Jump to content

Why Is Church So Important To The Christian Faith?


OnceConvinced
 Share

Recommended Posts

As a Christian I was always taught about the importance of going to church. How it recharged your batteries, kept you strong in your faith. You went there to be encouraged, learn, receive revelations, get a touch from God, fellowship with other Christians etc etc. And you hear how people who stop going to church backslide and return to their sinful ways.

 

But now as a cynic, doubting what I have believed for years, I now find myself asking, is that a crock of shit? I mean is the real reason people supposedly “backslide” because they are no longer being indoctrinated? In other words they no longer have the influence of church leaders, fellow Christians etc, misleading, convincing them, blinding them, brainwashing them, agreeing with them, reinforcing their beliefs, or what ever? If Jesus really was working in people’s lives, why does he need the church to do it? Why is it so god damn important, especially considering Jesus didn’t need to go to the temple to hear from God, he didn’t preach we should go to church, in fact he was spending a lot of time with non Christians.

 

I guess I’m looking for opinions of Christians and ex-Christians here. Or people like myself who are sitting on the fence now.

 

Can’t Christ keep our faith strong without going to church? So why doesn’t he? Why should it be so hard to keep the faith when not at church? It makes no sense if Jesus and the bible is to be believed. But yet, all Christians or at least the majority of them need church to remain strong. I think this is a fundamental flaw in Christianity. It shouldn’t be the case.

 

I know there will be many Christians who will use a similar argument to this: “A Christian should go to church, how can you call yourself one if you don’t? How can you call yourself a soldier if you don’t go to war? Or a student and not go to school? Or a swimmer, but refuse to go into the water, or a chef and refuse to go into a kitchen? But I would say, A chef will not starve just because he doesn’t set foot in a kitchen, a student will not forget everything he’s learnt, just because he no longer attends classes, The war will not be lost if one soldier refuses to fight. A swimmer doesn’t forget how to swim, so won’t drown if one day he does find himself in deep water….. So why why does a Christian have such trouble being a Christian if they don’t go to church? Should one be able to rely on Christ, rather than a building full of people? But it seems Christ can’t be relied upon. It seems we need other Christians other wise our faith dies……. HELLO???

 

Some of my questions have been rhetorical. But any comments or discussion are welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Christianity, like other religions, and cults or sects, requires the members to get re-instilled with the programming from the message. The meme virus needs to be refreshed on a consistent basis to have full effect. If you are left alone with your own thoughts, you will start thinking about things and realize how stupid it all is. And eventually you lose your faith. I think that's the real reason why I lost mine. I couldn't go to church for a long time. So that's probably the main reason why people have to go to church, to keep the brainwashing and mind-programming active. It's like the Bible says, "faith comes from the word" (something like that), and I think that is true. You will believe because you are indoctrinated constantly with these ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed, Jebus should be able to keep our faith magically strong without us needing to do a thing. We should not have those sorts of problems with a god who is supposedly all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. A god like that wouldn't even need us to go to a church - it would not have made a world into which evil could come, or would've cooked up a far better method for combatting evil than the one presented in the Babble.

 

Churchgoing is so important to Xians because, as you know, it's what helps keep so many Xians in the fold. Getting together to revel in what you believe and celebrate it with other like-minded people invariably strengthens your own belief. People who want to spread and strengthen a belief know this - just look at any political protest or cultural gathering. People getting together is a great, natural way to reinforce a concept. Church is basically that, getting people together to ram the Xian message home. Every pastor plays that to the hilt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

church is a bit like this chatroom or any chatroom....

the group dynamic is formed and used to support the member's in a certain belief system..

If a new comer's enter they are watched ....

the older member's gather together and usually form a tight cycle around the leader's.

 

Its the same old - same old, in all groups. Its often the case...that to scoff or ridicule means the person is not part of the 'church'...

that way teh status quo is maintained.

 

The easiest way to find out what its like not to go to chruch - is not to go to church.

 

You'll soon find that your belief or the strenght of it will begin to waiver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What you guys are saying certainly makes sense and I’ve been coming up with similar conclusions. I think another large thing that started me doubting the validity of going to church was actually belonging to a network marketing company a few years ago. It was called Omegatrend – a little like Amway. An Aussie company.

