Not all church attendance is created equal. Though we as pastors strive to encourage church attendance among our flocks, the truth is mere church attendance is highly dangerous. C.S. Lewis sheds light on this in his imaginative work, The Screwtape Letters. Uncle Screwtape, a seasoned demon, writes to his nephew Wormwood about the art of temptation. He writes: “Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood [sic] looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.” In other words, the Enemy is perfectly content for humanity to attend church, providing we don’t commit anywhere.
What would Screwtape think of your church attendance? Is it fueled by a deep and abiding commitment to a specific local church, or is it a sporadic, diverse sampling of churches–something that looks more like dating around than covenantal marriage? If you want to frustrate the principalities and powers, stop merely attending church. Connect. Commit. Covenant. And not merely to the idea of “church,” but to a specific Bible-preaching, Christ-exalting local church. After all, when Jesus pursued His bride He wasn’t haphazardly searching for options. He committed Himself to the pursuit of the Church, even to the point of a bloody death on a rough-hewn beam of recycled wood.
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