Responding to someone who says we don't need to go to church on sunday (building)


#1

A close acquaintance (non-denom, osas christian) states the following when we mention attending mass: “We are the church, the church is just a building!” She states that we do not need to go to a building to worship. Her position is that if she wants to stay at home with her family on Sunday that it would not be a problem. After all she says, the early christians met in their homes. How would you recommend I approach this issue? Should I approach this by mentioning Keeping the Sabbath and the necessity of assembling together as one(i.e.Heb. 10:25)? She is trying desperately to convince my wife of this revelation of hers.

I would appreciate any help. Thanks and God Bless…


#2

According to her lights she is right, which is one of the flaws in her theology. She wants the Church to be the very earliest model, it seems. If so, ask her why she isn’t living in a communal setting, giving all she earns to the group? After all, that what they were doing in Acts of the Apostles.


#3

Refer her to the Didache. It’s a fascinating document and a good glimpse at the early Church. It is very clear that they had organized gatherings with a liturgy, and everyone was not free to stay at home and do what they pleased.


#4

First of all the reason why they were in homes was because it was not safe to have a church building. Also from what I understand it wasnt just jumping from Christian house to house, as in “one Sunday we will celebrate at your house the next Sunday at mine” there were special homes that were where Paul was talking about that people regularly met at.

Anyway in 1Cor11 it says:
18 For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. … 33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another– 34 if any one is hungry, let him eat at home–lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things I will give directions when I come.
When someone says they “met in their homes” that doesnt mean that they took turns at each house, there were a few designated homes. Not only that but here Paul also describes how people meet for the Mass.

Also the Synagogue was the OT designated building for worship, that is what the NT church building is today now that Christians can afford it and are safe to worship in public.


#5

[quote=matthew1624]A close acquaintance (non-denom, osas christian) states the following when we mention attending mass: “We are the church, the church is just a building!” She states that we do not need to go to a building to worship. Her position is that if she wants to stay at home with her family on Sunday that it would not be a problem. After all she says, the early christians met in their homes. How would you recommend I approach this issue? Should I approach this by mentioning Keeping the Sabbath and the necessity of assembling together as one(i.e.Heb. 10:25)? She is trying desperately to convince my wife of this revelation of hers.

I would appreciate any help. Thanks and God Bless…
[/quote]

Yes,early christians did meet in other Christians homes,they didn’t stay secluded in only their on homes,they met with others.

Also while active persecutions were going on for safety reasons they were not able meet in more public settings.

Trick


#6

I don’t believe that it is all important to meet in a church building on Sundays either. Does that mean that I believe we shouldn’t do anything on Sunday and use it to relax and sleep in? No. Did Jesus have His disciples and the people looking to hear Him go to a building to hear His teachings? No. He did it wherever and whenever. We should be worshipping God anywhere we go and not secluding it to a temple or a church. Keeping the Sabbath means DON’T WORK ON THE SABBATH. Keep it Holy and only for God. Does that mean you HAVE to go to church to do this? No. You can do this with a group of christians who are eating together and worshipping God together. Whenever two or more are gathered in my name… :slight_smile:


#7

[quote=Singinbeauty]I don’t believe that it is all important to meet in a church building on Sundays either. Does that mean that I believe we shouldn’t do anything on Sunday and use it to relax and sleep in? No. Did Jesus have His disciples and the people looking to hear Him go to a building to hear His teachings? No. He did it wherever and whenever. We should be worshipping God anywhere we go and not secluding it to a temple or a church. Keeping the Sabbath means DON’T WORK ON THE SABBATH. Keep it Holy and only for God. Does that mean you HAVE to go to church to do this? No. You can do this with a group of christians who are eating together and worshipping God together. Whenever two or more are gathered in my name… :slight_smile:
[/quote]

. . . unless, as for Catholics, “worship” means a quite specific thing in addition to the disposition of one’s heart (excluding settings, like battlefields, where a 'building" consecrated to sacred use is unavailable). For us, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our intimate Communion with Christ in his Body and Blood, are the summit of all that is holy and the reason for keeping the day holy. We celebrate Mass on our own; it must be in common. And in the ordinary way of things, it must be done in consecrated space.

Beautiful, really. I cannot imagine why anybody would quibble about it.


#8

I do not attend Mass on Sunday, because I find too much of subjective religion there, not the faith of the Catechism, for example.

I think the other people that attend Mass in my old parish simply do not understand the substance of what is being preached. The current priest is a smoozer all right. And, he has done a lot of redecorating which made a lot of people feel good.

