Is going to Church a must?
This question is going to serve as a start to the many questions about Christianity that are being asked. I promised earlier this month that I would start a column whose mission would be to divest us of some wrong notions and man-made laws that have been exalted to equal God’s laws. Don’t be confused, this column isn’t about atheism, rather it seeks to encourage open-mindedness rather than a swallow-hook-line-and-sinker approach to life.
Back to the question raised, “Is going to Church a must?”
I am of the opinion that going to church is not a must. True, you can attend Church, but contrary to what most preachers preach, your getting to heaven does not depend on whether or not you are a card-carrying member of a particular denomination.
Most of those who insist that church attendance is a must base their claims on Bible verses such as: 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.” I am of the opinion that this verse has been twisted; it could mean anything, but it does not necessarily mean that it is a prerequisite for heaven. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” does not have the same meaning as going to church. By visiting Christians like yourself, you aren’t forsaking them.
Most also lay claim to Exodus 20:8, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” People who quote this verse fail to quote verse 10, “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” Nowhere in the verse is it said that you must keep the sabbath day holy by attending church. In fact, Exodus 16:29,30 perhaps answers the question better, “See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath…; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day…So the people rested on the seventh day.” It states here that the Sabbath day is meant to be a day of rest and not a day to COMPULSORILY identify with a denomination in the hope that it is a requirement for heaven.
Matthew 18:20 makes it clear that, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” For me, this Bible verse settles it all. It should lay all other arguments to the contrary to rest. It does not say that you have to enter a church building to enjoy the pleasure of his presence, it says: “Where two or three are gathered…”.
It is understandable that most people encourage new believers in Christ to attend a ‘living’ church to enable them build their faith. Care must be taken however to make sure it doesn’t get elevated to a position where Christians now see Church attendance as a major determinant of getting to heaven; it isn’t, it has never been; all arguments to the contrary should be seen as deliberate attempts to either mislead or continually subjugate people.
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
Posted from Apostle of Change