Church attendance is one of the baselines for admission to THEO. Why?
Over the last three years, push back has grown about Church attendance, but the THEO Board has held firm in spite of many awkward conversations, often referencing Hebrews 10:25 – Do not forsake the assembling together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another. Even more as you see the day drawing near.
Recently when visiting with a THEO guest, the “why” hit me when the guest said he’s never left God but Church was never a part of his upbringing. For some reason, those words perfectly tied in and illuminated the book of Colossians, and I was able to articulate an answer – hopefully, a kind answer.
I replied, be careful before you throw out the Church. Colossians teaches that the Church is the body of Christ, and we should be careful before abandoning it, the body of Christ, as an old-fashioned habit disconnected from God. He wants us to be a part of the body. Jesus died for His body aka the Church.
Think of Ephesians 5:22-33 (not quoted word for word) says:
– Christ is head of the Church
– He Himself being the Savior of the body
– the Church is subject to Christ
– as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up for her
– so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word
– that He might present to Himself the Church in all of her glory, having no spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless
– v29 for no one has ever hated his own body but feeds it and takes care of it
just as Christ also does the Church
– 30 we (as the Church) are members of His body
Suddenly, a ton of cross-references on this topic bubbled up – all reinforcing the importance of the Church as the body of Christ, the importance of us (believers in Jesus Christ as Lord) being a part of a Church.
I Timothy 3:15 especially speaks
I write you so that you will know how one should act in the household of God,
which is the Church of the LIVING God,
the pillar and support of the truth (another translation says a support and bulwark of the truth)
There are many more cross-references, such as
I Corinthians 12:12-13
In the New Testament, Church is the Greek word ekklesia #1577 which means assembly – one of the translations references a gathering of citizens out of their homes in a public place
ek – out of
klesis – a calling
And God put all things under Christ’s feet, and He gave Him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
The THEO Board writes this message to help reinforce how important Church attendance and membership is to THEO membership. Circling back to Ephesians 5 which says:
so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word. We are made holy and blameless by being washed by God’s Word – not by the water in an Old Testament “laver,” bowl or basin. We cannot be washed unless we are routinely sitting in Church hearing the Word of God and being washed/cleansed by it, sitting under the leadership of Christ.
In summary, Church attendance is critical to THEO’s DNA and I am so thankful that God struck with a lightening bolt to further articulate the whys – only 16 years after THEO was founded:) His timing is perfect. Thanks for reading this to the end.