Church is for believers

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Tom Butler quote: CLICK HERE

    I happen to agree with this quote. (whether or not it's in context is your decision, but doesn't have to be argued)
    I would take it even further, and say that we are to AVOID bringing unsaved people into church buildings on Sundays.

    Why do I say this?

    We have six days to work, and all six days and all of our lives are meant to proclaim God to the lost.
    We are given this one day to become renewed and refreshed. Church is a time of fellowship with like minded people, a safe haven from the world. We are there to learn, worship, and be renewed and prepared for the next six days.
    Bringing in the unsaved does the following:

    1. Defeats the purpose of gathering together the church.

    2. Allows unbelievers to feel welcomed in a spiritual setting without having accepted the reason for the church's existance.

    3. Puts the focus on the unsaved, when the purpose of the meeting is to focus on worship and fellow believers.

    4. Creates a feeling of...hmm, can't think of the word. Maybe "edginess". We have to have milk sermons, and then we can't really grow.

    Do we kick out the people who do try to come in? Of course not!
    However, my feeling is that whenever someone new comes in, they should be greeted. The saved person will happily make a profession of faith. The unsaved one will not, and then they can be taken aside and presented with the Gospel.
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I might be wrong in my interpretation of this, but the Bible seems to say otherwise. The effects of the lost coming to Church are described rather positively here:

    1 Corinthians 14:24-25

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Bob Farnaby

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    Agree with this mostly, would never actually seek to dissuade anyone from attending a meeting of the church, but the prime focus is the church (christians) meeting together.

    I particularly agree with your second point, is sometimes a case of making unbelivers that comfortable that they are active participants in the 'worship' (can an unbeliver actually worship God?).

    The use of unbelivers to do things like read, sing, help with kids, maintenance(apart from normal commercial stuff) play music, etc. devalues the church.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  4. genesis12

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    Wow! I've never thought about the info in the OP! I think if an unsaved person and I wanted to sit beside each other in church, that would be okay. Yes, I would invite an unsaved person to sit with me, or at least to attend a service, maybe even several services. And I understand the being refreshed attitude for believers, as well. In all things I want to be true to scripture. That's why I fall asleep with my nose in the Bible, a commentary, basic theology .. ;)
     
  5. Ransom

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    Joseph_Botwinick says:

    The effects of the lost coming to Church are described rather positively here

    All Paul seems to be saying is that there might be an unbeliever present, and therefore the church should conduct itself in an orderly fashion.

    He doesn't suggest this is the norm. Remember, at the time, the church wasn't considered a public place as it is today; they met in homes. It seems obvious that any unbelievers who showed up would have been invited guests.

    I'd say that the application of the passage (beyond what Paul himself says about the exercising of spiritual gifts) would be: Don't be weird; you'll embarrass yourselves and create an unnecessary stumblingblock. But there's an unwarranted leap between that and saying that Christians are to tailor their whole church program around the evangelism of the lost.

    There are six days of the week we spend interacting with the world. Can we not carry out the Great Commission then, and leave a few hours on Sunday morning to do our own stuff?
     
  6. James_Newman

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    Well, I think that an unbeliever in the congregation is probably to be the exception rather than the rule. 1cor 14 uses the example of an unbeliever coming in, but then in verse 26 says let all things be done unto edifying. Edify who? The church of course.

    1 Corinthians 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh, with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

    1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

    Many churches seem to believe the purpose of gathering together is for evangelism. We try to get some lost people to come to church so the pastor can preach the gospel to them and get them saved. That really should be what we do before they come to church. There is nothing wrong with the pastor preaching the gospel for the benefit of those who may need to hear it, but the primary purpose of the pulpit ministry should be the edifying of believers.
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Ransom,

    I don't believe that Church should be tailored to please unbelievers. Neither do I believe they should be excluded from Church.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  8. OldRegular

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    I will agree that "lost people" cannot worship God since He must be worshipped in Spirit and truth and only through Jesus Christ.
     
  9. DeeJay

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    Let me see if I have this straight.

    Sorry unbeliever, I go to church for myself. Sunday is the only day I get to relax and refresh from all your unbelief which is tireing enough. After all you have 6 days I just want to take one for myself.

    My first problem is I do not go to church for myself. I go so the Lord can teach and use me. There are two commandments Love God and love your neighbor. These commandments are the same. You can not love God if you are not loving your neighbor.

    When a lost person is in our churches, it is all peoples job in the church to be of service to this person. This means spreading the gosple as well as taking care of needs. We should bring lost people to our church for the express purpose of showing them love. Loving your neighbor is worshiping God.

    For all you people who want a sunday off from your lost neighbors. You would be better off skiping church and serving the Lord in say a nursing home, soup kitchen, knocking on doors. Whatever, it is not about you and what you want what you think you need. It is about serving the Lord and what he wants you to do. Love your neighbor.
     
  10. Hope of Glory

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    I don't think anyone is saying that you should exclude anyone from the service (unless, of course, they are disruptive); all that is being said is that evangelism is not the primary purpose of the church meeting.
     
  11. Gina B

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    DJ: Let me see if I have this straight.

    Sorry unbeliever, I go to church for myself. Sunday is the only day I get to relax and refresh from all your unbelief which is tireing enough. After all you have 6 days I just want to take one for myself.


