Recently, I was criticized for attending church via the Internet. I was told that it was not real church and that I was just trying “do something to get by”.
“Ha!” was my response. “I don’t have to do anything to get by. This is what I prefer. I enjoy it.”
Then I was given this quote from the Bible in Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
“Hmmm. Let’s see. We all come together on our computers or mobile devices. We chat, share scripture, discuss scripture, share testimonies and even hear singing. Sounds like an assembly to me.”
“But you need to be in a church?”
“Oh but I am the church? Aren’t you?”
So many people forget that “church” is not the stack of bricks or the pile of wood where everybody gathers on Sunday. That is just a building. If it fell to the ground today, is the church dead? Of course it isn’t. If you are saved, you are the church. If you are saved, the Holy Spirit dwells in you! Not in some building but inside of you!
You can assemble yourselves anywhere. Yes, even online. The early Christian churches did not have these expensive and immaculately equipped buildings. They gathered in the woods or at each other’s home.
Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. Romans 16:5
See that? Their house. They didn’t go out and erect this huge building, get a mortgage and then go out to recruit more members so that they can pay said mortgage. They gathered at their house. The gospel is simple: around and around, inside and out. Why can’t we just get back to the basics?
If I were speaking to the same person who chastised me for not “going to church”, I would probably get this response.
“God has blessed us with the ability to build these nice buildings and place the best sound equipment, Bibles and musical instruments. Why not use them? Just because we’re Christians, it doesn’t mean we have to be poor.”
The “poor” part, I will address in another blog.
I apologize to my WWJD people. But this is where I use your beloved slogan against you. What would He do? The better question is what did He do? Yes, Jesus preached in the synagogue. But wasn’t that to a people who didn’t follow Him to the hills and mountains where He did preach to thousands at a time. Jesus led a mega church while He was here on earth but He had no stadium. He did not build a large lavish building and tell the people to come to him. They would have done so. But where was the Lord? He was out there in the trenches with the people. Praise God. And we, the so called “modern” church, acquire a few followers and we want to take precious time to build an ridiculously big building. For what? Just who are serving? Could this be a monument to yourself? Is it a large dose of self indulgent accolades that you need to feed yourself to feel like the church you already are if you are saved?
So, having said that. To those of us who participate in the fastly growing trend of online Bible study, continue to study and to edify each other. You are probably reaching more people online than those local assemblies that gather for a few hours each week.
If you are saved, you trust in the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9) You are a member of the church, the body of Christ.
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” 1 Corinthians 12:27
The Holy Spirit lives in you. Therefore, where you go, the church is there also. You can praise God anywhere. You can share the gospel anywhere. You can study God’s word anywhere. Let no one tell you that because you choose to do it differently, that it is wrong.