Why Go to Church?

Suppose that you belong to a social club. Some of its members say or do things that you don’t approve of. Maybe a few of them are even caught breaking the law. You probably wouldn’t want to be a part of that club anymore, and no one would blame you.

Many people treat the Church that way. There have been times of corruption and alienation in the Church. And in today’s society, where truth is considered a personal choice, some people wonder if organized religion is even relevant

It has done its share of alienating people over the years; however, the Church is not a social club. It’s a pathway to God. While you can, and should, pursue spirituality on your own, individual worship just isn’t a substitute for the Body of Christ that is the Church.

Even in Its Humanity, God is There

Many have turned away because of abuses within the Church. People have been hurt. There’s no denying it. The paradox is that even though there have always been abuses—because the Church is made up of humans in their imperfection and sinful nature—it doesn’t mean that God can’t be, or isn’t, found there. 

Jesus Himself promised that He would be. In Matthew 18:20, He says,

Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Matthew 18:20

He doesn’t specify that these two or three need to be without sin for God to appear.

We Hold Each Other Accountable

In adjacent verses, Jesus tells the apostles,

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 18:18

He also tells Peter that we should not forgive our neighbor just seven times, but seventy times seven times (Matthew 18:22).

These passages tell us that we should hold our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable rather than allowing our sinful human nature to divide us. We should help guide one another on our journey to holiness. Christianity is about balancing mercy and justice—all of us must forgive as we are forgiven.

“People Who Go to Church Are Hypocrites!”

Probably true. There are hypocrites everywhere. Again, the Church, like any other organization, is made up of imperfect humans. But your relationship with God is about you. God did not call us to judge others. How do we know that someone is a hypocrite? By passing judgment on them. 

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us,

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Matthew 7:1-4

You would do better to tend to your own soul than to neglect your spiritual condition for the sake of judgment passed on others.

“But I Read the Bible at Home!”

This is a fair argument—that we do not need church if we have the Bible. After all, what can man say that Christ did not? The only problem with this is the fact that Christ established the Church Himself, again in the Gospel of Matthew:

“You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Matthew 16:18-19

You may feel that scripture alone is enough to feed us, but scripture tells us that we also need the Church. Again, Matthew 18:17 says, “If he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector,” that is, an outsider—a person not in the faith.

No One Is So Holy that They Do Not Need the Church

The Church is imperfect, made up of imperfect persons. But the Church as a body exists that we may strive together to “be perfect as [our] heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).We are all sinners, yet we can all work to be holy. Let us work toward holiness together.

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