In our theology class on Wednesday evenings, we were discussing the doctrine of the church and whether or not Christians have to attend church on Sunday or not?
That very question seems to me to start the whole discussion off on the wrong foot. Once we think in terms of having to go to church, it smacks of church attendance as merely a duty. I don’t have to go to church on Sunday; I get to go to church on Sunday! It’s a privilege!
Michael Horton recently wrote, “The very fact that we have to address this question, even in evangelical circles, demonstrates the true measure of the church’s worldliness. It is not a superstitious attachment to days, but respect for the Lord’s generous service to us, that gives us one day in seven to be swept into the drama of redemption. When the holy day is reabsorbed into the common week, the church is bound to be reabsorbed into the world’s bloodstream.”
After tracing the view of the Lord’s Day in historical theology and church practice, Horton then remarks,
“The key to a Christian use of the Lord’s Day is not drawing up a list of what can and cannot be done, but to give the whole day to basking in God’s Word, loading ourselves up with the treasures of Christ. Churches themselves are making this more difficult, as they trim down the public worship to a single service of an hour or so. Some churches suspend worship on “Superbowl Sunday”; others incorporate the new holy day into the service. Yet even in “rightly ordered” churches, the question has to be asked, especially by pastors and elders: Are we preparing a feast each week or are we contributing to the trivializing of the Lord’s Day and then blaming the people for not taking it seriously enough?”
I find that many Christians are increasingly adopting a less serious view of the Lord’s Day and of being with the body of believers when the church gathers on Sundays. I encourage you to think seriously about your view of this day, even if you are faithfully attending the worship services. Don’t fall into a mindset of having to go to church but view it as a great opportunity to worship, to serve, and to fellowship!