 

I found too many similarities between that business and church. In fact it was eerily like the secular world’s version of church. You went to meetings once a week to hear all about the virtues of the business. To see the business plan. You tried to convert others into the business and get them along to the meetings. Attending the meetings gave you more faith in the business. Kept you excited about it, hearing about everybody else’s successes etc. You had speakers up there preaching the business and what it’s done for their lives. They tell you it’s crucial to attend these meetings every week, to stay positive. Those that don’t go to the meetings are looked down upon. Those who drop out completely are REALLY looked down upon. Then you get all their great personal development books and tapes, which tell you all about positive thinking. The messages they preach are very the same as the Christian ones, except they don’t have Jesus starring in them, and come from a different perspective. The ultimate goal in the business is to evangelise (ok they don’t use those words) and bring more people into the business, everyone striving to reach the heavenly goal of being a Presidential and living the high life with all your converts below you.

 

It was a real eye opener for me, because I could see that the church was really no better than the Omegatrend business. It used exactly the same techniques and neither were all they were cracked up to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Church attendance is important (vital) for the same reason Christians are encouraged to separate themselves from the world and have only Christian friends/family--the better to reinforce the brainwashing.

 

It's really genius in it's simplicity. Doubts and questions are not encouraged by Christians. In fact, Christians will assist you in lying to yourself. (Sermons and apologetics.) You also feel bad and guilty and WEAK when surrounded by Christians who are "walking in the Spirit," while YOU have these doubts. Therefore, we see a form of peer pressure arise, as you prop yourself up with false spirituality and belief so as not to look "bad". You don't want to be the ONLY one who doesn't "get it", right? What's "wrong" with you, after all? Some hidden "sin" in your life maybe? Who are you, after all, to question god? And on and on the guilt trip goes.

 

And the people who can TRULY help you--we unbelievers--are kept at an arm's length, with a warning label..."KEEP AWAY! Worldly Wisdom Is At Enmity With GOD!" So you never get the help you need. You're being told that you're "free", when in reality you're a bird in a gilded cage. But be glad, for you sure wouldn't want the "false freedom" that sinners have. All that flying around "unprotected." Risking the "dangers of the world." Better you should remain under the guidance and control of the Holy Ghost. A "slave of righteousness". :Doh:

 

You've really got to hand it to the church. They've created a nearly impregnable brainwashing system. Even if a Christian doubter manages to break free of the "support system", the individual Christian still has his/her OWN fears in place that keeps them from questioning and running away. Having a god who can see you everywhere and know what evil thoughts of unbelief you think is a POWERFUL motivation to stay faithful.

 

Sheer genius.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's why im happy i grew up catholic and not from a protestant denomination. Most catholics only go whenever they feel like it, or on holidays. Nobody cared, or got on you for not going to church.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is really nuts is why they don't get bored in church. My parents are now both in their 60s and have been going to church every Sunday, and a lot of Wednesdays, since they were children. I quit going in my early 20s, several years before I actually concluded I didn't believe anymore. I had heard ever sermon possible so many times by then that I could virtually repeat them verbatim. Christians have a relatively small play book and every new sermon is just a form of some old sermon.

 

A few years ago I was pushed into attending one of their services (long story). The preacher gave a simple gospel sermon. I sat there wondering how the hell my parents could possibly be "nourished" or "lifted" or whatever else they expected to be after hearing that same sermon literally hundreds of times over the course of their lives.

 

Truly, it's like watching one of the Charley Brown holiday specials each week, week after week, year after year for 60 years. At some point you are going to want to shoot yourself if you see Linus in the pumpkin patch just one more time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeeeeup... same verses in the bible, different life metaphor.

 

or

 

same shit, different day... actually same sunday :grin:

 

<edit>

question: does the bible even say we're supposed to go to church? i honestly dont know, and i cant think of any verses that say so from the top of my head...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is really nuts is why they don't get bored in church.

 

Well that's how good the brainwashing techniques are.

 

Not only do they keep that going, but with the communities they create around it, it helps support the psychosis and makes church more bearable because you're hanging with church friends & whatnot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is really nuts is why they don't get bored in church.

 

Actually....the truth is worse. NO ONE is really truly listening to the full sermon! They can't.

 

I posted this somewhere before.....can't recall where though.....

 

But notice that no sermon ever happens FIRST thing.

