Church attendance Getting Mad

Church attendance Getting Mad is an article on when people get mad and just stay home. This works against solving their problems not in favor of resolving them.

I am a pastor of a local church in Mexico City. Recently we have a family, and they are going through some problems. The wife in this family just didn’t like how things turned out. The problem is not directly my (as pastor) fault but her husband’s fault because he misadministrated money. They are paying it back.

But the wife decided that “her solution” to this problem is to just not go to church any more. She is ashamed of what her husband did. He has owned up to his bad economical decisions, and he is working it out. But I have thought a lot about his wife’s statement that she is just not going back to church. (I wouldn’t be so upset myself if they were to change churches, but her husband has said that they will not do that.)

So this provoked thought in me,

Why we “go to Church”

First of all, we need to define some things, because we cannot get a biblical view of all of this without going back to the Bible. The “church” is a social and religious institution. But the concept of church, which is coming together or gathering together to accomplish some purpose such as a town meeting to decide some issue is not man-made but God made. If you can only get a hold of that concept, that God has blessed all of his children by creating a “new thing” called the church (ekklesia or meeting with a purpose), then you are halfway there.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

So from Hebrews 10:25, church is commanded by God. Let’s split some hairs here though. God does not command us to get into the building, sit in the back and sleep. No. Attending church is not really the concept here. It is assembling. This means participating for the purposes that exist for the church meetings.

As a pastor and a missionary, I see various issues or elements here that are very important. Some people in our day have concluded that there are false prophets and bad pastors out there, therefore they are just not interested in church, or if they do go to a church, they want it the Burger King way. Like Dean Martin sang the song, I want it my way. They are “changing church” to fit their concepts. Nowhere in the Bible does God accept this kind of thing. When the sons of the priest Eli offered strange fire to God, God got made.

Church is for corporate worship of God

The first and foremost element of “church” is worship. I have read and studied for example the emergent church. Many other people are on that change traditional church because “it doesn’t work.” Nothing God has made is broke. His main vehicle for the New Testament is the church concept, and it is isn’t broke.

How do we worship?

First of all, all sermons should be directed towards God. In awe, we contemplate our God. That is the foundation of sermons, of church, of what we do when we worship. There are a few elements in our worship that form the elements of a typical church service. 1) worship. 2) praise. 3) Thanksgiving. So worship is to take some doctrinal declaration about God, and expand on it, giving glory to God for what HE is (morally or actually). God is love. So the Bible declares this, and a sermon is to examine it, and apply it to our lives so we are like God. Ephesians 5:1

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

So we consider God is omniscient, God is all knowing. So we better take that into serious consideration when we think we are going around God’s back to sin. There is no such thing as God not seeing us. El-Roi is God telling Hagar that he is the all seeing God. He also takes care of everyone and chastises all wrong doing.

These are how we worship God. Next we need to understand that the preacher is no better morally than anybody else in the church, so the preacher’s opinions are not the appropriate “fodder” for a sermon. Only the Scripture can be used with authority for worship to take place.

Every sermon needs to be soundly based in what saith the Lord, not what the opinion of the preacher is on this topic.

Next we look at praise. Praise is not entertainment. Today in churches, praise is an emotion uplifting that is rarely explained with doctrine or based on doctrine. Emotion has its place, but not in directing us in our spiritual lives. Many Psalms offer praise to God because He brought Israel out of Egypt, or did some other great thing. Praises are the actual activity of God in the past usually with his children. We praise God, “for how HE is”. He is merciful, he is good, he showing pardon and mercy on those who don’t deserve it.

Worship is more doctrine, and praise is more historical thanksgiving. The third element is thanksgiving. That is personal to the person speaking it. A thanksgiving is somehow that God was good to that person. Healing from sickness, saving from personal harm, reunion with somebody, etc.

All of this needs to be based in the Bible as much as is possible.

All of this needs to be done in the presence of other fellow believers in the activity of a church service.

A four element, which is a combination of sorts of the first two, is singing. According 1 Corinthians 14, we are not to allow two people to talk in a church service at the same time. Singing is an exception to this rule. I would suggest that congregation reciting of a Bible verse is also clearly allowed.

More churches today use songs that sound good and get your feet and hands to moving. That is not the idea at all. Biblical singing of hymns and spiritual songs recite biblical doctrine and praise. So both of these will be founded on Bible verses. These songs will help us to always remember God’s character and commandments to us.