But, he is the product of reductionist historical-critical exegesis, which focuses much skepticism on the Bible. Cardinal Ratzinger called biblical criticism a “crisis” as far back as 1988. See the other related threads in the Scripture forum. There are “errors” in the self-proclaimed doctrines of these exegetes. I respectfully decline to submit myself to a distorted form of the faith that I do not believe in. I can’t get that out of my head.


#9

[quote=BayCityRickL]I do not attend Mass on Sunday, because I find too much of subjective religion there, not the faith of the Catechism, for example.
.
[/quote]

Rick, I think that in addition to what you can get out of the Mass, as someone called to spread the Good News and support the faith development of others, your presence at the Mass would be a blessing to the other faithful. If you don’t want to go for yourself, do it for others. :thumbsup:


#10

[quote=mercygate] . . . unless, as for Catholics, “worship” means a quite specific thing in addition to the disposition of one’s heart (excluding settings, like battlefields, where a 'building" consecrated to sacred use is unavailable). For us, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our intimate Communion with Christ in his Body and Blood, are the summit of all that is holy and the reason for keeping the day holy. We celebrate Mass on our own; it must be in common. And in the ordinary way of things, it must be done in consecrated space.

Beautiful, really. I cannot imagine why anybody would quibble about it.
[/quote]

Ugh. Typos. Retype of my response to singinbeauty’s defense of non-church worship – where two or three are gathered:

. . . unless, as for Catholics, “worship” means a quite specific thing in addition to the disposition of one’s heart. For us, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our intimate Communion with Christ in his Body and Blood, are the summit of all that is holy and the reason for keeping the day holy. We do not celebrate Mass on our own; it must be in common. And in the ordinary way of things, it must be done in consecrated space (excluding settings, like battlefields, where a 'building" consecrated to sacred use is unavailable). .

Beautiful, really. I cannot imagine why anybody would quibble about it


#11

[quote=mercygate]. . . unless, as for Catholics, “worship” means a quite specific thing in addition to the disposition of one’s heart (excluding settings, like battlefields, where a 'building" consecrated to sacred use is unavailable). For us, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our intimate Communion with Christ in his Body and Blood, are the summit of all that is holy and the reason for keeping the day holy. We celebrate Mass on our own; it must be in common. And in the ordinary way of things, it must be done in consecrated space.

Beautiful, really. I cannot imagine why anybody would quibble about it.
[/quote]

That would be because they lack perspective and dont acknowledge anything but their own interpretation of the bible as being relevent. It all goes back to the question of authority…


#12

I just don’t believe that… as I have said in another thread, I take my worshipping God very personally and it is something that is done with my whole heart. I just don’t believe that I can’t worship Him outside of the church as well as within. God doesn’t just dwell in the church… in fact He doesn’t DWELL there in the building at all. He dwells within US, the body of Christ. So wherever we go so does He. So, does He wait until Sunday to hear our praise? Does He only pay attention to the worship being done on Sundays and ignore the rest of the week? The problem with this idea that you can only worship God on Sunday in a BUILDING is when people take this literally and say things with their lips and deny them by their lifestyle. WE are the church. Not the building.


#13

[quote=BayCityRickL]I do not attend Mass on Sunday, because I find too much of subjective religion there, not the faith of the Catechism, for example.

I think the other people that attend Mass in my old parish simply do not understand the substance of what is being preached. The current priest is a smoozer all right. And, he has done a lot of redecorating which made a lot of people feel good.

But, he is the product of reductionist historical-critical exegesis, which focuses much skepticism on the Bible. Cardinal Ratzinger called biblical criticism a “crisis” as far back as 1988. See the other related threads in the Scripture forum. There are “errors” in the self-proclaimed doctrines of these exegetes. I respectfully decline to submit myself to a distorted form of the faith that I do not believe in. I can’t get that out of my head.
[/quote]

That only thing you need to get out of your head is that this alleged problem excuses you from faithful obedience. Better go reread the “faith of the catechism” again. If what you say is true, it simply means that need to get your butt to another church -not that your obligation is gone…

Phil


#14

Hi Singin! :slight_smile:

[quote=Singinbeauty] I just don’t believe that… as I have said in another thread, I take my worshipping God very personally and it is something that is done with my whole heart.

[/quote]

Irrelevent.

Neither do Catholics. Your type of Worship requires nothing but you - ever.

I would disagree

Also irrelevent

Of course not, but again, irrelevent. But I will throw back at you: Keep holy the Sabbath Day. Why? Does god not want us to be holy on other days?

