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What is your attitude about "churchgoing Christians"?

Postby Newbie » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:35 pm

I have recently heard, in a couple of different places, Christians express that they would not be interested in dating what they termed "churchgoing Christians." The people speaking were clearly sincere in their beliefs, making their religion an important part of their lives and identities, but I guess going to church is not part of it for them. They didn't sound disdainful of churchgoers, but were very clear that they were not open to dating someone like that.

I had never heard of this divide before; it seems like a significant aspect of American Christian culture. Do you understand this? Does "churchgoing" imply something more than merely that they go to church? Do you think the reason for these attitudes is that the non-churchgoers feel like they'll be judged, or pressured to change, by the churchgoers, or that they'll be incompatible? Or is there some kind of stigma or fact about churchgoers that makes them undesirable as romantic partners to non-churchgoers? Are you aware of this sentiment, and is the feeling mutual?
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Re: What is your attitude about "churchgoing Christians"?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:49 pm

Um, I'm a churchgoer, and I never heard this either. While often people evaluate church as "boring" or "good" or "fun" or "stupid," anyone who is serious about their faith as a Christian is going to align with a local congregation. Christianity is just as much a communal reality as a personal and individual one, and any Christian who shows no desire to unite with a local assembly has an inadequate understanding of their faith and the wrong idea about church.

Local churches are definitely flawed, both as institutions and naturally by their imperfect constituency, but it's the structure Jesus has chosen to advocate, and for many substantial reasons. While the church is far from faultless, it's really the only way to accomplish the spiritual goals God is determined to work out in each one of us. If Jesus is the core of a person's identity, then the Body of Christ is an essential element. Many people think, "Well, I can worship God better in the woods than I can in a church." Perhaps you can, but worship is only one of many reasons why Christians gather, and the worshipper in the woods is missing all of the others, and therefore missing the point.

So saying, I don't understand the comments you have heard. The church, as difficult as it can be, is one of the primary tools God uses to mold people into his likeness. As such, it is indispensable. To not align with a church, as a believer, and to attend and participate, is an act of disobedience.
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