“You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian” Really??
Justin Bieber thinks so, but what does the Bible have to say?
In case the title of this post confuses you, let me fill you in – I’m going to talk about the importance of church attendance as a Christian. I decided to do this because worldwide superstar Justin Bieber recently made some comments about church attendance that worried me.
In an interview with Complex magazine, Justin said the following:
Christians leave such a bad taste in people’s mouths, even myself. I had these church friends and I was like, you guys are cool, I like you guys, but I’m not going to church. It doesn’t make you a Christian just by going to church. I think that going to church is fellowship, it’s relationship, it’s what we’re here on the earth to do, to have this connection that you feel there’s no insecurities. I think that’s where we need to be. Like I said, you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.
You’ve probably heard this whole “I don’t have to go to church to be Christian” stuff before. To be very honest I used to have the same attitude. And there is some truth to it. You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. But if you want to stay a Christian; well that’s a whole different story.
Church helps you stay strong
Being a Christian means believing that Jesus died on the cross so your sins can be forgiven, and then living your life following him. And yes, you can believe this and live by it without going to church.
BUT, if you want to maintain your Christianity, if you want to deny your flesh and live for God wholeheartedly, then church attendance has to be a major factor in your life. This isn’t just my view; this is stated in the Bible itself! Hebrews 10:24-25 says,
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.
The Bible clearly states that meeting together is essential, especially in the last days. Being a Christian is hard enough in this generation. In this era full of sex, drugs and alcohol, it’s almost impossible to keep your eyes fixed on God. This is why you need other Christians to help you, other people who are running the same race as you. You need people to pick you up when you fall and to encourage you. The church is one body, with different parts which function together for one goal.
Church helps you—and you help the church
Acts 2:42-46 describes the early church:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
Even the early church knew the importance of meeting together. It was so crucial for them that they devoted themselves to meeting together EVERY DAY.
Okay, obviously every day is a lot, but this just shows how important church is. To be able to be around people who have things in common with you, and to worship Christ together. To be able to hear sermons and messages that will help in your walk with Christ. To be encouraged by others, and to be an encouragement to them too.
Go to church with the right heart
Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are some weird churches out there. Not all are credible and helpful for the building up of your faith. But don’t let that deter you. I went to a lot of odd churches until I found one that suited me and would help me grow. Sometimes you just need to try them out before you find the right one
I get what Justin Bieber is saying. Christianity isn’t just all about church, and the main aspect is having a relationship with Christ. There’s no point going to church and doing all the right things, when your heart is not right before God. But that still doesn’t mean that you should neglect the wonderful gift of Christian community that God has given you to help you in your walk.
How do you find the right church? Take a look at this article for some ideas.