Monday, May 15, 2006

Church Non-Attendance

I want to know who cut Hebrews 10:24-25 out of the Bible and when they did it? The verses in question say, "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 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."

It seems that huge numbers of people - even those who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ - don't take this command very seriously at all (which led to the question of whether or not they even know it's in the Bible, jokingly suggesting someone took scissors to their copy of God's Word). We have the statistics to back it up, too.

Courtesy of the Gallup Poll, here are the percentage of members who attend church weekly or almost-weekly:

Church of Christ (68%)
Pentecostal (65%)
Southern Baptist (60%)
Nondenominational (54%)
Roman Catholic (45%)
Methodist (44%)
Presbyterian (44%)
Lutheran (43%)
Episcopal (32%)

Even before I was a pastor, I never understood how people could make gathering together with other believers optional - if they have time for it, if it fits into their busy schedule, if they don't have anything else to do that day, if the weather's not too good (or too bad), if they don't have company, if they don't have other plans, or if the big game isn't on. In my mind, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you're in church on Sunday unless you're providentially hindered (by illness or some other mitigating circumstance). I wouldn't miss it, and I'm not saying that just because I'm a pastor!


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