Every so often a group of my friends get together for a weekend of fellowship and praise. It’s great fun staying up playing guitars and drums and singing praise songs. Needless to say since it happens on the weekends the topic of what to do for church always comes up. I am always the only Catholic in the group and so I of course just go to the phone book and find the nearest Catholic church (which is very hard in NC btw). My friends will usually go to whoevers church is in that town. When we are somewhere that nobody lives, they just have “church” in the living room. One time they said they had “church” in the car.
Although they respect my wanting to get to a church they don’t seem to understand why I feel it’s so important that I make it to Mass. I started a discussion with some of them on this topic and I still haven’t figured out how to explain the difference between going to church on Sunday versus just meeting with friends and reading scripture.
They usually use the scripture that says, “Where two or more are gathered in my name…” But I read somewhere that in context that verse really has nothing to do with where the ‘church’ is and that it’s really dealing with the elders coming together to make decisions.
I can see the difference between Mass and bible study. What is the real difference, if there is one, for some non-liturgical Protestants between church on Sunday and just going to a bible study? How do you explain, in Protestant terms, why it’s important for them as well to do more than just gather in a small group and say they had “church”?