By Not Known
The Bible tells us that it is important for Christian people to meet together (Heb. 10: 25). As we gather in worship services, small groups and church activities, we are encouraged, challenged and helped in our life as followers of Jesus. Put simply, there can be no subsitute for the local church in our Christian growth and life.
Above all, church is a place to seek and find God. In this sense, church is like a portal or conduit. people sometimes become confused about the proper place of church.
Some in our day are dismissive about church and insist that they can be perfectly fine Christians without belonging to a church, or a para-church organisation. This ignores what the Bible says about the church. (Look up the word church in a concordance and follow the referecnes to see how central it is in God’s eyes.)
Others make too much of the church and trust it into the position that belongs to God. To some extent, this had happened in the pre-Reformation church and expalins why the reformers stressed the message of faith and obedience in Christ alone.
This was also a problem in the days of the Old Testament prophet Amos. God’s people went to the sanctuaries they had established and put much emphasis on right forms of worship. Their worship became an end in itself, rather than a means of seeking and pleasing God. As Amos pointed out, they forgot justice, righteousness, truth, social compassion and such like. In this setting, their formal church worship become offensive to God (Amos 5: 21).
Amos’ words call them and us back to a positive understanding of church and the place of formal worship services: Seek me and live (Amos 5:4b- 5a). The purpose of church and it activities is to connect us to God for the whole of life. And so Amos also speaks of how we must: Hate evil, love good … let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream (Amos 5: 15 & 24)
So, let us neither neglect church nore make too much of it. But, let us pray and work so that our church is a place where people seek and meet God.