Three in four Protestant churchgoers (75 percent) say they need other believers to help them to grow in their walk with God, with 38 percent strongly agreeing. However, 65 percent of Protestant churchgoers say they can walk with God without other believers, with 36 percent agreeing strongly.
Kenneth Priest, interim director of the Center for Church Revitalization at Southwestern, said those two statements contradict one another and highlight the need for greater discipleship in churches.
"I believe this is primarily a discipleship issue," Priest said, explaining that the "spiritual apathy" seen in many churches is due to "the lack of pastors and spiritual leaders equipped to effectively preach and teach a text-driven life application of God's Word."...
I guess the side-effect of this story is to say that...maybe that church (building) they go to is not that important to them (or to anyone else?). And that makes you wonder...why bother? Did Jesus come to put us into these buildings, having 'worship services' at 11:00am Sundays, Sunday school at 9:30am, and a Wednesday night Bible study? Is that all there is? And it that is all there is to 'church' for most people in those buildings, then I think we are very poor in spirit, and have missed what the Bible is all about.
Well first the Elect are spread all over the world so the church is not even based in the same nation, never mind in the same congregation.
God established the church as an organisation capable of evangelizing and teaching so group meetings are required for that.
Today we observe a particular problem growing in our towns and cities - that of false witness churches such as Liberalist churches, Anglicans and Episcopalians etc. Being in communion with them is about socialising with heretics, which is not a good idea.
So walking with God alone is sometimes a reality where you live today. Not everybody is an evangelist.
Sometimes you can go to a church where it becomes a matter of pointing out their errors rather than evangelising. Many still don't see the truth.
Walking with God alone is not a sin, and sometimes becomes a necessity.
Do you remember the news items that have appeared here in the past about how going to church helps people, esp. 'seasoned citizens' stay alive longer? WebMD is saying that having friends helps you stay healthy (I guess as long as they are not 'barflies' like the ones in the Simpsons show). The point there is that seeing people regularly, doing things with them, is good for your health. Yes, that applies to the largest denomination in the US, the Roman Catholic Church, and others that we would not want to call Christian like the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. But for many Christians, they say, "I go to church" (as a building, a location) instead of saying as the Bible says, "I am the church, the body of Christ"
I am not one of them, I need the fellowship of the body of Christ as in Sunday School as well as worship service, weekly Bible Studies etc. It‚Äôs like coals keeping a fire going and if you remove one of the coals and set it aside away from the others, the fire lessens and it soon grows cold. As long as I am able I will attend church meetings. I learned that many years ago. Daily devotional and prayer and Christian fellowship.
This is a tough one, really. All the comments below are very good. I will point out John Buynan's Pilgrims Progress and the difference between Christian (part 1) and Christiana (part 2). Christian made his journey with only two friends, and not both at the same time. Christiana made her entire journey with her children, a neighbor (who later became a daughter-in-law), and a growing group of people including a responsible shepherding pastor. I'm not saying Buynan is correct in his allegories but where two or three are gathered...
Douglas Fir wrote: Check out the EconTalk podcast (check address at the little house above this post) for a discussion of the value of church as community. It is sad that today, for many people, 'church' means only a building, and not a group of people. Some people will even identify a church by its leader, so it is Pastor Brown's church. I don't think the Bible ever has this in mind. At the same time, with our high tech lives that allow us to be connected 24/7, we can have community a lot easier without having a building. But do we do that? Instead, I read that young people feel lonely, and they are the ones most adept at using social media to stay connected. Older adults seem to be using the internet as a place to air their viewpoints, argue their specific doctrines.
Douglas Fir I agree with what you said
A lot of people are losing interest and going to churchbecause they came out of a politically orientated Unitarian Church or a liberal Methodist one, and then end up in much of the same thing in that they hear pastor spouting off about the Republican Party.
The most common cause I have seen of those who claim they don't need a church, is those who want to get involved in sin and not be accountable to anyone...
The Scriptures have commanded us to not forsake the gathering of the brethren. Those who claim they are not in need of a church are not following this command, and usually for their own purposes...
Of course this isn't an issue of salvation but really, if your saved, why wouldn't you want gather with other Christians?
There are times when it's not possible to do so though. Having a newborn baby, sickness, being out of town, or not having a biblical church to attend would be acceptable (and hopefully very temporary) exceptions. Just as "pray without ceasing" doesn't mean we should pray 24/7, so forsaking the brethren doesn't mean every week will work to attend church...
Check out the EconTalk podcast (check address at the little house above this post) for a discussion of the value of church as community. It is sad that today, for many people, 'church' means only a building, and not a group of people. Some people will even identify a church by its leader, so it is Pastor Brown's church. I don't think the Bible ever has this in mind. At the same time, with our high tech lives that allow us to be connected 24/7, we can have community a lot easier without having a building. But do we do that? Instead, I read that young people feel lonely, and they are the ones most adept at using social media to stay connected. Older adults seem to be using the internet as a place to air their viewpoints, argue their specific doctrines.
To walk with God means that you and God are in agreement about your life. ‚ÄúCan two walk together, except they be agreed?‚ÄĚ (Amos 3:3, KJV).
When the Bible speaks of "walking," it often refers to a lifestyle. We can walk in the ways of the world as well (2 Kings 8:27; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 3:7). In the New Testament, walking with God is often called "walking in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:4). Walking with God also means we cannot also walk with evil people as companions (Psalm 1:1-3).
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13 NKJV