If you want to read the earlier parts of this conversation, click on Challenge from a Churchgoer, Challenge from a Churchgoer – Part 2, or Challenge from a Churchgoer Part 3.
Churchgoer: Well, at one point you said I did not use Scripture, but then cited verses that I alluded to. I was assuming you would know, and you did know the passages what I said was based on.
I guess I have a unique viewpoint having worked with churches of different varieties over many, many years. Right now, I am in contact with about fourteen hundred churches. I have spoken in hundreds of fellowships and have had associations with hundreds of pastors and when all is said….there is not much difference. We are united by Scripture and a love of Jesus. I see how much we are alike rather than how much we differ. Isn’t it a contradiction to believe that all are saved, but then be so harsh on churches. If everyone is right and going to heaven then all churches are right too. In fact, it would not be possible to do wrong.
My response: Yes, you mentioned two verses, but, as I showed, neither one justifies your position. Thus your exaltation of churchgoing is rooted in tradition (or something else) and not Scripture.
Indeed, there must be something that unites you to these churches besides “Scripture and a love of Jesus,” because you and I both exalt Scripture and love Jesus…and you don’t seem to feel similarly united to me.
As for being harsh, I have not been more so with churches than Jesus was with the Pharisees or the moneychangers. Those groups, too, exalted their traditions over Scripture.
I do say that everyone is going to heaven; I do not say that everyone is right. Unfortunately, it is more than possible for all of us to do wrong. For this reason, God tells us to repent, and indeed repentance must be our lifestyle if we are to enjoy the fullness of His blessings in this life and the fullness of His honor in the next.
Surely you don’t mean to suggest that because everyone is going to heaven, we should feel free to sin – though it sounds like you do.
That everyone is going to heaven is an even better reason to repent than the possibility of going to hell, because the latter calls on a motive of self-interest (even self-preservation) while the former calls on a motive of loving Him who first loved us.
The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.