I feel like a hypocrit

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Sminasian, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Sminasian

    Sminasian
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    One of my favorite things about being a Baptist is church, and I love the fact that we have two services on Sunday. But lately, it seems I just can't back there for the evening service. I get involved in stuff, family comes over, etc... I enjoy the family time but feel I really should " practice what I preach" and not forsake the assembling . But it is HARD. I always end up feeling guilty afterwards, and feeling like I am not a good Baptist because I " missed
    " Sunday evening service. I think the pm service is one of the things that " sets us apart" and I love that. I also am grateful that I am healthy enough to attend as many services as I am offered in any given week, and that ( so far) I live in a country where I am ALLOWED to go to church twice on Sundays. There may come a day when we are so restricted, or that the sunday evening service attendance is down so much that pastors my just eliminate the pm service all together. That would make me feel even worse. This is a constant battle for me. I go through phases where I go to PM service for a while, then I don't go for while. What is wrong with me? Am I being selfish? Dis honoring to the Lord? I will admit I am in church for sunday pm service more in the spring and summer and fall, but the winter, many times I just cant bring myself to go back on a Sunday. What should I do?
     
  2. Iconoclast

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    If the family wants to come over on the Lord's day let them know in advance that they are welcome to come and worship with you at the evening service...but that you will be attending it as needful for your soul.....They can stay all day and night on saturday, but you and your family will be honoring the Lord's day.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    No need to feel like a hypocrite. Some Baptist churches have Sunday evening services and some don't. The Bible doesn't specify either one. Both are acceptable. My church does have a Sunday evening service.

    But here's the question. If you do have Sunday evening services, and you've quit going, you have to ask yourself why?

    The why is the important thing.

    Being there does not make you super Christian. [​IMG]

    NOT being there doesn't make you a heathen. You are going to have to seek God and pray and ask him to reveal to you whether this "guilty conscience" that's bugging is the Holy Spirit or just guilt over breaking tradition.

    Going every Sunday night out of duty is just as bad a refusing to go when you could out because rebelliousness.

    Seek God on this.
     
  4. Sminasian

    Sminasian
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    I haven't quit going, I just get caught up in other things or sometimes I am just too tired. One thing that convicts me is when my grand daughter( 8 years old) comes with me on a Sunday pm. She goes to another Baptist church with her parents but they never go to the sunday PM service. I happen to want to be a light to her and keep her grounded so I always take her with me to my church, she has a lot of friends there and likes the old time hymns and really enjoys being there with me. But its like if she isn't going with me I just don't go. Everyone in my family knows I " go" to church again on a Sunday evening and no one is stopping me or hindering me. Am I lazy? Perhaps that's the problem :tear: Now I feel horrible about it all
     
  5. PeterM

    PeterM
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    We gave up the evening service all together years ago... assembling together for corporate worship is great and we love it, but we got to a place where we recognized another worship gathering on Sunday doesn't necessarily help get the mission accomplished. I love to preach, but I would be out "being the church" than just "going to church."

    There's room for both... whatever you do, honor the covenant you have with your faith family and follow your pastors as God leads them.

    Blessings!
     
  6. Oldtimer

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    That's the decision that we made roughly 3 1/2 years ago, when we returned to church. Friends and family know where we'll be Sunday morning (no routinely scheduled evening services) and twice on Wednesdays - morning & evening Bible study + choir practice.

    That's a personal committment that we made. That barring an ox being in the ditch, when the church doors are open for worship and study of His word, we'll be there. IMO, it's a personal decision that each has to make. The key is that if you make that committment, keep it.

    When we drifted away from the church, it was easy to let other things guide our course. When we came back, it wasn't easy, especially at least at first, to keep the the lure of other things get in the way. Even today, sometimes it's hard to resist. Yesterday morning is a good example. Old age is catching up with me. It would have been so easy to say "I don't feel well" and stay home. I didn't and I didn't. (Not trying to toot my own horn, just saying we sometimes have to gird our loins.) BTW, glad we went. Rewards far outweighted the price paid.

