The Difference Between Have to and Get to…

Posted: January 19, 2015 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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I offended someone on Facebook. I didn’t mean to but I did. I am reading through Leviticus in my devotional reading right now and I was stuck by how detailed God is in His prescribed methods of worship. There was a lot to be done and a very specific way He wanted it done, pertaining to sacrifices, etc. I made the comment comparing those regulations to modern day American Christians and how now it seems to be too much trouble to go to church and crack open a Bible now and then. I’ll admit it, I may have been a little crass.

Someone stepped up to correct me. pointing out that church and Bible reading are not requirements. She then pointed to the underground church in China as an example of people who maybe cannot go to church, and to people who experience their faith outside the church, communing with God in nature, etc. and asked “why the guilt?” I have to admit to being a little thrown. While I do need to learn to be a little less crass sometimes, I still stand by the principle. I think we take for granted what many people are quite literally dying for.

Is Bible reading and Church attendance required for Salvation? No. You don’t have to go to church. You don’t have to read your Bible. In both cases, it’s not about “have to,” it’s about “get to.” You don’t have to go to church, you get to go to church. You don’t have to read your Bible, you get to read your Bible. I think the Chinese Christians in the underground church, worshipping God in secret and sharing a single Bible between many, would agree. These things are privileges that many would love to have and don’t. I wonder why so many are satisfied to squander them.

I get why some people leave the church. I get that people have been hurt by the church. At times I’ve been one of them. Any time you bring human beings together, conflict will arise. That being said, I’m always tempted to say “Baby… bathwater… baby… bathwater…” as in we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. No one in this world is unflawed. That being said, the Church is worth fighting for. Hurt by one congregation? Find another. Don’t like the big church, join a small one. Don’t like the formality of “organized religion?” Gather with some other people around God’s Word and worship together, but whatever you do… “[do not give up on] meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 Why is this so important? The preceding verse tells us: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…” among many other reasons.

And speaking of get to… reading the Bible? How can we follow Jesus, if we don’t know what He said? How can we come to know God if we don’t take advantage of the book He gave us to tell us about Him? I’m not trying to make people feel guilty or push people into some crazy legalism. I’m trying to encourage people to take advantage of two of the greatest blessings God has given—Worshipping Him with our brothers and sisters in Christ and embracing God’s Word.

You don’t have to, you get to.

 

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Comments
  1. vondaskelton says:

    Amen, Dave!

  2. […] The Difference Between Have to and Get to… (amokarts.wordpress.com) Is Bible reading and Church attendance required for Salvation? No. You don’t have to go to church. You don’t have to read your Bible. In both cases, it’s not about “have to,” it’s about “get to.” You don’t have to go to church, you get to go to church. You don’t have to read your Bible, you get to read your Bible. I think the Chinese Christians in the underground church, worshipping God in secret and sharing a single Bible between many, would agree. These things are privileges that many would love to have and don’t. I wonder why so many are satisfied to squander them. […]

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