, going to church has become a weekly activity that we do. We’ve taken a word that defines who we are, a word that identifies us, and we’ve lessened it to an hour and a half event-driven-meeting on a Sunday morning. After the weekly event, we all go home to our individual lives. It’s like going to the theater, or going to school, going to work, or going to the grocery store. “We’re going to Church!”

If you are something, you are that thing everyday and you are what you are everyday. A man never stops being a man. A woman never stops being a woman. Parents never stop being  parents.

If we are the Church, we never stop being the Church. 

When we call a segregated denominated building the Church or say that “we are going to Church” we are taking away from the fact that “Church” is our identity in Christ...the Head...not something we “go to”. When something is our identity, we are that thing all of the time. When we “go to something”, we are only participating in that activity while we are there.

The error is, religion has made something we are, into doing a weekly event. “Church” has become a impersonal, shallow, intellectual, religious 2 hour Sunday-go-meeting activity. This separates us as the Church from our life at work...our life at home...our life of activities...and we have made Church one of them.

The Church is YOU, not something you do, and you are to live the reality that you are the Church 24/7.

Spiritual growth as a believer has become learning more about the Lord...instead of knowing Him relationally as a person. Learning more information only teaches you about something. Relationship is where true spiritual growth occurs.

We are a living and breathing temple of living stones and are the dwelling place of the true and living God. We are alive! Corporately, we are Christ's representatives on earth. We have the Spirit of Truth within us. Calling denominated buildings...a dead pile of wood, brick, cement and steel...the Church, exposes our lack of revelation of who we are in Christ and the truth of His Gospel of Grace.

To me, the "5 spiritual dangers of skipping Church" that was sent to me are INVALID!

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