I was sitting here feeling guilty about not going to church. I feel I have a valid reason for not going. I have been up coughing all night and I really don’t want to sit in the pew hacking all through the service. It doesn’t matter that I feel I have a good reason to stay home. I still feel guilty for not going. I began to wonder why do I feel this way? There is nothing biblical that says thou must attend church every Sunday. There is the mandate about keeping the Sabbath Holy in the big ten. Can you keep the Sabbath Holy without going to church? That is debatable I know. Everyone has an opinion about it. Some say no you can not keep the sabbath Holy without going to a Holy place. Others say yes you can keep it holy. All of that is opinion, but doesn’t answer the questions about why do I feel guilty for not going to church today?
I have searched in the Bible and there are verses about being in the company of other Christians. None of which say it must be on the Sabbath or on Sunday. I thought about why I go to church and why it is important to me. I analyzed why is the Sabbath Holy, which lead me to when exactly is the Sabbath? Some scholars say Saturday and others say Sunday. None of this research explained why I felt guilty for not going to church. Then this line of thought could go all the way into what is the correct church, and I do not want to go there today. I just don’t have the strength. I have written my opinion on a previous post, and I quote ” The church is not the building, domination, or the religion. The church is the people. US! ME and YOU! We Christians are the Church… God’s church. We are to represent His Son, Jesus, in this world. No matter what church building you decide to enter, you are part of God’s church.”
I then decided the best idea was take it to God in prayer. I asked God why do I feel guilty for not going to church? You and I talk all the time. I do go regularly and take communion. I study the Bible often, not every day, but a few days a week. The more I talked to God about it, the less guilty I felt. I know that Church is not the place but the people….all people who love God.
Then it hit me.
This guilt I feel is human inflicted. I was always taught that you go to church on Sunday. It was more than just going, you make a point to be quiet, reflective on your human condition of being a sinner, and you do not work on Sunday. That not working includes no household chores except cooking and cleaning up after. Well, I have already broken the no work rule. I work at the library on Sunday and I (gasp) often do laundry on Sunday afternoons after church. This guilt is not from the belief that I am breaking some mysterious commandment. My guilt comes from the human tradition that was passed to me by others. I am not saying that the adults in my life when I was younger or the adults in my life now are at fault. I am not condemning them for their opinion of the tradition or their belief that they were being a good Christian influence on me that caused my guilt is a bad thing. It is their tradition and their belief. Truly the fact that I feel guilty is of no one’s fault but my own. The guilt I have is self-inflicted because I believed tradition over Biblical truth.
There is biblical truth about being in the company of Christians, honoring God on the Sabbath. That is truth. There is no biblical basis for my guilt. God loves me no matter if I go into a church or not. He wants me to live my faith, in the image of Jesus Christ every day and everywhere not just on Sunday in church.
SO if you are feeling guilty today about not going to church, relax, you are in good Christian company.