Why do protestants go to church?


#1

My understanding is that there is a general belief, depending on which denomination or church you’re referring to, that salvation is done. That upon accepting salvation a person is saved. So why go to any church? Why not just pray at home and read the bible without attending any service? If religion is corrupted by man and the focus should be on doing gods work, then why not simply not attend church? What is the need? How is the need to attend church as a christian somehow different and more correct than if a Catholic attends church? If doctrine is unnecessary why do all denominational and non denominational churches have some element of a basic belief structure, why bother since that would be considered outside solo scriptura.


#2

The same reason most get baptized, the Bible said we should stay in fellowship with our brothers. Secular society has left most with a Sunday free of work commitments thus making it a convenient time to see each other. Many do not go to church if you mean Saturday/Sunday at a specific place. I heard Rick Warren say that at Saddleback Church the average weekend attendance is around 20,000, those that “go to church”. Meanwhile the average weekday Bible study attendance, the “two or three who gather together” is about 35,000


#3

"Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together....." Protestants don't "go to church".....most Protestants believe the Church meets together in a particular "meeting house".....The Church isn't the building....there is nothing sacred about a building.

Protestants meet to pray together....read and discuss scripture together...to praise and worship together.

I was acquainted with an older Friend who tells the story of when he invited one of his friends to Meeting.....about 15 mins of quiet and silence...the young man whispered..."When does the service start?" ....."After Meeting is over." was the answer.


#4

Psalm 122: 1

“I was glad when they said unto me, let’s us go into the house of the Lord”

  • To worship God as the body of Christ (church).

  • To fellowship one with the other.

  • To hear God’s word expounded upon.


#5

[quote="couponfit, post:1, topic:270258"]
My understanding is that there is a general belief, depending on which denomination or church you're referring to, that salvation is done. That upon accepting salvation a person is saved. So why go to any church? Why not just pray at home and read the bible without attending any service? If religion is corrupted by man and the focus should be on doing gods work, then why not simply not attend church? What is the need? How is the need to attend church as a christian somehow different and more correct than if a Catholic attends church? If doctrine is unnecessary why do all denominational and non denominational churches have some element of a basic belief structure, why bother since that would be considered outside solo scriptura.

[/quote]

The Protestant position is not sustainable from the beginning and thus follows the rest.


#6

Interesting question. I think that it's safe to say they don't to church to avoid sin.

I have known some Protestants that no longer attend any church. They have the same authority as the pastor and sometimes cannot find a pastor that teaches what they believe.

Most I know never attend church while on vacation. I love being able to worship on vacation in new and different Catholic Churches.

Worship for some Protestants is optional. Their pastor doesn't really have the authority to tell them they must attend. Protestants can always pull the "agree to disagree" card.

That said, they do love Jesus and the Bible.

Peace
David


#7

Some Protestants (I know of at least one household personally) do stay at home - they don't "go to church" in the sense of meeting lots of other believers in a designated church building. The adults read the bible and talk about the passages with their spouse and/or children; children might be asked to sum up the passage in their own words to show how they understood it. Occasionally dad might lead this devotion with a few other families, but its more of a bible-study setting than a "worship service".
While "once saved always saved" can lead to presumptuous Christian drop-outs, this isn't the norm.


#8

[quote="TrueLight, post:4, topic:270258"]
* To worship God as the body of Christ (church).

  • To fellowship one with the other.

  • To hear God's word expounded upon.

[/quote]

those are my reasons for attending church. plus to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist.


#9

=couponfit;8829673]My understanding is that there is a general belief, depending on which denomination or church you're referring to, that salvation is done. That upon accepting salvation a person is saved.

Not so widely accepted is this simplistic portrayal.

So why go to any church? Why not just pray at home and read the bible without attending any service?

Scripture is pretty clear regarding the necessity of the Church, and does not, to my knowledge support this notion.

If religion is corrupted by man and the focus should be on doing gods work, then why not simply not attend church?

Everything is corrupted by man.

What is the need? How is the need to attend church as a christian somehow different and more correct than if a Catholic attends church?

Actually, it isn't much different, at least from a Lutheran perspective. The Church is where we hear the word and receive the sacraments. These are the means of grace. It is here we receive His body and blood in the Supper, and Absolution for our sins, a strengthening of faith through our link with the Communion of Saints.

If doctrine is unnecessary why do all denominational and non denominational churches have some element of a basic belief structure, why bother since that would be considered outside solo scriptura.

Who said doctrine is unnecessary? And,
what is your understanding of sol*o* scriptura, which btw, I reject?

