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There are more American Christian people today sitting on the sidelines, and not going to church, than there are Christian people in church on any given Sunday. The reasons are many, but the ones that get thrown at me are the same: 1) Sunday’s my only day off (They like to sleep in.); 2) Church is boring (Compared to what?); 3) Church people are judgmental and irritating (As if the sideliner isn’t.); 4) I don’t like the music, the sermon, the building…etc.; and 5) I’m not getting anything out of it (Church has no value.). There are variations on these themes, but these will suffice.

The solution is to stay home. But we’re not talking about just church here. The sideliners are not attending anything, anywhere, except an occasional movie. They certainly aren’t volunteering and participation in organizations, like the Lion’s Club or Lodges.

I see something else that sideliners have in common that doesn’t get said: They’re self-centered individualists. American culture has moved away from the agrarian values of having neighbors and working together to a very “me, my, and mine” mentality. American Evangelicalism has unknowingly added to this attitude of separation by promoting a “Jesus and me” kind of salvation. “Got Jesus” means that I don’t need you or the church. Unfortunately, this is not what the Bible teaches. We read: “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common” (Acts 2.44). Likewise, “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” (Heb. 10.25).

Yes, we’re “saved by grace and not works,” but this does not mean that getting saved liberates us from our spiritual duty before the Lord. We’re saved for good works (Ephes. 2.10). We’re saved for service to the Lord Jesus Christ. He founded the church. It’s important to Him, and it should be important to us as believers.

Christian sideliners, who think that their spiritual destinies are secure because they walked the aisle and said the prayer at some point are sorely mistaken. Believers are not secure except as we complete the covenant with other believers, in the body of Christ, as the church. This is what baptism and communion are about: life in the body of Christ.

Jesus gave us a wake-up call for the endtimes in Matthew saying, “Because lawlessness is increased, most peoples’ love will grow cold” (Matt. 24.12). When you sideline yourself, you make yourself a law unto yourself, and your love grows cold towards others, especially those of the household of God.

1 Response to “Sideliners”

  1. allan April 28, 2010

    Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.

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About New Hope Christian Fellowship

New Hope Christian Fellowship is a nondenominational Christian church in Show Low, Arizona.

This Show Low nondenominational church is comprised of an independent body of believers, who have found comfort in biblical love, fellowship and spiritual unity. We practice New Testament Christianity in adherence to the Word of God, in faith, in obedience, and servanthood. We are dedicated to that which blesses the Lord Jesus Christ and lifts up His commandments, especially to love one another.

What We Believe: “To do things Jesus’ way, by Jesus’ teaching, and for Jesus’ glory.”

Life Verse: “Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)


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