Taking an offering is a fifth element.

“Giving isn’t so much a matter of what you have as much as it is a matter of who has you. Your giving reveals who has your heart.”

Genesis 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

What Abraham’s habits on tithing tell us is that as God intervenes in our lives to help us, the correct response to this divine help is to return to the Lord some of what God has given us.

Genesis 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Genesis 28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Genesis 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jacob puts it more directly, if God helps me, protects me, and accompanies me, then he says, “I will give God a tithe.” Every Christian understands that he has the blessing and presence of God with him. This is an overarching principle that comforts us. It is summed up in one name, Emmanuel, God with us.

Many people think that they only have to tithe when they see there is some great need in the church. They should give an offering at that point. Tithing has to do with 10% of what you earn. An offering has to do with God moving your heart after showing you a need. They are totally different concepts.

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

But understand that only if you faithfully, consistently, ALWAYS are tithing, then after that history of you BEING THAT WAY SPIRITUALLY, THEN God will open the heaven to you.

Church Participation shows you are Saved.

I am hesitant at making this point, but it is very essentially, so I cannot skip it. We are not saved by doing things, but we are saved by our faith. Everywhere in the Bible God indicates that faith is what saves us. But at the same time, faith without works is not faith but self-deception. What you are will define your actions and speech, your attitudes.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

So we do not make up doctrine. We accept and believe what God says. In 1 John 4:7, God declares that God is love, and everyone that loveth is born of God.

What is love? Love is my sacrifice for your benefit. Most people in this world think of love simply as sex. Their pleasure at your expense. This is not love but hedonism. If God so loved us that God gave Jesus’ life for our eternal benefit, then you have to be affected greatly in order to be saved. You must understand that love is the pure essence of God. Jesus got no real benefit for himself from being tortured and unjustly killed.

But somehow, someway, this same love is essential to being saved. If you think you are saved and do not make giving without benefit to yourself (except knowing this selfless giving is pleasing God), then if this is missing in your life, then you are not really saved.

Your Local Church is the Focal Point

God made the divine construct of the church as “the place” where this love is to be poured out. The church and the home, specifically with your spouse, your children, and the children with their parents. How messed up this has got!

1) Most couples are constantly fighting and not constantly doing good works to benefit the other. 2) Most kids are rebellious and hate their parents. 3) Most churches are toxic and bad for everybody that goes there. Sooner or later you will be the butt of malicious gossip and hurtful words. Envy, hatred, competition, etc. are what fills most churches, not brotherly love. Most people have no understanding of putting their Christian brethren first.

Spiritual Talents, Gifts, and Work

Beyond these key ideas, God gives each person spiritual gifts or talents. These talents like preaching, teaching, singing, praying, giving, are to be done in the local church. If God gave you the gift of singing, it is well wasted if you only sing in the shower. I am still waiting to see a Christian with the gift of giving in our church. Seems God left us out on that one. (Not really. Basically, people with means seem to either way control of everything for their giving, and that is not how God works, or they are just stingy. God works through the poor to meet needs a lot more than through the rich.)

Why Christians get mad

For those who get mad at something in their life, and they want to punish God by not going to church and not giving anything, they are destroying the medicine that will make things right in their life, and God is not affected in the least.

God will raise up somebody better than you to take your place. So you better be content and faithful to God. He can replace you very easy. He is an expert at that, because so many Christians fall.

Another Thought on this Topic

It is my opinion after 40+ years in the ministry that most all of the people who are in churches or claim to be Christians are immature. They are at the maturity level of a kid in kindergarten, not an adult. Adults take insults and problems in a distinct way. They ignore attacks against their person and even the attackers are treated like they did nothing wrong. A mother that tends a baby, and the bay kicks her, throws up on her, cries, etc. the mom (the mature mom that is) just ignores it all and continues to treat the baby well. It seems like the majority of the people in our church over the years are just like a child.

For the person who thinks they are somehow helping or resolving their problems by cutting God and the brethren off from themselves, they are only hurting themselves mostly, and the rest of us are missing them in the fellowship of God. Come back. Be faithful. Find help in the church, in the brethren, and don’t assign the blame for your own bad life on us!

Church attendance Getting Mad

More Articles on Critical Issues

See more on Church Attendance