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Sept. 29, 2011

Because of the way someone at a church hurt me, I’m afraid to join any local church and currently attend one online. What are your thoughts about this?

My concern is that you are robbing yourself of God’s best for your life because of this one person who was rude or mean to you. Ironically, you have not “gotten back” at that person; your decision to avoid the local church has only hurt you. This has furthered the ends of a hurtful person, and the ends of the devil who seeks to devour us, by not just letting your feelings be hurt but letting your entire subsequent life be hurt.

By avoiding being part of a church, your relationship with Christ and the family of God has suffered.  Please keep in mind that an online church also consists of flawed people; it just keeps them at a safe distance. But a safe distance isn’t what the Christian life is about.

Think about what it says in Ephesians 5:25-27 where Paul is writing about the marriage relationship: “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” But Scripture tells us we can’t become those things as a church by ourselves. That’s why the writer of Hebrews tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit for some.

Yes, local churches are very imperfect. They have problems. There are attitude issues. Leaders make mistakes. But God is doing a work. Instead of withdrawing from the local church, why not invest yourself in it, and commit yourself to humbly serving the body of Christ and helping people?

If you would like some assistance in finding a church, you can contact our EPM office at info@epm.org with the area you live in and the EPM staff will do their best to provide some recommendations.

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