 

First theres singing, then some praying, more singing, they review the bulliten, they take the offering.....sit stand sit stand........and the whole time they've got this nice lulling, soothing organ music playing in the background.......

 

Setting you up for NAP time!!!

 

By the time the sermon rolls around, part of your brain has been lulled to sleep!!!

 

Try asking someone what the sermon was about and hour or so after the service is over. At most they might be able to relate the first thing the minister said, maybe ther single bible verse the sermon was centered around....and then maybe the last things said. Sounds like they were paying attention right?

 

Really?

 

The minister was talking nonstop for twenty minutes or more!

 

And I would LOVE to have someone hooked up to a heart monitor the moment a parent or other respected authority figure asks the question: "So what did the minister talk about today?"

 

I just about guarantee the pulse rate jumps.

 

Why?

 

Becaue there's no way thanks to the lulling of the brain, that you are able to process everything!

 

And you feel guilt about feeling that you hadn't paid attention because you DON'T remember! Heck you remember stuff from school better than you remember a sermon! You must not really love jesus! Can't even pay attention to the Word! You're a bad christian! Better keep going to church until being asked "so what was the sermon?" doesn't feel like an interrogation!

 

But like I just pointed out...you are being lulled by organ music and vocal intonations (which ministers actually get schooled on). Unless you are aware of the manipulation.....you're going to be lulled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<edit>

question: does the bible even say we're supposed to go to church? i honestly dont know, and i cant think of any verses that say so from the top of my head...

There isn't one word about "Church Attendance", i.e. going regularly to some building to be bored to tears or instructed weekly on what you should know or do. It's just a convenient meme spreading technique. Hebrews 10 says not to forsake the assembling of one another as is the habit of some, but that is as close as the Bible comes to ordering church attendance. This verse has always been used to compel regular church attendance. However SOME Christians take this verse to mean don't DENY being Christian by shunning the other believers. (Not everyone enjoys going to church, I suppose. :grin: )

 

Also, if Christians are already "born again" and therefore FILLED with the Holy Spook, then WHY do they require regular church attendance to be TAUGHT? Especially when 1 John 2:27 says that you have NO NEED to be taught by man.

 

I suppose since this verse contradicts what the Almighty PAUL says about needing TEACHERS, that Christians just say "Fuck John". What the hell does HE know? He ONLY walked with Jesus personally, whereas PAUL got his word in a "vision". :wicked:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank You. That's what i thought!!! Good ol' Grinch. New i could count on you! If anyone brings that Hebrew verse to me, ill just give em my now infamous, "Yeah, but where in the bible did Jesus say we're supposed to go to church?"

 

If they refuse to accept that, then ill bring up your point. Ooh ooh ooh. Remember the new covenant also states in Jermiah and in Hebrews that man will not teach his neighbor about God again :grin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great points all round. White Raven you might be on to something there.

 

I think there are some churches that are actually quite fun. I guess it depends which one you go to. But yeah, the messages do tend to be the same. What gets me though are all the messages I've heard over the years that contradict each other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, White Raven is right. I read somewhere that the hymns and cadence of a preacher's tone sets the mind up into an state where people can be more easily hypnotized. But nobody realizes it because they don't think that anything bad is happening to them. They're all comfy and sleepy in the pews and don't think that they can ever be susceptible to brainwashing, even though it's happening right at that moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, White Raven, you just never heard me preach.

 

You'd probably still be a Christian. :HaHa:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, White Raven, you just never heard me preach.

 

You'd probably still be a Christian. :HaHa:

 

Nope. One semester of Social Psychology (which was actually a lot more fascinating than the Abnormal Psychology semester...go figure), and I just kept seeing social influence patterns everywhere. I quit reading about psychopaths and schitzophrenics, and started reading up on cults and the rest is history.

 

Any speaker that is so charismatic that they gather a following.....I learned to pay closer attention to the following sailors than the sirens song. The more seductive the message...the more defensive I get.

 

The means to have kept me a christian (I know me well enough to know) would have been through one on one discussions. Not a weekly broad appeal to the masses. I don't like the masses. So what appeals to them often repels me. Always has.

 

In short.....

 

NYAH NYAH NYYAAAHH! Can't get meeee! :P

 

 

P.S. Links about mass hypnosis in religion.

