Every so often I will hear someone say, or read, "I was drug to church so much as a child that I'm not going to go now". I read this in a blog post yesterday - it was a random blog and not a person that I know but the thought stuck in my head. The comment frustrates and irritates me a little. But, really, I can relate to it, there was a long period in my life that I felt the same.
My mom and I were at church every time the doors opened and I got to a point in high school that I didn't want to get up on a Sunday morning and go at all....couldn't I just sleep in. My husband likes to say, "many of us had a drug problem growing up....we got drug to church twice on Sunday, on Wednesday and on any other day the door was open." By college, I only went to church once in a while and mostly just to make my mom happy. After college, for years, I didn't go at all...ever. And, I was living in a way that I'm not proud of today.
At the time I thought, I'm a good person, I can worship God on my own, my way, I believe in Christ, etc. etc. Today I know that I was not a good person at all. It's easy to consider yourself a good person when you are comparing yourself to the things and people of this world....it's a whole lot harder to call yourself a "good person" when you are comparing yourself to what God, in His Word, commanded and encouraged us to be.
As far as worshiping on your own...you can't, you don't and you won't! Saying a prayer once a week (or even daily) isn't the same as worshiping with a community of believers. We do need one another and we grow in our faith when we serve others with others. We find people to hold us accountable and we begin to see what living a Godly life looks like. We need to support one another in a church family in order to fight Satan's devious work, lies and control of our lives. That stuff is hard to see if you are the only one looking for it....you WILL miss it.
As for me, when I finally turned around and began going to church again...and really, when I got involved and gave my time to that church family...that's when my life was forever changed and I was able to see that the life I had been living prior to that was all wrong. I began living for Christ and striving to live out what God asks of us in His word. I am not claiming to be perfect or that every thing is easier now....I am claiming that I'm striving to be more like Christ and that because of that living in this world, even during tough times, is much more doable and enjoyable.
How can you say you believe in God and yet find His book full of silly ideas that you don't have to follow?? He gave us a guide to show us how we are to live....that guide is as relevant today as it was almost 2000 years ago...all of it....not just parts....don't pick and choose what you want to follow. His reason for that guidance was so that we may have a full, abundant and joyful life....not to restrict us just for the sake of restricting us...He knows what is best for us.
So, in response to the idea that "I don't go to church because I was drug there as a kid", this morning I thought....and, your mom made you brush your teeth at least twice a day when you didn't want to. Fortunately, you didn't decide that you shouldn't do that anymore because your grown and you don't have to. You realized that she forced you to do that because it's part of what you need to do in an effort to take care of yourself. Isn't church the same way?
Our Father calls us to worship together. Your mom knew you needed to brush your teeth....God knows that you NEED to come together and worship.
"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies." -Hebrews 10:23-27
I hope that some of you will find encouragement in this. It's important to me because you are important to me and I know that we are all important to God. He knew what He was doing when He taught us how we ought to live...BELIEVE...TRUST....DO!