By A. C. Quinn
There is a line in an old movie which so reflects the attitudes of many people when it comes to the subject of religion. One of the characters in the movie is encouraging a friend to attend a different church. She did so with the encouraging words, “God doesn’t care which church you go to as long as you show up now and then.” There are a number of problems with this innocent sounding theory, of which two will be discussed.
The first problem is that people have the idea that “God doesn’t care.” That is, God doesn’t care what individuals do religiously just as long as they are sincere in their endeavors. The first retort to this idea is the simple question: “If God doesn’t care, why did He give man a book of rules—yes, a book of do’s and don’ts”? Of course, that book is the Bible—God’s inspired word to man in which He directs man in the way the He wants him to go. Further, it does matter to God the church in which one worships. It was important enough that the blood of the Son of God was shed as the purchase price (Acts. 20:28, et. al.). It should be noted, too, that the purchase price was paid for one: There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:4-6).
The second problem with the thought that God doesn’t care is the idea that one can just “show up now and then.” This is actually what many people in the church do—show up now and then. To one who has a knowledge of the Scriptures, that is forsaking the assembling of the saints. The Christian is instructed not to forsake that assembling. Hebrews 10:25 so states: “…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.” The first Christians followed these instructions from the beginning (Acts 2:42; 20:7). Still, folks seem to think, by their actions, that God doesn’t care whether or not they attend worship services regularly. One has to wonder what these folks would think if God chose to answer prayers just “now and then,” or if He chose to forgive just “now and then.”
God does care! He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9); but He does expect His servants to be faithful unto death in order to receive the crown or life (Revelation 2:10).
- A. C. Quinn preaches for the West Main Church of Christ in Wolfe City, Texas. He may be contacted at email@example.com