 

http://www.piney.com/BrainWsh.html

 

http://www.skeptictank.org/bfymind.htm

 

http://www.unknownnews.net/050611d-610up.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it has to do with being 'equally yoked' with fellow believers. I was told that I should go to church, but that it wasn't as important as 'having a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW! That was the most sincere, genuine point from an X memeber here that I believe I have ever seen. Hats off too you.

 

My thoughts are actually very similar, the only difference being I still believe and consider myself a follower of Christ. You are probualy wondering how that can be, since I will say that it has been almost 7 mths since my departure from my churchlife, going a couple of times since.

 

There is so much I can say, mainly from the Bbilical perspective in conjuction with what I believe. Dont get me wrong here, I believe fellowship with other believers is essentional, and upheld Biblically. I also believe that most modern day church is commercialized and marketed from the smallest to the largest degree.

 

The root of all evil is money. Money is something that has coinsided with many of the falsehhod doctrine and ritualistic reasoning widespread, yet they do need it. I think the root of the issue really comes down to the same problem that Gods people had when they demanded a King in Israel, to Samuel. God gave them a King and even until this day we are regulated by mans decision.

 

Modern day church folk need money to operate, and have pretended to pray, sow a seed, take a love offereing, etc. to camuflage the truth. If the money isnt coming, and the prayers are flowing, whats the deal. The deal is that we live in a technology based world with instant pleasure, comfort, and satisfaction. Many everyday lives never get to that breaking point unless tramadic things take place. When they do, God gets prayed to, then put back in His box until the next crisis. It is a fact that one person can ruin a whole group of people, Biblically; referring to the guy who took the loot from the overtaking of land in the Ot, and God removed His blessing temporarily resulting in executive preist intervention, orchestrated by God.

 

I look at the modern day church in the same effect, except the missing element is the preists(people) that know when something isnt right, and just pass it by as just the way it is. The sad part is that because the few in the place of Gods elect are hiding whatever it may be from an actual physical element to a purpose hidden in the heart; God already knows the intent. I believe thats when Gods people remove themselves from His realm, because they were never really there, just appointed to be seen as Gods elect from other people that were appointed higher than them; all regulated by man and His discernment, in which can become corrupt.

 

 

My ultimate thing that I say is what Peter said, I ought to obey God rather than man. Mankind fails with and without God, Christian or not, yet its the genuine ones that truly try to follow " the heart of God" that are the intervention in the world; In which also I believe thats why people like Martin Luther, the people of great revivals, have been in ways that breaker for His people and a net to many. Yet, the many still take advantage of it every day.

 

 

Lastly, money. Paul said to one of the churches set up that they should every man/woman for themselves put in a offering as they prosper, so that there are no more gatherings when he comes to visist, and collect the portion for the ones that traveled, or needy churches setup. Try teeling that to a church. You probualy wont get a response. The sad part is that Paul said many different things in which many churches pick and choose from, leaving them actually Paulians, and not Christians. i think I might trademark that. Paulians. :woohoo:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The root of all evil is money.

 

You mean the LOVE of money. ;)

 

The sad part is that Paul said many different things in which many churches pick and choose from, leaving them actually Paulians, and not Christians. i think I might trademark that. Paulians. :woohoo:

 

Reminds me of a lot of churches I've been to where the Pastor of the church is what everybody is listening to.

 

It's sad just how much some pastors are put on a pedestal. They are revered as much as Jesus himself. I remember one church in particular I went to. You had the head pastor and a lot of assistant pastors. The head pastor was a very charismatic person and the church is now huge. But I can always remember one of the assistant pastors saying something, which was different to what the head pastor had said. When I repeated this to someone in conversation it was like "Oh, that's what he said?, but the head pastor said this!" It really annoyed me that his preaching was taken more seriously just because he was the head pastor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The root of all evil is money.

 

You mean the LOVE of money. ;)

 

The sad part is that Paul said many different things in which many churches pick and choose from, leaving them actually Paulians, and not Christians. i think I might trademark that. Paulians. :woohoo:

 

Reminds me of a lot of churches I've been to where the Pastor of the church is what everybody is listening to.

 

It's sad just how much some pastors are put on a pedestal. They are revered as much as Jesus himself. I remember one church in particular I went to. You had the head pastor and a lot of assistant pastors. The head pastor was a very charismatic person and the church is now huge. But I can always remember one of the assistant pastors saying something, which was different to what the head pastor had said. When I repeated this to someone in conversation it was like "Oh, that's what he said?, but the head pastor said this!" It really annoyed me that his preaching was taken more seriously just because he was the head pastor.