Jon


#10

[quote="couponfit, post:1, topic:270258"]
My understanding is that there is a general belief, depending on which denomination or church you're referring to, that salvation is done. That upon accepting salvation a person is saved. So why go to any church? Why not just pray at home and read the bible without attending any service? If religion is corrupted by man and the focus should be on doing gods work, then why not simply not attend church? What is the need? How is the need to attend church as a christian somehow different and more correct than if a Catholic attends church? If doctrine is unnecessary why do all denominational and non denominational churches have some element of a basic belief structure, why bother since that would be considered outside solo scriptura.

[/quote]

There actually* are* more and more Lone Ranger Christians out there. When they say Sola Scriptura, they really mean scripture alone, just themselves and the bible. :) They always have some pat answer for not complying with Heb 10:25, too.


#11

=David;8829929]Interesting question. I think that it's safe to say they don't to church to avoid sin.

As if not going to church is a way of avoiding sin.

I have known some Protestants that no longer attend any church. They have the same authority as the pastor and sometimes cannot find a pastor that teaches what they believe.

I guess there might be some that believe that.

Most I know never attend church while on vacation. I love being able to worship on vacation in new and different Catholic Churches.

Ditto as a Lutheran.

Worship for some Protestants is optional. Their pastor doesn't really have the authority to tell them they must attend. Protestants can always pull the "agree to disagree" card.

Some certainly believe this.

Jon


#12

I believe those Christians that have no understanding of the sacraments are asking themselves that question more and more, thus the great exodus to the non-denoms. I was away from the evangelical world for twenty plus years before I recommitted my life to Christ and came home to the Catholic Church. One thing that stood in bold contrast to the rock solidness of the Catholic Church was the great confusion, chaos, and dismantling of traditional worship I saw going on in the evangelical world after having been away for so many years. The clincher of course was the Mass and the Eucharist. It's wonderful to gather with others that believe and worship and praise and adore Christ in the a purely spiritual way, that is - God present in a strict spiritual understanding. It is altogether another thing to enter into the Real Presence of the Holy Trinity in the context of the Mass...Heaven come down to Earth in a very Real and Substantial way.


#13

Same reason we do: to be as close to God as they are able to be; to openly demonstrate to God an others their love and devotion to Him; to be in "communion" with others of like mind; to seek ways to reach out to the needy within the context of a "team" of individuals rather than solo.

I could go on.

It seems like you need to visit you own reasons for going to church?

The "once saved always saved" mentality is not prevelent throughout all Protestants and it's not as clear cut as we make it sound here. If you really grill one of the firmly entrenched about their beliefs (in a charitable way- I hope), you will discover that they are not really as far from us as some would make out here. I'm talking the hard core Baptist; the one who only wants to know and love God.

I have found more kinship and understanding from the Protestants around me than the Catholics at this point. My heart longs for them to understand how much more complete their religion would be in the Catholic church - and moreover how much their deep faith would bring to the Church - but I trust in God's plan. If they ask, I answer, but I never presume to judge their relationship with God.


#14

Earlier I said:
While "once saved always saved" can lead to presumptuous Christian drop-outs, this isn't the norm.
I should have been clearer, and its too late to edit. There can be individuals who believe in OSAS as an excuse that covers whatever bad behavior they are refusing to deal with. But it isn't the doctrine itself that 'can lead to presumptuous Christian drop-outs', but the presumption of the Christian drop-out who uses this doctrine to excuse himself from growing and learning in obedience to Christ.
I have heard about people using OSAS as an excuse for their own behavior, but in my own experience the doctrine wasn't misused in that way. It was mentioned by faithful, practising Christians to express hope that a straying relative. or even an enemy, who died presumably unrepentant was "saved" because of an earlier commitment to Christ.


#15

I think that most Protestants go to church be in fellowship, encourage, and support each other.

There are several Protestant groups that do celebrate Holy Communion every sunday and like John they don't agree that is only symbolism.

But you have to admit there are members in all churches including Catholic that go to church to "network" with business people and professionals as well.


#16

[quote="David, post:6, topic:270258"]
Interesting question. I think that it's safe to say they don't to church to avoid sin.

I have known some Protestants that no longer attend any church. They have the same authority as the pastor and sometimes cannot find a pastor that teaches what they believe.

Most I know never attend church while on vacation. I love being able to worship on vacation in new and different Catholic Churches.

Worship for some Protestants is optional. Their pastor doesn't really have the authority to tell them they must attend. Protestants can always pull the "agree to disagree" card.

That said, they do love Jesus and the Bible.

