I’ve heard people say things like that often, how about you? It’s an interesting idea, don’t you think? I believe, so why should I have to deal with church…?
It is true when people say that they can worship God when they are all alone in Nature. As a matter of fact, worshipping alone in Nature can be quite inspiring; a person can gain insight by having that experience, and I must say that I endorse it.
It is true that I don’t need anybody else to believe. I came to belief all by myself, in fact. Belief normally brings a person to some sort of worship, and yes we can, and should worship God when we are alone. Now we come to following Jesus; is that a solitary activity?
When Jesus commanded His disciples to follow Him, did that mean that they went their way and He went His? That would be absurd wouldn’t it? After all, how can you follow someone to a place where there aren’t at least the two of you present? OK, here’s where you say that when you are alone, God is there with you… That would be true, glad to have that one out of the way. Now, we are at the point where I say that isn’t what happened when those disciples followed Jesus, because they followed Him into community. There was Jesus, and along with Him there were the twelve: community.
OK, I know, this is where you say that Jesus isn’t here in the flesh, so since He is with you always, you and He are always together, so you can believe and worship by yourself… yes, that again! Now, I remind you that I’ve already endorsed individual worship and prayer. Man, it looks like we are going around in circles, so let’s end the loop and come to the nitty-gritty. Jesus told His followers that if they love Him they must obey His commands. (John 14:23) What did He command?
His final command was to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
This is where I ask you how you can make disciples without other people? And when I ask this, you hem and haw and come up with any excuse you can think of, because when a person is looking for an excuse, one is as good as another. But when the conversation has reached this point, both of us know that it’s just a lame excuse…
We can worship in solitude, we can believe in solitude, but to follow Jesus Christ means that we do it within a community of believers. There is a reason for this, I think, and the reason is that following Jesus is about putting God first and putting others first, it’s not about having our own way. Yes, we can worship in solitude, we can pray in solitude, and these can be amazing and powerful, but the community is the ball game, and that is where we follow Him and serve Him.
This is where you say: Amen!