 

 

I agree, and please understand that I am still a believer and follower. I have battled many of those same exact situations with my ex-wife and church staff. I believe that God makes useful the ones that look to him, some debate that, yet I believe He does. One day after church I was praying when I was directed to a certain verse, then directed to teel the associate Pastor preaching that night that God wanted you to have this for His sermon. I just wrote the verse, not even looking and gave it to him.

 

During the sermon, he made no mention of any verses and was touching on his " old day" church that used to have such enthusiastic services and how his mom would be praying and crying and they would be reaching out, etc..Well in this, I remeber him saying that what God gives him to say is what he will speak of and he isnt going to let any tricks of the devil get in the way of that. The crazy part is that my hair stood up at that point, going through contraversal times of " good church person" by the churches perspective. My pastor told me I needed stability, in which to a degree I did, yet, not in that realm. That was his confusion.

 

Anyway, I looked up the verse later and realized what I had given him. It was when Jesus was calling the scribes hypocites and liars and decievers, yet the funny thing is that the last of the verse went into how " they stoned the prophets, whom God sent to them".

 

Blew me away. Then to cap it all off, my wife about a week later mentioned the event. I never told her about it, and she said that the ass. pastor had spoke to her father and asked what was wrong with me. I showed her the verses, and she just looked at me and said God didnt tell me to give him that. The bottom line is that I could have told her until I was blue in the face that God did, getting nowhere; in which did happen early in the process of my action oreinted events of life. Learn and live. Now I just do and dont try to explain, just do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<snip>

The church is made up of imperfect human beings and each one at a different place in their spiritual union with Jesus. As long as I keep my eyes on the Leader I'm not bothered by the imperfections. There have been times when Christians have offended, hurt, and misunderstood me but I'm a believer in Jesus first and He enables me to see what He sees...The Church, His Bride, despite Her faults.

I also find that much of the Church is missing the most important message and that is experiencing Christ in a deeper way. It is more than just reading the Bible, going to church, witnessing etc. We forget the human side of His divinity and He just becomes this etheral all powerful King who grants our wishes when ever we ask. That's the way most believers are brought up in the faith. Pick up the latest editon of Charisma magazine or go to your local Christian bookstiore and you'll see what's important to the American church right now. So little of it actually resembles the Christ of the gospels.

 

Wow.

 

I've heard the cliche' "holier than thou" but I never thought anyone in their right mind would just come right out with it like that.

 

Did you proof-read this before you posted?

 

Within this post, you judge your fellow bretheren. Why? What has it to do with the OP? I find it very interesting that you did that. Particularly the bit about how, thanks to Jesus, you are able to gloss over the flaws of your siblings in christ, flaws which you describe as their disrespect of YOU.

 

Gee.

 

Misunderstanding, hurting, and offending Amy Marie are warts on the Bride's nose, thankfully Jezuz sees beyond these "flaws". :Wendywhatever:

 

And no, not everyone "loves" jesus the same way you do.......and you see your "love" as superior because it's more "personal" to your way of thinking.

 

You know what? I'm very glad now that you focus your romantic fantasies on Jesus. I think that is a very good thing. Particularly for politicians, world leaders, and celebrities. These folks would slap a restraining order on you for thais kind of adoration. But Jesus? You go right on with your "relationship" with him. Yeah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It's been very clear for a long time that you don't like me White_Raven. You have shown me this in one angry, cynical post after another. You said at the Lion's Den you were hoping I would leave. Looks like it's not for me to go.

 

I think what irritates White Raven the most about you is that you act like you know more than you do. You pawn off your information like you know more about what you're talking about than you do; and know exactly what your relationship is with God, and have no doubts or worries about any of that. We all know the truth is otherwise.

 

We here realize & know that we don't have all the answers, and that no one does. All anyone is doing is making an objective guess as to the best course of action. Which is why we don't appreciate people like you who act like you have no holes in your logic. And it's even more infuriating when you do the typical thing and avoid answering people directly altogether (seem to remember you doing that to me once too).

 

Hopefully you realize what you're doing, because it'll make things go a lot easier for you here, and in life.

 

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.