Peace
David

[/quote]

I eventually became one of the Protestants, you mentioned above!

I found that the pastors expounding on scripture was very ethnocentric and lacked any scholarly research. I got more out of studying on my own, which became a very me centered "just me and Jesus" type of Christianity.

I found so much disunity that the opinions of the guy sitting next to me were far different from the guy next to him, the lack of a common union pervaded even the pulpit. We had a Pastor who's whole sermon week in and week out was a Catholic bashing feast, being that he was a "former Catholic", and the assistant Pastor was a closet Calvinist, which he had to be or he would lose his role as assistant Pastor. (at this point I was a Calvinist too)
If the Pastor wasn't bashing Catholics then it was JW's being that his wife was an ex-JW!

I found one or two "worship songs' to be OK, but five was more than I could sit through. The same twenty "Contemporary Christian Rock' were played over and over again which by now I'm arriving 30 minutes late, weekly.

I felt the Authority was given to all men as a kingdom of priest, so why am I even listening to this guy, I could just listen to a radio message online, or study at home.

The assistant pastor was the only one I could talk to in regards to scripture, being that he was also a calvinist that rejected dispensationalism, so we could argue over his full preterism and my partial preterism!

The only reason I was given to stay was by the assistant pastor saying it's not about you but helping others, he said "People here are always edified by your discussions with them and you always like to talk about living Christian." He also brought up that there was wisdom to be gained by talking to some of those that have been walking with the Lord a good long time, and I was only a believer for a little over a year!

In the end, I felt there really wasn't a reason to attend "church." I just opted to talk about Jesus with some of the people that I remained friends with from "church" at a friends house, and that became "church" for me!

I had my bible and the same authority to interpret it, plus insight from radio messages!

I could pick and choose what Christian music I wanted to hear on the radio. (I liked the Hymns, being that I was raised Catholic, it made me feel closer to my Grandmother who had passed a devout Catholic)

I didn't forsake a gathering, because every weekend, I would hang out with 2 to 4 other believers, and talk about Jesus!

I ask the same question as the post, but more personal, "why do I go to "church", and the answer became, I don't!

Eventually, I would stay at home, but the quest for a truthful interpretation shifted me out of 20th century Christian thought, and would have me looking into writings that were closer to the time of Jesus.

To be deep in history........ we all know the rest!

After a few months of reading, my struggle would now become, "Eastern Orthodox or Catholic" I often will attend Eastern Catholic Rite parishes, being that the Liturgy is, well, divine! But, my Home is in Rome!

Peace and Love in Christ :highprayer:


#17

Protestant theology will sometimes tell you that there is no such thing as a sacred place and yet in Scripture there WERE sacred places. Places so sacred a certain man had to remove his shoes to step onto it because it was 'holy ground'. How can a theology based from Bible alone reject ideas that are clearly in the bible, IE: that there IS such a thing as holy ground and thus holy places would also be possible.


#18

[quote="couponfit, post:1, topic:270258"]
My understanding is that there is a general belief, depending on which denomination or church you're referring to, that salvation is done. That upon accepting salvation a person is saved. So why go to any church? Why not just pray at home and read the bible without attending any service? If religion is corrupted by man and the focus should be on doing gods work, then why not simply not attend church? What is the need? How is the need to attend church as a christian somehow different and more correct than if a Catholic attends church? If doctrine is unnecessary why do all denominational and non denominational churches have some element of a basic belief structure, why bother since that would be considered outside solo scriptura.

[/quote]

As a former Protestant that is not quite the case. Upon accepting Christ we are saved but we still must be conformed to the image of Christ and they call this sanctification. Catholics say your not done when you invite Christ in initially and in a round about way Protestants do too so they go to Church to get fed and grow from God's Word. The reality is there is no such thing as Sola Scriptura and most don't realize that when they join a group they are affirming that groups stand That's my take anyway.


#19


#20

[quote="Michael19682, post:19, topic:270258"]
Why do you say the bolded typed words? Just curious as to your reasoning and source?

[/quote]

The Church is God's Living Temple, not made with stones. Places aren't holy...people are...buildings and structures do not carry a "holiness" in and of themselves.

With the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem....there is no "building" where God lives....He now lives within the hearts of His People. WE are His Temple now....no longer a structure or edifice.

God does not dwell or reside in buildings made with stone and wood....there is no place where His Presence cannot be known.....and NO PLACE BUILT WITH HANDS contains His Presence in and of the structure alone....the only thing that makes a place "holy" is when God's People assemble in His Name....and then it's the People of God that are "sacred" not the building they meet in.


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