I guess there are a couple of issues I'm grappling with, which tie in to each other. The one is the claim about the Bible, and the other is the claim you hear in churches all the time that it (church) is SO important, important to attend every week, etc. But I'm not buying it. I read an article years ago that always stuck with me (written by a pastor!) that perhaps having a Sunday morning convo with your neighbor over the fence, or making a meal for someone, or having a relaxed morning connecting with your family, etc, is a decent way to spend a Sunday and no less 'good' as attending church.
So, I'm questioning the church (as we know it) and Bible as the sole authority thing, because it's just not adding up for me and I wonder if this was Jesus'/God's intent?
Thanks for the great insights so far!
For the first, what do you consider good? And what degree of good are you talking about?
Sharing time with someone, making a meal or being with family are all good, and sometimes I miss church for these things, but it is not the same kind of "good" as honoring, worshiping, and offering to God. God asks that we seek Him, it brings Him joy when we worship Him, and when we go to church we are bringing God an offering. We are putting up a spiritual alter, and laying on it our time and our selves. We do this because He loves us and we love Him. We can't expect to not spend time with God and yet get to know Him. That's true for any relationship.
And of course, anybody who truly offers themselves up, and experiences God benefits from it immensely. I just went through a period of backsliding, where I didn't go to church for about 2 months (other than once or twice), haven't been reading my Bible or praying, and oh... my... sweet... good ness, seriously, it has been bad. I just backslide into all the crap the Lord has been pulling me out of. But I know, because I know God, that when I start living for Him again, His truth is going to pull me back out of it. (His truth not being rules and regulations for us, but simply laws of Truth. Who knows us better than our Maker? and thus, He knows what will set us free from our bondages)
So, secondly, what is your world view? When you ask what the Lord's intent is, what do you mean?
My world view, and that of the church I attend, is that we are in between Jesus' first coming, and His second coming. If you read Revelation you will see that the world we around us, all of us living the way that we do now, will come to an end. My church considers all Christians to be the body of Christ, working together to accomplish the will of God. There is a passage about no one part of the body being more signifacant than another, what would an eye do without an ear? (I'll site it tomorrow) But saying that we are all part of the body of Christ on earth, we were called into the kingdom, to accomplish God's will.
It may seem to some that God is finished, but if you read the Bible and get to know Him, you will see that there is alot more that needs to happen.
Because this is my world view, I see that meeting with other Christians, and getting to know them, encouraging them, or crying with them, or celebrating, are all very important.
So, IMO, before you can find an answer to the questions you asked, there are at least two more things you need to consider.
I hope you will come back and update us on what you are thinking. <3