“When a young man who has been going to church in a routine way honestly realizes that he does not believe in Christianity and stops going — provided he does it for honesty’s sake and not just to annoy his parents — the spirit of Christ is probably nearer to him then than it ever was before.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity – Let’s Pretend)
Do We Have To Go To Church?
I get this question in various forms quite regularly. Church has been a place and time of pain for many, especially for those who have been hurt by legalists. Going to church, even when a person is no longer associated with legalists, can bring memories of negative times. Either that or it’s just plain boring. Church is often the time and place where legalism and performance spirituality are reinforced the most in the lives of believers. So what’s the big deal if we miss church? Does it really matter anyway?
Over the next few posts, I will address a few aspects of this question and offer my perspective. (Heads up: I have told people that church attendance is far less important to the Lord than enjoying a real relationship with Him.)