Is It A Sin Not To Go To Church?
The convenience of a streaming church service can be a double-edged sword. Indispensable to those who cannot leave their bed, but a tool of temptation for the devil. I heard that whisper this morning: Why get up so early? It's cold and you deserve a break, and who will notice you anyway? Whether you go or stay won't make a difference. You're still going to watch the sermon online, it's not a sin to miss one week…
I typically find that when I miss meeting with my church family, even one Sunday or two in a row, I start to feel disconnected and more affected by the world. It also got me thinking about why it's important to go to church. Why should I give up one of my only precious days off to get up early and worship?
Tradition? To see my friends? Because Starbucks is on the way and I can get a treat?
I can name thousands of reasons to stay home, but Scripture gives us several points of wisdom regarding gathering regularly.
To encourage one another
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
To meet with God together
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20
Friendship with other believers
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
To mature in faith
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
As for whether it's a sin or not, let’s first define “sin”. Sin is a deliberate rebellion against God. It’s something that comes between Creature and Creator. Far be it for me to say yes or no on behalf of someone else, but I'll humbly say that in my case, I believe it would have been considered a sin. The reason being that I understand and agree with the importance of church attendance. As a result of mere laziness, I'd be a hearer only and not a doer of the word. (James 1:22).
I went against my feelings and went to church anyway that Sunday. And instead of losing comfort, energy, and time like I dreaded, I gained an unexpected blessing: peace that my obedience meant something to God. I think He is proud of my response and I can't wait to obey again next week.
How is your current level of engagement with your church body? What would you like it to look like? What is getting in the way of that gathering?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Molly writes from her home in Ojai, CA where she also works full time as wife to Marco, mama to Lydia, and account specialist for a software company. She loves rain, early morning runs, and long road trips. Her happy place is a certain table at a local coffee shop with a pen, an empty notebook, and a few hours (and probably a few lattes!). Her writings can be found over at mollylgonzalez.com.