No one ever made this claim, however it is good to know that you were operating under this delusion - it explains why all your prior comments had limited value to the thread. Do you not realize that Catholics can attend Mass every single day of the week - just like the earliest Christians? And that we can worship God anywhere and at any time? It is only during Mass that we can Sacramentally proclaim our Lord and worship and unite ourselves to him in the “marriage supper of the Lamb”.

Actually it is both. A church is a building, by definition, in hte english language. The members of Christianity also comprise THE Church which is the mystical body of Christ. When Catholics talk about going to “Church” on Sunday, it means to Mass. Doesn’t have to be in a building, but that is usually what happens. I have been to Mass outdoors - no problem.
What’s really going on is that you believe what you believe for whatever reasons you believe are valid, in your opinion, from the book that you believe is the word of God. Regardless of what history will show us from the earliest days of Christianity - even from people that were disciples of the Apostles - you will cling to your own beliefs. And you will call them biblical, but, again, ignore all the other people throughout the history of Christianity who also have read the bible and certainly have demonstrated a greater spiritual and intellectual acumen than either one of us. From that standpoint, going to church - ever - IS irrelevent. What do you need from the Church? Is that not simply a stumbling block to relying fully on God? What more do you need than you and God and to die immediately and go to Heaven?

Phil


#15

[quote=BayCityRickL]I do not attend Mass on Sunday, because I find too much of subjective religion there, not the faith of the Catechism, for example.

I think the other people that attend Mass in my old parish simply do not understand the substance of what is being preached. The current priest is a smoozer all right. And, he has done a lot of redecorating which made a lot of people feel good.

But, he is the product of reductionist historical-critical exegesis, which focuses much skepticism on the Bible. Cardinal Ratzinger called biblical criticism a “crisis” as far back as 1988. See the other related threads in the Scripture forum. There are “errors” in the self-proclaimed doctrines of these exegetes. I respectfully decline to submit myself to a distorted form of the faith that I do not believe in. I can’t get that out of my head.
[/quote]

If you’re not attending Mass for the reasons you state, then you’re not living the faith of the Catechism either (pot calling kettle black). You’re just picking a different area to dissent in. But look: I know what you’re talking about. We drive 45 minutes to attend a parish that is faithful to the Magisterium; not afraid to mention the “hard” teachings (contraception); takes on the culture head-on; and is reverent and beautiful to boot. If you can’t change where you’re at (though I think it is worth making the effort) then either get yourself to another parish or learn to concentrate on receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist and tune out the annoyances.


#16

Well yeah, if you take it out of the context of the whole post… Why do people take other’s posts and break them up?

Neither do Catholics. Your type of Worship requires nothing but you - ever.

You are mistaken here… MY kind of worship requires only ME & GOD. If it were just myself that would just be silly wouldn’t it? It can be done in a group of people or by myself. What is worship in the catholic book?

I would disagree

You know, to simply say that you disagree doesn’t really do something for a conversation or a debate. This is a pet peeve of mine on ALL boards. If you disagree say something to back it up and tell me exactly to what I said that you disagree with.

As for my quote, I don’t believe that God dwells in the building itself but since He dwells in US He is anywhere we step foot in. So whether in a church or in a forest God is there because you are there.

Also irrelevent

Again with the irrelevent… :rolleyes: It isn’t irrelevent because it was, in the context of my post, showing why I believe that we don’t have to go to a church to worship. We can take a few friends or more with us and go worship Him on a camping trip surrounded by His beauty.

Of course not, but again, irrelevent. But I will throw back at you: Keep holy the Sabbath Day. Why? Does god not want us to be holy on other days?

Because God knows that we can get caught up in our lives and the things we are doing so He commands us to have at least ONE day devoted entirely to Him. Did He say that you should go to church on the Sabbath? No. He said to keep it Holy. And to me and the research I and many others have done this means don’t work (even yard or house work) and focus on Him.

No one ever made this claim, however it is good to know that you were operating under this delusion - it explains why all your prior comments had limited value to the thread. Do you not realize that Catholics can attend Mass every single day of the week - just like the earliest Christians? And that we can worship God anywhere and at any time? It is only during Mass that we can Sacramentally proclaim our Lord and worship and unite ourselves to him in the “marriage supper of the Lamb”.

But to some, they cannot afford to go to ‘mass’ every Sunday or any other time of the week. Christians met in homes in the early church. I feel like you can get a whole lot more out of worship in a small group than you can in a big one. I do not believe that if they had been able to come out of hiding, they would have built a big huge building to meet in.

It is only during Mass that we can Sacramentally proclaim our Lord and worship and unite ourselves to him in the "marriage supper of the Lamb

This is sad to me. (In the sense that it makes me cry sometimes) To believe that you can’t connect to Him in this way whenever and wherever gives you a disconnection to Him. God is in everything I do. If I believed that He wasn’t with me except when I was in a church building I would be very depressed.

