I am deeply suspicious of those who think they can get along in the Kingdom of Heaven WITHOUT meeting with other Christians, the “I feel closer to God in the Wide Open Spaces“; brigade. This old Rosemary Clooney Hymn suggests a good way to think about God’s “Great Out Doors”.
“Oh the place where I worship is the wide open spaces, Filled by the hand of the Lord. Where the trees of the forest are like pipes of an organ, And the breeze plays an amen choir. All the stars are the candles and they light up the mountains; Mountains are altars of God. Oh, the place where I worship, is the wide open spaces; Where the sun warms the peaceful sod”.
Here’s a link to a rendition by Lorne Greene
Shure, you can worship God by yourself in the “wide open spaces”, but that has very little to do with being a Christian.
- Christians follow Jesus Christ!
Christians, by definition, are “those” who believe/follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is NOT “Some” of us, but “Those”, meaning ALL of us! What applies to one of us, applies to all of us. We can’t NOT join together and stay still true to the natural definition of Christians.
- What are we told to do?
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
This then, was the advice Paul gave to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 14:26.)
For me, this scripture from Corinthians covers this. The writer assumes that we WILL come together to meet, and that we WILL come together to worship, and we WILL come together to pray. To attempt to do these things alone is as futile as trying to play football by yourself. Christianity is a team game.
- Christians are Part of a TEAM
You can train for football by yourself, you can practice kicking, and dodging, and all manner of football things by yourself, but to actually play football, you need to a part of a team. Same thing applies to being a Christian, you can pray and meditate, and worship, and practice all manner of Christian things by yourself, but to actually be a Christian, you have to be part of a team; a fellowship of Christians. And you have to take your allotted part in that team – you can’t be the Captain, and the Coach, and the Key player, by yourself – you take your given part. Read the scripture from Romans 12 here4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.