My good friend Alan Knox has asked a couple of interesting questions of Christians who are not currently meeting with the church. I encourage you go look at his post and read the comments.
Let me throw in a related, if lengthy, question: Is it sinful for Christians to not meet with the church if there are no churches meeting near them who follow the biblical model?
I realize this question may seem unfair to some people. I'm just curious. What do you think?
We know that the model in scripture is for Christians to gather together on a regular basis. We see the expectation in Hebrews 10:24-25:
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (ESV)
"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (NKJV)
Today, in this country, most churches do not gather together in a manner that even resembles what we see in the New Testament. Because of this, many Christians feel convicted to not meet with this type of church. On top of this, there may literally be no church near them that they know about that is trying to follow the biblical model.
However, the bible doesn't seem to say that we should gather only with churches that follow practices we agree with. And, at what point does this end? Do we only gather with people we line up with in every area of church life?
On top of this, we should ask if there are certain practices that should keep us from gathering with other Christians.
I've purposely asked a loaded question because I really would like to know what you think.
Let me ask it again: Is it sinful for Christians to not meet with the church if there are no churches meeting near them who follow the biblical model?
Let me add another to it: Why or why not?