The sermon this morning was about Sunday church service attendance. The pastor quoted statistics that point out that most evangelical Christians attend church service only twice a month. (I think my attendance lands at three times a month)
Then he showed graphs showing the attendance from our congregation for the past year that prove that these statistics apply to us as well.
He followed that up with scripture references from Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus, giving the background of the Sabbath. This is the point I began to have disagreement with his sermon.
These words entered my mind: All is Worship
God gave us an example to follow in Genesis. All work and no rest is not in our best interest.
Then He commanded the nation of Israel to remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy. This was then reiterated in the laws given to the nation of Israel. They were told to honor the Sabbath and do no work. nada. zip. Could they achieve this? No. But they wanted rules to follow.
Coming together as a congregation on a weekly basis to worship the Lord is a modern invention. In other words, God didn't command it. It's what people began to do. Then the Christians decided to move the Sabbath to another day. I have a question. Were the days of the week named at creation? How do we know that the Sabbath wasn't really on Wednesday? Does it really matter?
Here is the deal. Quoting scriptures about the law given to the nation of Israel, as examples of why we should do things now, as Christians, just doesn't work. It's not supposed to work that way. We can't follow the law! That is why we have Jesus. That is why we have the Holy Spirit living inside us. The one thing the pastor did say that I agreed with was that we should want to go to church, we should want to support one another and be there for one another. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, not the law.
Legalism is a hard thing to avoid when blending the Old Testament Law with the New Testament examples as to why we do or should do something. If we are going to follow New Testament examples on how the early church behaved then we are going to be in for some major changes. Can I get an Amen!
Do I think that, as Christians, we should be joined to a local assembly? yes.
So, don't get me wrong--I'm not disagreeing over the importance of church and church attendance. It is an important part of our Christian walk.
The sermon went so far as to equate the consistency of our Sunday Service attendance with our level of love for Jesus. ....................
It was stated that by not attending church when you are a professed Christian, you are "trampling" on Jesus. Skipping church was likened to not loving God enough. ...........
Now, I could see if he was making a case against those who profess to be Christian but only attend church on Christmas and Easter. But he showed graphs outlining our attendance. It was personal, so I felt the accusations were also personal.
At times in my life I have gone for months and months without attending service. According to what I took away from the sermon, that is apostasy. I would agree if during those months and months I never gave God the time of day.
God deserves our time, attention, and worship daily, not just on Sunday....or whatever the Sabbath is.
As Christians we are indwelt by His Spirit.
All is Worship.
Everything I do. Everywhere I go. How I relate. How I view the world.
All is Worship.
Lumping our worship of God into one day a week is the "works" theology of the nation of Israel.
All is Worship.
Sunday Church Service, to me, is much less about worshiping God and more about being taught the word. Learning. Listening.
Sunday Church Service attendance is a work. It's what we do because we are Christian. It's what we need to do because we need other like minded people in our lives.
Worship begins in the heart. Worship in the home is ideal. All is worship.