Is a Churchless Christian a Thing?
A churchless Christian is as absent from the New Testament as an unbaptized one. And a churchless Christian makes as much sense as a librarian who doesn't work at a library or a sister with no siblings.
Yet today, Christians who rarely or never attend a church are viewed as New Testament normative. But are they? Did we contribute to the confusion that churchless Christians are a thing during Covid-19 by saying things like "online church" or "join us virtually?"
Did we contribute to the confusion that churchless Christians are a thing during Covid-19 by saying things like "online church" or "join us virtually?"
Has the constant, unnuanced, mantra of "Christianity is not a religion, but it's a relationship" furthered the mindset that church is unnecessary at best and unbiblical at worst? Perhaps the concert-like, attractional, worship services that target the unbelieving and unchurched have ironically caused the believing and the churched to view gathering with the church as optional, since they are already "saved."
I challenge you to find any place in the Bible where Christianity is churchless. You won't. Christianity is to be expressed, and lived-out in the context of a church. There's no "just-me-and-Jesus" described or prescribed by the apostles.
There is no Groom without a bride.
There is no Head without a body.
There is no Cornerstone without a building.
There is no Christianity without a church.
The nearly thirty "one-anothers" sprinkled throughout God's Word are to be ministered in the arena of the church. These are also called "spiritual graces" and they are only on display as Christians do life together, up-close, in-person, with the gathered church. We can't love one another in isolation. We can't encourage one another if one or both of us is sitting miles away, on our easy chair, "watching church," while wearing our pajamas.
The nearly twenty spiritual gifts of speaking or serving that are listed in the New Testament are almost impossible for us to utilize consistently when we are habitually absent from the gathered church. How many of our spiritual gifts that God has endowed us with to bless the church, regularly remain in our homes, or sit on the grandstands of our children's ball games, or take in the recreational sun along with us, every Lord's Day?
Don't be fooled, Friend. There's no such thing as a churchless Christian. There is such a thing as a worldly Christian, however. There is a Christian who has been so conformed into the current culture that they view the church as supplemental instead of supernatural.
Don't be that Christian.