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New Horizons

July, 2003: A Disembodied Gospel?

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Contents

Why Church?

Is it possible to steer clear of church and still be a good Christian? Many people would say yes to that question, and perhaps you would agree. You believe in God; you pray once in a while; you consider yourself a Christian; but you feel you can get along just fine without church. The important thing is how you relate to God, not how you relate to church. Right?

Wrong. Read more

Why Join a Church?

Alice was livid! This was the first time she'd visited this church. "The last time, too," she thought. The church had celebrated the Lord's Supper. "I've been a Christian for four years and the pastor had the gall to tell me to stay away from Communion," Alice fumed. "He asked those who are not right with God or his church to take steps to get right before coming to the Lord's Table. He included me just because I'm not a church member. How dare he!"

It's not uncommon in our day for sincere followers of Christ—like Alice—to regard joining a church as an option. And given the other options—books, tapes, videos, radio and TV broadcasts, Internet resources, parachurch groups, etc.—joining the church is sometimes low on the list—if it's even on the list! Many have never regarded committing to a congregation to be all that important—or all that agreeable. They are usually shocked to hear that Christians have historically regarded joining a church as essential, not optional. Read more

Is Church Membership Optional?

"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves." (Heb. 13:17)

God has given us his inscripturated word, unchanging, written in the Bible; he commissions the preacher to expound and apply that word to the situation facing us, driving it home in our lives as the carpenter drives the nail. The preacher speaks for God, because God has spoken in the Bible; his voice resounds with the familiar "Thus saith the Lord." Believers have the responsibility to listen and to evaluate everything heard in light of God's revealed truth. Read more

 
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