Today’s guest post comes to us from Scot McKnight, a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. Scot has also authored more than fifty books and is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.
Evidently Justin Bieber — somewhere, I don’t know where — said going to church makes a person no more Christian than going to Taco Bell makes you a taco. (Not as rigorous as piece of logic as it could have been, but that’s for another day.) The Rev. Mark Woods responds by listing five reasons for going to church:
- Church stops me from being selfish.
- Church expands my mind and spirit.
- Church anchors me in a tradition.
- Church makes me pay attention to God.
- Church is where God is most visible. Church is the test-bed, the training-ground and the shop window for a new kind of living. Most of the time, I like going to church.
Each of this is true; each of these is a benefit to the person; each of these, except the fifth, focuses on what the individual gets from going to church. His fifth opens up a different path to re-envisioning the other four (if not eliminating them).
We don’t so much “go to church” as we “participate in church.” We don’t “go to church” just on Sundays but we are church all week long in our various fellowship encounters. Church is a people in fellowship with one another under king Jesus. Too often we see “church” as a Sunday morning event. This is why we so often talk about “going to church.” We are better off saying we are “being church” with others.
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