No you cant

Be a Christian and not go to church…….
I am not talking about being a paid up member of some institution, I am not talking about some religious Sunday Christian who makes sure their name gets ticked off the role.
I am talking about being a part of Christ’s body.

Being a Christian means belonging to Christ, and being ‘belonged’.
I wonder if the last couple of decades of Christiandom with its emphasis on ‘personal salvation’ has swung too far.

The idea of being a Christian means being part of a community of believers, a corporate body.
Belonging to Christ, being responsible to your local expression of Christ.

What does this mean?
Can we be part of the body of Christ over the internet? Or while watching our favourite preacher on TV……Maybe. But I don’t think its ideal. Its to easy to be insular.

Part of being the body of Christ means being outward focused, playing our part.

6 thoughts on “No you cant”

  1. Mark, I strongly agree with the heart of what you’re saying here. But can I suggest that (in my mind at least) your first sentence needs to be altered somewhat. I’d suggest that you cannot “be a Christian and not be a part of church.” That does require all the things you’ve listed (belonging to Christ, being part of a community of believers, being responsible to a “local” expression of christ). But it takes the emphasis out of church being something you “go to” and into something you participate in. Because I know plenty of people who “go to” a church, but far fewer who participate in the life of the church. And that’s what it’s about.

  2. I agree…but I am deliberatly being provacative, and using the language people use to excuse their behaviour.

    and…btw…have you got my blog on speed dial? Thats the quickest response to a posting ever… 🙂

  3. I hear both of you. For most people, participating in church means going somewhere. If you’re meeting with others, someone’s got to say it doesn’t have to be in my living room! But yes, it is far more than just ‘meeting’ as well.

  4. Just RSS Subscribing on a slow work day! 🙂

    I guess I just get frustrated at the mindset that “going to a church” and “being part of a church” are the same thing. It’s such a consumerist mindset that (especially in a church like the one I’m a part of with 400-500 people) can cripple churches.

  5. I am wondering is there a difference to being a part of the church and being a part of the Body?

    When is the Body the Body? When it’s gathered?, dispersed? Both?

    No – we are not a part of the Body watching telly.

  6. when are you married?
    when you are with your wife?
    when you are not?

    Its about a understanding, for some a covenant, for some its looser, for some its more formal….but for all, its about being in a relationship of accountability with a group of people.

    I like the idea of the Jewish synagogues…where a certain group of people, who had been dispersed, needed to form community apart from the main temple. They needed to gather, they needed each other, they met, they went to be with each other.

    I know my statement had raised more questions….but I feel we need to stand against the laziness of not meeting (by which I mean gathering together Heb 12), as much as we do the laziness of consumerism.

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