I'm not into organized religion. Can't I be a Christian without going to church regularly?
Yes, at least in a very technical sense. Salvation is not dependent on actions. God judges one's heart.
But let's be honest. The Bible says that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). If you say you are a Christian yet do not attend church regularly, how can you say that you really love God sufficiently?
Jesus emphasized the importance of his church. The Bible further emphasizes that regular worship, Bible study, fellowship with other believers, and service to one another are important. Likewise, the Bible warns against willful and persistent rejection of God (Hebrews 10:24-26).
Here are some other things the Bible says:
- The church is God's household (Matthew 16:18; 1 Timothy 3:14-15).
- A Christian is to be a member of God's household with every other Christian (Ephesians 2:19).
- In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12).
- The person who loves God must also love other believers and be devoted to them (1 John 4:21, Romans 12:10).
The gratitude and enthusiasm of an authentic saving faith lead us to want to thank and worship Him, to hunger for knowledge of truth, to desire a fellowship with other believers. Further, active church involvement provides an antidote to the culture.
We are to share our experiences (Proverbs 27:17), our homes (1 Peter 4:9), and our problems (Galatians 6:2) with one another. Our faith moves us to action, to love and serve one another in words and in deeds (John 15:12-17, 1 Corinthians 12,13). Church is where faith is nurtured, sustained, and will be a basis for us sharing ur faith with others outside the church.
God intends for you to be on the team—to be a member of his family. Each member belongs to all the others. The New Testament model is that all believers met together constantly, sharing everything with each other, learning from one another, and giving aid spiritually and in other ways as well. The local church is a devoted, loving family with each member having a role to play. Please take the time to read these additional passages: Psalm 40:9-10, Proverbs 27:17, John 13:35, Acts 2:42-44, 20:7, Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 3:9, Galatians 6:2, Ephesians 2:19, 4:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:25, 1 Peter 4:9-10, James 5:16, 1 John 1:7, 3:16, 4:21.
Now, an important point. You may have stumbled onto this short article harboring certain presuppostions. We are challenging you to examine these assumptions. You may have some rationalizations why you should not be a participating member of a local church, but they are most certainly selfish excuses. The fact that these selfish motives dominate your thinking is evidence to suggest that you do not really have a saving faith. And we hope that you will not just turn off our site! Stick around and check out our articles!
Further, the Bible makes it clear that God wants your body, not just your spirit (Romans 12:1). God wants you. The church needs you. And you need the church.
If you say that you do not believe in "organized" religion, does that mean you believe in "unorganized" religion? Doesn't the answer to that question reveal the silliness of your position? In regards to church involvement, Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute flatly states that there is no such thing as a "Lone Ranger Christian.
So what church should I attend? While every church has a set of beliefs that may differ from others, as a bare minimum fellowship should be based on this statement: “Let us acknowledge all to be our brethren who believe in the Lord Jesus, repent of their sins, and humbly and honestly obey Him as far as they understand his will and their duty.” As a further statement we recommend these doctrinal positions.
1. The Nature of God: God is a Trinity—one God manifested in three, eternally co-existent “persons”—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are of the same nature and essence as God the Father (consistent with the Nicene Creed), though lower in role and rank.
2. The Nature of Man: All men are sinful and fall short of the glory of God.
3. How Sinful Man is Reconciled to a Holy God: the gospel. We are saved by God’s grace through a living, penitent, trusting faith in Jesus Christ alone—because of Christ’s perfect earthly life, his substitutionary death to pay the penalty for our sin, his resurrection to provide the hope for our own eternal life, and his Parousia to seal our salvation in covenantal completion of all that was promised in the Old and New Testaments.
4. The Bible: The Bible is inspired by God, that is—it is God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. Accordingly, we submit to Scripture when it declares in over 100 passages of the New Testament that the so-called "last days" were in the 1st century, culminating with the end of the Old Covenant Age in AD 70. At that time Jerusalem and the temple were decimated, the important genealogical records were destroyed, and the ancient Jewish system of sacrifices for sin ceased forever.
5. Our obligation: In response to God’s grace, we humbly and honestly seek to obey Him as best we understand his will. In the very broadest of terms, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength—and to love our neighbor (even our enemies). Our compassion demands that we work to bring as many people into a saving relationship with Christ. .
6. We specifically reject aberrant doctrines of millennialism (especially dispensationalism, which we think is another gospel), fideism, nominalism, antinomianism, liberalism, legalism, and universalism.
This last item, especially, might generate some questions. You are welcome to contact us at Faith Facts for further information about churches.