Many good thoughts, Aaress. Love one another. Forbear one another. Avoid evil speaking. Be kind one to another. Believe the best. Encourage, edify, exhort, Judge not–especially those who may have left a particular local church! Certainly don’t gossip or be a busy body. All good teaching and sound Biblical doctrine.
But a caution…the Bible does not teach in any way that our membership with a particular local church is like a “marriage” to each other or to the pastor/elders., In my understanding, we cannot and should not compare our local church to a marriage unless it is specifically to Christ. I am married to ONE–Jesus Christ. I am His bride. I belong to Him. He is the head of all true Biblical local church assemblies throughout the world.
Consider what it really means being the bride of Christ. My loyalty and faithfulness is to Christ. My union is with Christ. My fellowship is with Christ. My love is for Christ. My heart overflows with Christ. My intimacy is with Christ. My thoughts are on Christ. My devotion is to Christ. My service is to Christ. My submission is to Christ. My obedience is to Christ. The church is the body Christ.
Because of this, I may freely leave a particular “local church” assembly if I am not in agreement with the ministry direction and ministry goals. I may leave if I disagree with the teaching. I am free to leave and unite with another local church of Bible believers without any condemnation or judgment from Christ.
There are many good Bible centered churches with members who love the Lord Jesus Christ. As believers we should unite with the local assembly Jesus directs us to and remember we are the bride of Christ.
Hi Mr. Wychopen,
Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate it!
I definitely agree that the focus isn’t to be that you are married to your church—the Bible certainly does not instruct us that our church members are our spouses. But, I guess my point was that in our relationships and dealings with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ—even those we don’t attend church with—-we should practice the same love—-genuine, unconditional love—that God would expect us to have in a marriage.
We are certainly able to attend different churches based upon our needs and free to come and go without condemnation or judgment, but it is crucial to make sure that God led us away from that church —- and not our own likes and dislikes.
At the end of the day, it’s all about Christ! If our hearts are right with him, our relationships with those around us will be Christ-led and Spirit-filled!
As a once regular churchgoer, I recognise what you say Aaress.
A few months ago I was reading the bible and this verse struck me
Gather together and com assemble, you fugitives from the nations. ISA 45:20 I dunno I guess that’s what we are, fugitives.. fugitives from the Law, and Christ is our attorney. Sometimes we all wanna run away.. but where to… Perhaps in this verse, and as a general principle God is telling people to run to him, collect together in one place, a bit like illustration of the shepherd and the sheep.
Last Sunday I attended church for the first time in 10 years. The message funnily was based on the parable of the lost sheep. It would have been nice to go this Sunday too. But unfortunately my week has been consummed with health issues/worries.
God bless, my tennis friend.
Thanks for the comment — sorry it took so long to post, but I completely forgot to check my personal site while I was in Indian Wells.
That’s fascinating that you heard a sermon about the lost sheep! I’ve been doing quite a bit of pondering over that passage in the last couple of weeks and hopefully will be jotting a few things done on here about the subject in the near future.
God is definitely our shepherd —drawing each one of us closer to Him to share a relationship, which is so much deeper than a religion, with him.
Hope you’re feeling better!
I understand what you are saying! Their is so much confusion going on in the body of Christ! The whole message I believe you are trying to say, is that we need to be faithful!!! Most people treat church like most people treat marriage! If things don’t go the way we want and how we want we get a divorce because their is “many fish in the sea!” We do church the same, if things don’t go the way we think it should be or how we want it to be, we leave because “we are all the body of Christ!” We use this phrase as an excuse to not be faithful. If God is not the author of confusion, then why would He lead us to a spouse or church that He didn’t want us to with? If you are truly led by the Holy Spirit you wouldn’t have to constantly remarry or jump from church to church! Think about it…..