06 April, 2006

Faithful or Legalistic?

I had an interesting conversation this moring about church attendance. I was talking about how sporadic our attendance is, and that this seems to be a trend in so many churches now days. I commented that people just do not understand the concepts of commitment and faithfulness. The person I was talking to said to me, "maybe it is not a lack of commitment or faithfulness at all, but that you are too legalistic." I about choked on my tongue, because if you know me at all, I am not about being legalistic. This person went on to say that we live in a different time and that there is just so much to do and that God understands how busy we are and he only expects us to "walk with him daily and be in church when we can."
Of course, I disagreed with this person big time and asked them to please explain to me their view in light of Hebrews 10:24-25. Their explaination was again, that we live in a different time and God understood how busy life is, and if all they could make it to church is one time per month, then that was okay.

Please understand, we are not talking about work issues here. We are talking about needing to take Sunday to take a shopping trip one week, and the next Sunday is spent working on the house/yard, and so on. I just flat out disagree, and in my opinion, people who make such decisions have put these other things ahead of God. Period. Oh, there are exceptions, and I know we can become legalistic about church attendance... but consider this: Once a month means 12 services a year. At two hours a service, that's 24 hours... or basically one day out of 365 that this person actually assembles with the corporate church to worship the Lord. Does this put it into perspective?

Look at this passage for yourself, and then tell me if this is what God had in mind:

Hebrews 10:24-25 MKJV

24) and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works,

25) not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25 MSG

24) Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out,

25) not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

7 comments:

Sarah said...

I do not see it as a legalistic issue but rather a society issue. From what I experience, there seems to be less of commitment displayed in all aspects.

As much as I would love it if you weren't a Cardinals fan, I would also be somewhat disappointed. Each year there those bandwagoners jumping to the current winning team. It even goes even further when it constantly changes within a season depending who holds the top spot. There is no commitment to your team.

There are several here where I work who do not have a commitment to show up on a regular basis. It doesn't seem to bother them about how that strains their co-workers. Since there is no commitment, all that it affects is themselves and not the other workers in their department.

Like you, I do believe there are times that you have to be away but do not reflect on your commitments.

I have a prayer meeting that I attend. We added a new person so we had a schedule conflict and we had to change it to Wednesday nights. I am committed to my church and attend Sunday morning and evening services. However, I also have a commitment to these women to be their accountability partners. So, in upholding my commitment to that meeting I must sacrifice Wednesday night service.

Amy said...

I totaly agree Pastor & Sarah, I am committed to being at church, I dont like it when I miss it or the prayer meeting on thursday night i go to , i wish we could have gone to church sunday and last night (logans birthday was yesterday ..family party at my moms) . what if God did this to us ? what if he said oh theyll understand , they wont mind if I took 2 sundays off , we would throw a hissy fit !!! I look at it this way if God loves me enough to be totally commited to me and Love me all the time and gave his son so that me and my family may live , I should be TOTALY committed to him and his family & show my love through my actions!!

Neil said...

Because there aren't always immediate reprecussions people believe they can use God as they like and He will understand. Today's church is bathed in the spirit of Saul, hear a word from God and shaped it around their way of thinking, after all, God will always be there...problem is He will, but not in the way we think...we mistake blessings and health with God's acceptance and approval...that's not legalism it's reality...God will let us go so far, but there is a requirement for the true blessings of the Lord and faithfulness to Him and His house are a part of it. Saul believe he could do whatever he wanted because he was the anointed, but in the end God removed the anointing and the kingdom from his hand...he may have stood in the palace, but not in the position of blessing!

Sean McKee said...

THIS PERSON IS CORRECT.
THEIR GOD DOES UNDERSTAND that they have a busy life style and if they make it to church once a month that it is ok.

The problem is that their god is not Jehovah, not Yahweh, not the Alpha and Omega. It is an idol. It is a god that they have fashioned to their liking.

"the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not"

Darrell said...

OUCH!
And AMEN!

Sean McKee said...

I don't like to sound harsh (usually) be these are the people that have came to God for fire insurance, they said the sinner prayer and now they think they are going to Heaven. They have no real desire to seek after God, to learn about Him and what pleases Him. They just want to live their lives they way they want and if they think they need to, they can ask God for forgiveness. They just know that "God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life". They think they have a guaranteed spot in Heaven and that's all they really want.

Libby said...

I would rather be considered "legalistic", attend church on a regular basis and feel and am pleasing God because I am obedient than serve my own selfish desires and feel I have grieved the heart of God!

I really DON'T understand what these people do with the latter part of verse 25 which states "and so much more as you see the Day approaching!"