    Interject a note here. Again, IMO. Attending church services is like putting money in the offering plate. It only means something of it is given gladly from the heart. It's being there because we WANT to be there, every time we cross the threshold.

    Sminasian, that's where you have to draw the line in the sand. You can be as much of a hypocrit for being in church when you DON'T want to be there, as staying away if you feel you should be there. One more time - IMO, God prefers that you to be exactly where you WANT to be on Sunday evenings. Want to be somewhere else Sunday evening? Don't go. Want to be at church Sunday eveing? Go! Don't let anything stop you. In this case, it's only when it's contrary to what's in your heart, to what you want to do, that you can be a hypocrit. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide. He can discern and lead far better than any one of us sitting a keyboard.

    Hope you can find some measure of help in these 2 copper coins.
     
  7. Scarlett O.

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    Very good, brother. :flower:
     
  8. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Amen...

    Ditto THAT...Excellent advise oh wise and sage Old one!:D For the record, the wife and I didn't make it out to church yesterday because neither of us were feeling too spiffy...but...when something like that happens I try to watch one of several excellent services that I know of that are available LIVE via the internet. That's exactly what I did last night at 6pm and I got a tremendous blessing from what I saw and heard. Not the same thing as being there but I'm thankful that it is available when needed. Let me know if you ever want some good links. I wouldn't ever advocate giving up attending church for them though. Thank God for the blessings of the PROPER USE of technology...Amen?

    Bro.Greg:saint:
     
  9. InTheLight

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    First of all, throw away the shackles of thinking you are "forsaking the assembling together" if you miss a Sunday night or two. Do you know the definition of "forsake"?

    Forsake
    1. To give up (something formerly held dear); renounce
    2. To leave altogether; abandon:

    Obviously, you are not renouncing your church attendance, nor are you giving it up or abandoning it. I don't understand how preachers can change the meaning of forsaking the assembling from the real meaning, "abandon", to their made-up meaning, "must be in attendance every time the doors are open".

    Secondly, God knows you enjoy going to church and he knows you enjoy family time. You are not dishonoring the Lord by not going to church twice on Sunday and spending time with your family.
     
  10. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Yes!!!

    Amen to THAT too!!! There is nothing in the Bible that defines the exact parameters of faithful church attendance in exact terms. I highlighted ITL's definition of "Forsake" just to make it boldly stand out. Sister...we are not under a "legal" requirement as such and God also expects us to see to the needs of our families as well (which,incidently was an institution that He put in place BEFORE the church even existed). You sound like a faithful believer with a decent heart who loves the Lord and wants to do right and please Him. Never let anyone browbeat you into thinking that you have to meet their expectations and their arbitrary schedule. We should assemble with other believers for worship and fellowship...but not to satisfy some Baptist "popes" requirement. Be humble before the Lord and do the best you can....FOR HIM. Good post ITL.

    Bro.Greg:saint:
     
  11. just-want-peace

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    It took me some six+ decades to realize that I am NOT responsible to meet the expectations of others; only accountable to HIM!!!
    The accompanying spiritual freedom was unbelievable!!!:thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  12. JohnDeereFan

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    That doesn't make you a hypocrite.

    It was always my understanding that the evening service is a little less formal, and is a kind of "bonus" service.

    In our church, it is, anyway. In the am service, the preaching tends to be "topical" more often, while, in the pm service, it tends to be expository.

    We do both. Personally, I prefer the pm service, especially in the wintertime.

    If you don't want to go, then don't go. It's a heart issue. It doesn't necessarily make you a hypocrite.
     
  13. Magnetic Poles

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    I always viewed multiple services as a way to have options, and opportunities for those who can't come early. Of course, nothing wrong with going to both if you wish either. Nor is saving evening or morning for yourself and your family.
     
