Why Go to Church?

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Joe Riley, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Food for thought...

    Why go to church?

    "A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

    This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

    "I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing..... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment"!
     
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  2. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
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    I think the original letter writer was wrong to blame the pastor or the church. If someone could not remember a single sermon in 30 years, that suggests to me a lack of attention or an inability to focus on what someone is telling them.

    I'm no longer a church member but in my teens I joined a new discussion group which the minister arranged to take place in his home each week. His first question was "why do people go to church?" All the others looked blank and I was the only one to speak about about going there to worship God, praise Him and pray to Him.

    I do understand that it's not necessary to go to church every week if you are a Christian. If people who do attend regularly have no idea why they are there or what they are being taught from the pulpit, it just shows that a lot of the people who attend church are not truly religious. They are being hypocritical in wanting to be seen by others as being 'good Christian people' without putting any thought into their own beliefs.
     
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  3. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    It's been more than 30 years since I've been to church. I don't want to start a controversy but I personally believe religion is the cause of most of the world's problems.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    There is a principle that many people live by, in order to influence the thinking of everyone else, and that is that if someone hears something six times, from six different sources, they will assume that it is true. Because of this, many people have accepted as fact that religion is the cause of most wars and that it tears families apart.

    Where religion has had played a role in the breakup of a family, the lack of religion has played an equal part, as this would occur when one member of a family adheres to a religion while he or her partner does not. The principle causes of domestic abuse are cultural, not religious.

    How often have we heard that religion was the cause of nearly every war that has taken place on the planet? However, when you study these wars independently, you will find that, while many of them may have involved theocratic leaders, some of whom may have claimed to be speaking for God, or even to be God, the wars were usually about land or economic concerns. Several wars have pitted nations against other nations who shared the same religion. Even where religion played a significant role, there are other political factors involved.

    In the Encyclopedia of Wars, by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod, is a comprehensive list of wars throughout the history of the planet. Including 1,763 wars in all, 123 were listed as having involved religious conflict as a major factor; that is seven percent. The book also stated that fewer than two percent of all people killed in warfare were killed because of a religious conflict. Wars are mostly about domination or independence, control, wealth, resources, economics, or politics. Religion isn't the problem. People and greed are the problem.

    To the subject of the opening post, people go to church for a lot of reasons. Christians may attend church because the Bible instructs them to. Of course, the Bible wasn't necessarily speaking of a large white building with a steeple and a collection plate. A church may exist wherever two or more of God's people gather together. Christians may also attend church for reasons that are as much cultural as they are religious. They feel good when they are a part of an active church, and they would feel as if they were missing something if they were to be absent from the services. Of course, that could be cultural or it could be God speaking to them. You decide.

    Some people attend church for the same reasons that they join service organizations or the Chamber of Commerce, in that they give them an air of respectability and provide networking opportunities. One prominent Maine politician said privately that he is a Catholic because his voters are Catholic. When I ran for a state house seat a decade ago, a Republican handler suggested that I become a member of a larger church that would give me more visibility, as I had been attending a home church that was as much a Bible study as a church.

    People attend church for many reasons, the most compelling of which are biblical. In Hebrews, Paul speaks of not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together for the purpose of exhortation and worship. The Apostle Paul also tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. A passage in the second chapter of Acts says, of the early church, that they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Indeed, there are many passages in the Bible that can be used to justify church attendance.

    Most of these reasons have to do with studying and learning from the Word of God and, of course, this can be done outside of a white building with a steeple. My experience has been that I gain far more from home churches or Bible study groups than I have from more organized churches, and I have served as a pastor and deacon of such churches. Currently, I attend a small church while I am up north in the spring and summer, consisting of only a few families. We do have a church building made of logs, which does not have a steeple. During the fall and winter, my wife and I do Bible study most every morning. Although I once served as a deacon of one of the Baptist churches here, I don't sense that God is compelling me to choose from among the churches that we have here in town.
     
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  5. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    Very interesting post and lots of facts to consider. As a Buddhist, I do not go to any particular temple on certain days. They are always open and when I pass by one I may enter or not. Usually when I do, I will just go to one of the Buddha statues and present flowers and incense and say a few prayers. I must put here that I do not see, nor did the Buddha see himself any more that a teacher. I try my best to follow the spiritual path he has provided but also keep Jesus and God in my life as well.
     
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  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The second writer is saying that just as we eat physical food to keep us alive physically, that our time spent in church helps nourish us spiritually. The daily bread and the word of God are meant to be consumed to help us grow and mature. Do not confuse religion with a relationship with God.
     
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  7. Jonathan Clark

    Jonathan Clark New Member
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    The sinful nature of man is the cause of many problems. Sin is choosing to be separated from God, and that can be true even if a person attends church. Church to some people is nothing more than a religious activity that doesn't necessarily bring change to a person's life. The problem is that many people do not see the difference between religion and having a personal spiritual encounter with God who can bring real transformation to human hearts.
     
