Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Online Church Membership? TOVIM (taste of vomit in mouth)

 Is it OK to attend an online church vs. a local church?
[Profile- A young adult female in the U.S.A]

Surprisingly to me I have been asked this question before.
The answer is NO it is not OK to substitute church attendance or membership for a computer screen if you can go worship and fellowship with believers.  Yes it is wrong if you substitute a  canned “rock star” preacher for fellowship of the church whom Jesus Christ calls His “body “.
And really, how can you call watching a computer screen attending?

 Jesus went to public worship.  He did not lay in bed and ask people to take notes and come back and tell him about what was said.  He was and is a participant in worship.

 Luke 4:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.”

We need other brothers and sisters to encourage, pray for us and to even correct our bad thinking.  We are a part of the body and are useful to each other.

1 John 1:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

So, two thousand years of worship WITH the saints forfeited for a computer screen?
Do I have to answer that?
You are worshiping with the fellowship, the body, fellow believers in the flesh, the angels the saints in Heaven, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Himself (He said he was our High priest) when the church gets together.
Says who?
The Bible!

Hebrews 12:1-2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)         
“12 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Are you an invalid or what was used to be called a shut in?  Online church might then be OK.
But… I do not believe you could live anywhere in America where a local church would not want you under pastoral care to minister to you.   You can watch preaching all day long on the computer, and that is OK, but it is not church fellowship.

Do not cheat yourself and others.  You have much to receive, and give, with a local in the flesh fellowship.

When you hear the gospel declared of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ that tells us how the Savior paid the price to atone for our sins and take us to the Father one day, when this is declared and souls are saved and burdens lifted you will find - the computer monitor gives a weak high-five.
Sister, go and join a local body of believers and serve your King!

                                                   NO THIS CANNOT BE YOUR CHURCH!

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