    Gina: Yes. God even gave himself a break from the world after six days.

    DJ: My first problem is I do not go to church for myself. I go so the Lord can teach and use me. There are two commandments Love God and love your neighbor. These commandments are the same. You can not love God if you are not loving your neighbor.

    Gina: How is this not loving your neighbor? If you love your neighbor, you will have told him about Christ before he wandered into your church. As pointed out, if an unbeliever comes into your church, he/she should be taken aside and given the plain and simple gospel. How impersonal is it to sit there and expect them to understand theology and worship before he/she understands Christ?

    DJ: When a lost person is in our churches, it is all peoples job in the church to be of service to this person. This means spreading the gosple as well as taking care of needs.

    Gina: Of course. They have no cause to be in the church, but if they come, by all means take them aside and tell them about Christ.

    DJ: We should bring lost people to our church for the express purpose of showing them love. Loving your neighbor is worshiping God.

    Gina: Why should we do that? A church is a gathering of believers. If you care about your neighbor, tell them about Christ yourself. That's your job. That's your calling. That's what being a Christian is, you believe and then you tell others. Then they join the church.


    DJ: For all you people who want a sunday off from your lost neighbors. You would be better off skiping church and serving the Lord in say a nursing home, soup kitchen, knocking on doors. Whatever, it is not about you and what you want what you think you need. It is about serving the Lord and what he wants you to do. Love your neighbor.

    Gina: No thanks. I enjoy my day off. Yes, it is about me, if that's the wording you choose to use. I have an obligation as a Christian to be spiritually fit. I cannot be spiritually fit if I am spiritually exhausted. Neither can you.
     
  12. DeeJay

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    This is exactly what the OP is making an argument for.

    I am going to have to agree for different reasons. If this is the selfish attitude of your church then the lost world is better off not knowing it even exists. As a matter of fact if this is what your church is all about then this world would be better served if it was buldozed an a taning salon was put in it place.

    By all means dont bring people into a church with this attitude. Hopefully they will stay home and read their bible or find a church that is not so self absorbed.
     
  13. DeeJay

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    Gina: Yes. God even gave himself a break from the world after six days.

    Please show me in the Bible where Jesus avoided unbelievers on the Sabbath to give himself a break. I think you will find the opposite.

    Gina: No thanks. I enjoy my day off. Yes, it is about me, if that's the wording you choose to use. I have an obligation as a Christian to be spiritually fit. I cannot be spiritually fit if I am spiritually exhausted. Neither can you.


    "Yes it is about me"

    Kind of says it all. [​IMG]

    Carry on with what you see fit.
     
  14. James_Newman

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    Can you show a single scripture to back up your contention that we should be filling the pews with unbelievers on Sunday mornings?
     
  15. standingfirminChrist

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    How about 'Inasmuch as ye did it not unto the least of these my brethren, ye did it not unto me'?

    If an unbeliever is not welcome to come to your fellowship to learn of Christ, maybe Christ does not feel welcome there either.
     
  16. James_Newman

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    Who said they were not welcome? If they can sit through one of my pastors sermons, God bless them, they deserve to be saved. But the purpose of coming together as a body is not for making new converts, it is for teaching those who are already believers.

    1 Corinthians 14:1-5
    1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
    2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
    3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
    4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
    5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh, with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

    1 Corinthians 14:22
    22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

    Would you tell Paul that he ought not prophesy, because he isn't making the neighbors feel welcome?
     
  17. Gina B

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    Why would I show you where Jesus avoided unbelievers on Sundays? I didn't say he did. I said, rather jokingly, that God himself took a break from the world after six days. (created the world in six, rested on the seventh)
    While it wasn't meant too seriously as pertains to this thread, it does still show that it is good to have a day of rest in order to be refreshed, and that means both spiritually and physically. In fact, now that I think about it, it can be taken a lot more seriously than I meant it to be when I typed it!

    It is noted that you didn't comment on my statement about having an obligation to be spiritually fit. Was there a reason you avoided it?
    BTW, no need for tears. It's about you too. If it wasn't about us, Christ wouldn't have died and we wouldn't be having this discussion at all.
     
  18. Hope of Glory

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    How does this statement in any way make you think that anyone is saying they should be excluded? It says they are "incidental".

    We are to go out into the world and evangelize; not conform to the world in order to fill the pews.

    Church meetings are for edifying one another; they are for fellowship; they are for worship; they are for teaching and preaching.
     
  19. DeeJay

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    So I hope you dont need anything from God on Sunday. He sure needs a day to rest and refresh. I hope you dont distirb him with your prayer and needs. After all he gives you the other 6 days of the week. And Jesus is our example, if he heeled the sick on his day of rest, we would do well to follow.

    Let me speak to it now. I become spiritually fit by doing the will of my Father. My heart is changed by service. My heart is changed by doing everything I can for my neighbor. I love to sing songs to my God. But that is like joging when serving my neighbor is like sprinting. Real spiritual fitness comes from "love your neighbor"

    SFIC, Has it exactly correct. This whole thread saddens me.
     
  20. James_Newman

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    Then be sad, you still haven't shown a scripture to back up your argument. Unbelievers are not brethren until they become believers.

    I never met a man that could sprint 7 days a week and not take time to eat. Going to church is being fed. You have to be renewed spiritually or you will burn out. God knows this.
     

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