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  8. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Very interesting post. One of the many reasons I go to church is to see the people that I have grown to care about, the people that I have seen have children, lose loved ones and still come to church. I like the way my minister talks about the ability to live a loving life, not have a soul of hate and be happy with myself. Those are just a few reasons I go to church every week.
     
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  9. Helene Lawson

    Helene Lawson Active Member
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    I haven't been to a church a long time about a year nor even at Easter.
    I don't see a point in going to the church if you don't really want to and you only do it out of pressure because your family commits you to do it. It should depend on you and your intentions.
     
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  10. Allie Seay

    Allie Seay Active Member
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    Church is a place to gather with people who share similar beliefs to yourself. It is good to worship together with others and it is said that to do so magnifies the presence of the lord. Personally, I find that the presence of the lord is quite large in everyday life and appears more to be magnified by years and by seeking, but that's just me.

    I know that the deepest conversations I've had with the lord have all occurred in my everyday life and not in a physical church. Often in quiet moments, but not always so. As we all know who know him, the lord is there in the midst of our troubles as well as in our joys and times of solitude.

    Magnified, even, in our troubles should we look for him.

    The lord is life. He represents life. He offers it and it is life he loves. Even our lives he shares with us in all it's parts if we allow, being with us in the single most personal and open relationship that it is possible for any human to have.

    And then there's church.

    The thing, I think, that people often tend to miss about church is the same thing people miss about a lot of things. You are only going to get out of it what you put into it.
     
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  11. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I agree you should go to church because you want to be there. I don't go to church every sunday. If you do not feel that it helps you to go to church do not go, it is something I do because I get to see people that I care about and have not seen all week. I did not go to church for a long time.
     
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  12. Hannah Davis

    Hannah Davis Active Member
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    Well, I think the man who wrote the letter was entitled to feel the way he did about church however, trying to make it seem like all should follow his example is pershaps why this letter got so many responses. No one can tell others how they shouudl feel about going to church. Some of us feel its for us and we enjoy it. We love the music the readings and the sermons, along with interacting with others in the environment. But for others such as myself the fullfillment just isn't there. I admit that I haven't been to church in years, that's not to say that I don't pray or don't have a belief in God because I do on both counts. Its just that I ddin't find that going to church had to be part of my worship of God. However, this is just my feeling on the subject, and I wouldn't push my belief on to others.
     
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  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    Biscuits! That's why people go to church. Biscuits!

    I do know that somewhere along the way I have posted this, but then again I have posted it and preached it probably a thousand times or more in my teaching / preaching career. I might have even written it here but.....One more time?

    There are two ways of preparing biscuits for baking. One is to put them in the pan all snugged in with the other dough cuttings. The other is to leave some space, about a half inch or so between them. Both ways are right and they will both come out of the oven as biscuits.
    There is a difference however. The ones which are snugged next to each other rise much more than the ones which had spaces between them. The higher ones used the ones next to it for support while the separated ones had no support so they sort of spread out instead of rising as much.
    The second difference is that the ones which were separated have a nice golden brown crust over the entire biscuit including the sides and the inside is a little dry compared to the other set of biscuits. Also, you might note, that the ones that were nice and snuggly have softer insides and seemingly no boundries so far as the nil crust on the sides.

    Do you get the drift here? People are just like the biscuit example. Christians are Christians no matter if they go to church or not. But the ones who try to be close, and fellowship (church) seem to rise higher with a softer exterior as well as a more tender demeanor inside. Those who separate themselves do wind up a little crusty, dryer, and lacking height in their potential to grow, but take heart, they are still the saved Children of God, just not what they could be.

    I like biscuits, especially the high, soft, and warm ones.
     
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  14. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit!;) Thanks Bobby!
     
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  15. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    What about us homemade pretzels and crackers Bobby? We might not rise as much as you biscuits, but we're nutritional too. And without our differences, all of us would get very bored. You can't live by biscuits alone.
    :) :rolleyes: :p
     
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  16. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    It is true Ina, you can't live by biscuits (bread) alone, you've GOT to have some peanut butter!
     
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  17. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    My dear Helene, you might be quite right especially if someone else commits you. No one should promise anything for your sake, but maybe they are trying to be a litle helpful.
    Many people are very reluctant to join a body of worshipers for whatever reason they may have. After all, I do believe that is precisely why there are no names on the pews nor do they have roll call. It totally depends on what you are committed to, and how much you would like to personally grow. There is no pressure with the exception of the times of service and the welcome sign at the front door. You really do not even have to put anything in the collection plate. Some churches just have a box at the front door if you can make a donation. Otherwise, the object to church is to worship and grow with others of your own ilk.
    If you do decide to go, who knows, you may make a few friends who want nothing from you but friendship.
     
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