Topic(s): Bible Authority, Church, Worship
(Note – this article contains multiple questions, they will be designated with a different heading to make it easier to read.)
You say if the elders say to meet, then we have to meet. Let me ask you something. If it is not found in the New Testament and it is not a command. Why would you have to obey an elder if it is not found in the New Testament? The Scriptures say that we are to obey our leaders, but if it is not in the Scriptures, why would that be against God? Man decided to make that a law it seems to me. An elder has the authority to lead the flock and to make sure it stays pure. He does not have the authority to make a law that is not in the holy Scriptures.
First, the Bible says the elders have the RULE over the local congregation. The Bible commands elders to feed, oversee, protect, and lead the flock. Therefore, they are at liberty to act in any way that does not conflict with any other biblical principle. The assemblies called in addition to the Sunday service are done for the good of the flock. Such assemblies promote worship to God, knowledge of His Word, and love for fellow brethren. It is NOT making a law where God has not made one. The early church met in some form every day. The result was a continuous growth of the church (Acts 2:47). Perhaps one reason the church is not growing as it ought is because people are not as dedicated to worship and study like the first century church. The answer to this problem would be MORE assemblies, and not LESS.
I have heard preachers get in the pulpit and say that you are not faithful if you do not come to the Wednesday or Sunday morning Bible classes. How can a man judge a person by that?
How could a person claim to love God and His church and refuse to assemble with the saints? How could they be considered faithful when they refuse to take advantage of opportunities to worship and fellowship with brethren? The Bible says by their fruits you will know them (Matthew 7:15-20). I have yet to find a Christian who could be considered in any way faithful who refused to attend all the assemblies. It all boils down to personal priorities.
You can not judge people by saying they must not love the Lord enough because they do not attend on Wednesday night. God is the judge and He only knows the heart of a person. We as man cannot judge just because people have decided to come together other times.
Again, we can judge based upon the fruit of one’s life (Matthew 7:15-20; John 7:24). Failure to assemble shows disrespect for the authority of the eldership, men who have taken it upon themselves to watch for our souls (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
Some people read and study at home and are faithful to His word.
In my 15+ years working full-time with the church, and in my life-long (38 years) association with the church, I have never met a Christian who was a diligent Bible student who refused to assemble with the saints. I have heard able-bodied people use the “I can study at home” argument for their failure to attend all the assemblies, but every single one did not know five cents about the Bible.
The Bible says do not forsake the assembling of yourselves as you see THE day approaching. What day was he talking about? We know, but we use this Scripture to try and bind a law of Wednesday night meeting.