  14. Sminasian

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    Thank you all for your honest input. I was always told that to miss a service is forsaking the assembly. So, you can imagine if I were sick or something. The guilt was terrible. And like one of you said( sorry I cant recall who), if it becomes a duty than that is not what God wants. To me it is a huge burden because I live with my elderly parents both 84, my mother is blind and needs a lot of attention. To run out on them on a sunday night just to keep good attendance is ridiculous. Of course I love the Lord Jesus more than my parents, but they need me here more than the preacher needs to know that I " showed up". I think it is all a matter of balance. Sundays in our house is family day, meaning my daughter and her family come to visit my parents, and they enjoy the day with the great grand daughters. So I am supposed to abruptly get up and say" see ya, kids, mimi has to run to church"? Do I get my mother ready for bed at 530 pm on a hot sunday summer afternoon just so I can run out to church ? How thrilled she must feel when I do THAT. I think that is terrible. I want to encourage her to stay up until it gets dark, watch tv, talk, etc... she needs that for her emotional health.

    I am feeling so worn out, always being in church mode, it is stressing me out, yes, we are not bound to any " legalism" , grace and the blood of Christ covered all that, but sometimes it is those" un written" rules that make people cringe at the thought of " breaking" tradition. My daughter and her husband are saved, so is my 7 year old grand daughter, the baby is 1 and we are preparing her for the gospel. Its not like I am around a lot of people who are not saved, and who don't " get it". We all get it, and we are " getting" stressed and worn out. Thanks again for listening. You are a bunch of great people
     
  15. JohnDeereFan

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    It depends why you miss. Obviously, if you're sick or out of town or you have a job like firefighter or policeman, then you're not just running off and ignoring your obligation to the Church.

    As somebody who has taken care of ill, elderly grandparents, something you might want to consider is that, while you might feel guilty about leaving them alone, it might be a good thing for you to relieve some of the stress of being a caregiver.
     
  16. Oldtimer

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    What do you mean by "always being in church mode"? There are a couple of different ways to respond here, so IMO, it's better to wait to find out why you chose to use those words to describe your situation. Don't want to read into your words what you didn't say - one way or another (positive or negative).

    BTW, better half has serious medical issues. Sis, living with us for many years because she can't live alone, has growing health problems, too. So, part of my question comes from being a long term caregiver, as well.

    Just want to make sure I'm understanding what you've written, in the way you intend, and not end up heading in the wrong direction. Keyboard conversations have a tendency to do that very thing. :type:
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Amen to that...:applause:
     
  18. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Our church has taken an interesting tack, and it's really working out well. Our Awana and children's ministries (choir, youth orchestra, etc.) are now on Sunday nights and we have a service resembling what we used to do on Sunday nights on Wednesday, where we used to have all those other activities. We've moved our adult choir rehearsal to Tuesday so as not to interfere with the midweek service. I find much more value in attending a midweek service to recharge the batteries, rather than attending two services on Sunday night.

    There is also an adult choir rehearsal early Sunday evening before all the other activities start, as well as the adult orchestra rehearsal being on both Sunday and Tuesday at the same time. We made that arrangement for those choir and orchestra members who found it difficult to rehearse Sunday late afternoon/early evening. We have found that our Wednesday evening service attendance has doubled over the previous Sunday turnout, since we went to this schedule. All Wednesday is for now is worship, and I think most people find it refreshing and comforting to have that opportunity to leave the first part of the week behind and go into the presence of the Lord to get ready for the rest of the week.

    I too liked the Sunday night services, but there was that longing for something in the middle of the week. The Bible study, even though pastor-led, that we used to have then just didn't "cut it" for most of us, I don't think. I like this, however, much better. In my view, at least, it is more practical. I believe attending a service just because its "there" is a poor excuse for attendance. If it isn't doing anything for me, if there are, in my mind, better, family-oriented things to do rather than go out of obligation, I believe the Lord would rather I do those activities rather than show up because I'm "obligated." That's not service or worship. It's drudgery.
     
    #18 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jun 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2013
  19. pk4life

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    If you want to know what the acceptable number of services to miss in a given period of time, just look at your churches constitution, it may be in there.

    Our previous church revoked membership after 6mo. of no attendance.

    There it is! :smilewinkgrin:

    (I better make a disclaimer as to the fact I'm being facetious, in case the smiley didn't do the trick)

    Extra smilies couldn't hurt either... :tongue3::thumbsup::saint:
     
  20. dh1948

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    You and I are in the same boat!! How liberating it is to discover this freedom.
     

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