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Dangerous Sunday – The Day

Posted by on Dec 6, 2010 in gathering | 4 comments

Dangerous Sunday – The Day

Typically, I try to write about the church from a positive perspective. Instead of writing about what’s wrong with the modern church, I usually write describing the positive characteristics and activities of the church as we see it in Scripture. Now, many of my readers automatically recognized the negative side of what I write. However, I still try to write from the positive perspective. I write about what the church should be, not what it shouldn’t be.

In this series, though, I want to write about modern, traditional church. Now, right away, there are problems with the design of this series. You see, no church will exactly look like or do the things that I write about. But, I hope that each reader will consider their own church and their own practices in order to determine if some of these aspects of the “general” modern, traditional church may apply. I think that we can all find “dangerous” practices of each of our churches.

What do I mean by “dangerous”? Primarily, I mean those practices that teach things that are contrary to our reality and identity in Christ. I’m talking about practices that are certainly used by God, but are not necessarily the best that God has provided for his children.

For this first installment, think about the day – Sunday. In many cases, “church” is defined by the day. The same group of people can do the same things on Monday, but it’s not considered “church” because it didn’t happen on Sunday.

While we do have an instance (yes, just one) in Scripture of the church meeting on Sunday (Acts 20:7), we have more examples of the church gathering together every day (Acts 2:46, Acts 9, and perhaps Hebrews 3:13). The church is not defined by the day on which it meets.

But, when we focus on a particular day, we teach people something “dangerous.” We teach them that they are the church because of the day, not because of their identity in Christ. (Of course, this is usually combined with – and can’t be separated from – a particular location and doing specific things, but we’ll look at those later.)

Obviously, there’s no problem with believers meeting together on Sunday. We see church in Troas meeting on Sunday while Paul is with them, and the churches in Jerusalem and Ephesus met together on Sunday (since they met together daily).

However, there is a difference between meeting together on Sunday and somehow holding Sunday as a special day to meet together. Instead, we should encourage believers to meet together whenever they can – on Sunday and on any other day.

It can be dangerous to hold Sunday as a special day (or even the only day) for the church to meet together. By doing so, we are teaching people that their identity as the church is tied to a day instead of to their relationship with Christ and their mutual relationships with one another.


4 Comments

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  1. 12-6-2010

    Alan,

    I appreciate your positive perspective on things and it helps me stay focused on the positive. However, this is difficult for me cause my bent is to focus on the broken widgets. This serves me well in my profession, because a broken widget can be devastating. It does not serve me well in everyday life.

    I like your post today because it illuminates a problem that most “christians” don’t understand. I find that a lot of believers cannot discuss or practice the life of Christ outside of the “official” services. Even at “church” fellowships discussions will focus on sports, hunting, fishing or the latest political issue. Very little “one anothering” goes on.

    Just as you said, there is nothing wrong with gathering on Sunday, there is nothing wrong with discussing those issues. They are starting points in developing relationships. But if we never go past those surface issues and go deeper, then what is our purpose in gathering?

  2. 12-6-2010

    Jack,

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ll continue trying to keep most of my posts positive. But, occasionally, I think this kind of post (or these kinds of posts, since this is a series) is necessary.

    -Alan

  3. 12-6-2010

    Alan,

    Thank you for this post for the same reasons as Jack mentions.

    Those last two paragraph ended your words very wisely.

  4. 2-27-2011

    Alan,

    Several things: please don’t try to always be positive. The prophets had lots of negative things to say. So did Jesus. So did Paul. The critic needs to point out the negative, but counter it with what is right. Many times, things are being done that shouldn’t be done. So, point those things out when necessary. Just something to think about, and I don’t say this to dictate to you how to blog. :)

    Another thing about Sunday I’ve noticed is that there is a further narrowing of the day to Sunday morning. Sunday evening services are often not considered Sunday gatherings. And with that, in my experience, the greatest emphasis is placed on the Sunday meeting with the traditional sermon-centered worship service. I’ve heard a number of pastors complain that people tell them that their Sunday school or their mid-week home group is their “church,” and they’re more likely to miss the “service” than the other times during the week because of the one-anothers that do or don’t occur in each. The pastors then enforce the idea that the Sunday worship service is the most important time of the entire week for the Christian. I’ve heard this many times.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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