Quotes for Topic: Church-attendance
We don’t come to church, to be a church. We come to Christ, and then we are built up as a church. If we come to church just to be with one another, one another is all we’ll get. And it isn’t enough. Inevitably, our hearts will grow empty, and then angry. If we put community first, we will destroy community. But if we come to Christ first and submit ourselves to Him and draw life from Him, community gets traction.
Though true Christianity uniquely involves a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, it is also a corporate experience…Christians cannot grow spiritually as they ought to in isolation from one another.
Reference: Encouraging One Another, Victor Books, 1985, p. 10
When you were born, your mother brought you to church. When you were married, your wife brought you to church. When you die, your friends will bring you to church. Why not try coming to church on your own sometime?
Reference: Hodder and Stoughton, Studies in Theology: The Church and the Kingdom of God, 1895, p. 173.
On the most elementary level, you do not have to go to church to be a Christian. You do not have to go home to be married either. But in both cases if you do not, you will have a very poor relationship.
Reference: Disciplines of a Godly Man, Crossway Books, 1991, p. 165. Get this book!
Another reason for the de-churching of many Christians is the historic individualism of evangelical Christianity and the grass-roots American impulse against authority. The natural inclination is to think that one needs only an individual relationship with Christ and needs no other authority. Such thinking produces Christian Lone Rangers who demonstrate their authenticity by riding not to church, but out to the badlands, reference Bible in hand, to do battle single-handedly with the outlaw world.
Reference: Disciplines of a Godly Man, Crossway Books, 1991, p. 160. Get this book!
Church attendance is infected with a malaise of conditional loyalty which has produced an army of ecclesiastical hitchhikers. The hitchhiker's thumb says, "You buy the car, pay for repairs and upkeep and insurance, fill the car with gas – and I'll ride with you. But if you have an accident, you are on your own! And I'll probably sue." So it is with the credo of so many of today's church attenders: "You go to the meetings and serve on the boards and committees, you grapple with the issues and do the work of the church and pay the bills – and I'll come along for the ride. But if things do not suit me, I'll complain and probably bail out--my thumb is always out for a better ride."
Reference: Disciplines of a Godly Man. Christianity Today, v. 36, n. 6.
There are no churchless disciples.
Reference: Doing His Word by Kent Hughes taken from Luke by Kent Hughes – Volume 1, copyright 1998, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, page 248.
The man who attempts Christianity without the church shoots himself in the foot, shoots his children in the leg, and shoots his grandchildren in the heart.
Reference: Abide and Obey by Kevin DeYoung taken from The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2012, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 132.
Nonattendance, in the early years of our church, was considered one of the most sinister of sins, because it usually veiled all the other sins. When someone began to be in sin, you would expect them to stop attending.
Reference: Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Crossway, 2000, p. 171. Get this book!
If a member shows prolonged negligence in gathering with God’s people, how can he say he loves them? And if he doesn’t love them, how can he say he loves God (cf. 1 John 4:20-21)?
Reference: Beginning the Word, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 47, www.crosswaybooks.org.
The visible church is where you will find Christ’s kingdom on earth, and to disregard the kingdom is to disregard its King.
Reference: Forward by Michael Horton taken from Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman, copyright (2012), Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 15.
Being disconnected from the local church, for whatever reason, is a dangerous way to live. Not only do these “ lone rangers” miss out on the blessings of functioning within the context of the body of Christ, but like lone sheep away from the safety of the flock and the watchful care of the shepherd, they are vulnerable to predators of every sort.
Reference: Holiness, The Heart God Purifies, Moody Publishers, p. 137. Get this book!
Autonomous Christianity never works, because our spiritual life was designed by God to be a community project.
Reference: Again and Again, by Paul David Tripp taken from Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp copyright 2012, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 39.
The problem with conservative churches is not that they lack members. The problem is that many of those members are not converted. Millions of members of evangelical churches are absent from worship services each Sunday and are equally absent from Christian living during the rest of the week. Biblical illiteracy and unethical conduct by Christians seem to be on the rise. Many people who attend are indifferent to the truths of Christianity, and others are divisive, even mean-spirited.
Reference: Who Will Be Saved? Edited by: House, Paul and Thornbury, Gregory. Crossway, 2000, p. 164.
There are those, particularly in our day, who are so disenchanted with the visible church that they steadfastly refuse to join any local church. Such a posture is misguided and involves overt disobedience to the commands of Christ. Though it is possible for a believer to be confused about this for a season, someone who persists in such a posture is, in all probability, not a believer. It is the duty of every Christian to join a visible church.
Reference: The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 89
Objection: I can profit as much by staying at home and reading the Scripture or some good book; it is the word of God which they preach, and it is that which I read at home. The books that are written by learned men are better than the sermons that are preached by our ministers. Answer: What foolish pretences are these against the plain command of God and our own necessary duty! When God hath appointed you your duty, will He allow you to forsake it upon your own reason, as if you were wiser than God, and knew what will profit you better than He?
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 57
All biblical counseling that is faithful to the Scriptures will recognize the vital role played by the church in the life of a Christian counselee (see Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:1-16; 1 Thes. 4:9-10; 5:12-15; Heb. 3:12-14). People entangled in severe sins tend to isolate themselves for a variety of reasons. They are in love with their sin, ashamed of their sin, too proud to let others know, too self-sufficient to let others in, lack a true desire to change, believe they can beat their problems on their own, or don’t want to inconvenience their friends with their long-term problems that defy simple solutions.
Reference: Counseling the Hard Cases, Edited by Stuart Scott and Health Lambert, B&H Publishing, 2012, p. 284, Used by Permission.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are, it seems to me, largely fruits of sustained interaction with God. Just as a child picks up traits more or less simply by dwelling in the presence of her parent, so the Christian develops tenderheartedness, compassion, humility, forgiveness, joy, and hope through “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” – that is, by dwelling in the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. And this means, to a very large extent, living in a community of serious believers.
Reference: The Reformed Journal, Feb. 1987, Christianity Today, v. 32, n. 10.
We desperately need the church for love, for maturity and preparedness, for spiritual care. It is arrogant, rebellious, self-reliant, God-indicting pride to conclude that the church is an optional extra to the Christian life. We need everything God designs for us. Everything. To reject what God designs for His glory and our good is spiritual suicide. To reject the church is to take your own spiritual life.
Reference: The Local Church by Thabiti Anyabwile taken from Don’t Call it a Comeback, edited by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2011, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 211.
No Excuse Sunday: Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, “Sunday is my only day to sleep in.” We have steel helmets for those who say, “The roof would cave in if I ever came to church.” Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who say it is too hot. We have hearing aids for those who say, “The preacher speaks too softly,” and cotton balls for those who say, “He preaches too loudly.” Score cards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sundays. There will be TV dinners for those who can’t go to church and cook dinner also. One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to worship God in nature. Finally, the sanctuary will be decorated with Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.
Reference: From a Church Bulletin.