“You Must Be Churched” = “You Must Be Circumcised”

Those who insist that believers should be involved in church are like those in New Testament times who insisted that believers should be circumcised. 

For a fuller comparison, read the book of Galatians substituting the words “church involvement” for the words “circumcision” or “circumcised.”

The rationale for each is identical.  In New Testament times, some people pointed to the Old Testament scriptures and, seeing circumcision practiced, said, “The Lord and His Scriptures call for circumcision.”  Today, some people point to the New Testament scriptures and, seeing church practiced, say, “The Lord and His Scriptures call for church involvement.”

In both cases, the readers are assuming that a practice God required in the previous age will also be required in the current age.  Moreover, they overlook that we live today in the kingdom of God in which no ritual practices are required.  The practice God wants is righteousness.  In fact, righteousness is what He has always wanted but He had to get humanity there by stages – particularly through the establishment of Israel and its Messiah.  This required the use of some rituals to help convey truth and have it passed from generation to generation.  Once Messiah had come, however, and His kingdom established, such practices could be discarded…and so they have been.

Church was a practice instituted to help people wait for and prepare for the kingdom of God.  Since the kingdom has already come , we no longer wait for it.  We must cleanse ourselves to enter it, but it is always here for us.  And even when we are not in it, we are still subject to it for it is the rule of the universe.

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