Actually it is both. A church is a building, by definition, in hte english language. The members of Christianity also comprise THE Church which is the mystical body of Christ. When Catholics talk about going to “Church” on Sunday, it means to Mass. Doesn’t have to be in a building, but that is usually what happens. I have been to Mass outdoors - no problem.

And that is fine… I am not saying that we need to not ever go to church again in a building I am just saying that I don’t think it is necessary to go to the building to worship God.

Continued…


#17

What’s really going on is that you believe what you believe for whatever reasons you believe are valid, in your opinion, from the book that you believe is the word of God. Regardless of what history will show us from the earliest days of Christianity - even from people that were disciples of the Apostles - you will cling to your own beliefs. And you will call them biblical, but, again, ignore all the other people throughout the history of Christianity who also have read the bible and certainly have demonstrated a greater spiritual and intellectual acumen than either one of us. From that standpoint, going to church - ever - IS irrelevent. What do you need from the Church? Is that not simply a stumbling block to relying fully on God? What more do you need than you and God and to die immediately and go to Heaven?

Ok, I had to actually read this a couple of times because it goes in circles. The bible IS the word of God because it is the words that He inspired all of those authors to write. It is the word of God because those things quoted of Jesus are quoted of the WORD of God. For Jesus is the WORD.

The priest who teaches on the pulpit on Sunday morning and molests little boys on Sunday night does not seem to me to be a person of more intellect or spirituality. So if he believes in what he teaches I am going to be a skeptic of that…


#18

[quote=Singinbeauty]I just don’t believe that… as I have said in another thread, I take my worshipping God very personally and it is something that is done with my whole heart. I just don’t believe that I can’t worship Him outside of the church as well as within. God doesn’t just dwell in the church… in fact He doesn’t DWELL there in the building at all. He dwells within US, the body of Christ. So wherever we go so does He. So, does He wait until Sunday to hear our praise? Does He only pay attention to the worship being done on Sundays and ignore the rest of the week? The problem with this idea that you can only worship God on Sunday in a BUILDING is when people take this literally and say things with their lips and deny them by their lifestyle. WE are the church. Not the building.
[/quote]

You say that you “just don’t believe that”, but what does that matter? What matters is what God asks of us, not your personal belief system. How does one receive communion (the reception of which is deemed so important by Paul that he says that those who receive unworthily bring condemnation upon themselves) without attending Mass? Read Hebrews 10:23-25: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, NOT NEGLECTING TO MEET TOGETHER, as is the habit of some…” Well, you’re the “some” referred to there. And God DOES dwell in every Catholic Church, in the Tabernacle. The church building, after all, is meant to house the Tabernacle, which is why we think churches should be beautiful. And no, we don’t think that God ignores us the rest of the week (this is a very ludicrous suggestion). Indeed, most parishes have daily Mass. And there’s no need to posit a dichotomy between church-going and a devout Christian life. That’s a false dichotomy, pure and simple.


#19

As Catholics, we are called to come together as family, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to worship Jesus, Who becomes truly present at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and to receive Him in Holy Communion. Through this intimate union, we receive forgiveness and graces that you cannot receive in any other way. Our Lord Jesus knew we would need this Spiritual Nourishment to make our way in this world.

There is no substitute for this.

It is a gift, and He invites us to join Him at His table AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK. Are you going to decline His invitation?


#20

[quote=Singinbeauty]Ok, I had to actually read this a couple of times because it goes in circles. The bible IS the word of God because it is the words that He inspired all of those authors to write. It is the word of God because those things quoted of Jesus are quoted of the WORD of God. For Jesus is the WORD.

The priest who teaches on the pulpit on Sunday morning and molests little boys on Sunday night does not seem to me to be a person of more intellect or spirituality. So if he believes in what he teaches I am going to be a skeptic of that…
[/quote]

But how do you now that the Bible is the inspired Word of God? Because it says so? But that would be circular thinking: “How do you know the Bible is inspired? Because it says so. But how can you trust what it says? Because it’s inspired.” Tell me, what is your solution to that problem?

Your second comment is offensive, and I will report it to the moderators. The only clergyman I know that ever molested anyone was a PROTESTANT, who molested my best friend’s little girl. So don’t throw that garbage in our face, when you know perfectly well that the majority of priests (96% or higher) have never done such things, and that non-Catholic ministers have approximately the same rates of abuse. It’s called an ad hominem argument, and if you want to make a point, you’d better discover more sensible, reasonable, and logical ways to get your point across.


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