Are there Gates of Hell Constructed of Religious Programming?

In my rush to finish this post and finish getting the Bible study together for Wednesday evening, I neglected to give credit here for the original idea for this post. Please accept my apologies – it was unintentional.

There are always those who resist change, whether for the better or for the worse. When I was in Bible college, a parody of a verse of the hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers” was making the rounds. It went like this:

Like a mighty turtle
moves the church of God
Brothers we are treading
Where we’ve always trod…

Religious broadcasting has been around since radio and television began transmitting.To the chagrin of a number of people, Internet churches are the newest resource for teaching and fellowship. Are there any benefits of electronic religious programming? Drawbacks? Will it some day replace the little house in the Wildwood – or others?

What is a church?

A church is a local gathering of believers who are a community of believers who support and encourage one another in their relationship with the Lord Jesus, and who reach out with the Gospel to the larger community in various ministries. (All local assemblies are part of the Church Universal, which is made up of all believers in Christ through the centuries and around the world.) No church body is perfect – they are all composed of fallible humans. But,

when a church works the way God intended that it should, it’s a taste of Heaven on earth.  

When a church forgets what her mission is, it can be a taste of Hell.

The Pros and Cons of Religious Broadcasting

I think TV “church,” Internet “church” and radio “church” are a boon to those who, for some reason, cannot physically attend a local church. 
Ideally, there should be a local church that keeps shut-ins in their prayers, and who have folks who regularly visit them, and offer them an opportunity to take communion. My grandmother had that kind of community. Of course, she faithfully attended service at the physical church building for many years before her health did not permit actual appearances.  
Electronic church services can be a powerful ministry to folks who are limited to home, or a care facility.  
The downside of that is that you may find everything from soup to nuts on the TV and radio settings. Some of those teachers may be feathering their nests on the gullibility of lonely and elderly shut-ins. (All the more reason for local churches to minister to invalids.)

The electronic preaching services are equally useful for people who have been bruised and scalded by unhealthy church situations, and by uninformed or unscrupulous leaders or even those who may be, for various reasons, in transition. Caution should be employed by those recovering from abuse. Electronic communication can be easily misunderstood. Sometimes “the worst of” memories may be triggered for these wounded spirits.

Advantages of Worshiping Locally

The local assemblies, though, are where the best (and maybe the worst) of community happens. God created us to live in fellowship with Him, and with one another. I do not think that electronic “church” can do that as well as face to face caring can do it. When the worst does happen in a local church, there is a greater opportunity to work through the issues the way God intended we should; there is no place to click “block” in this situation. And, that’s a good thing. Even though sites such as Facebook, and others lay claim to community, in my opinion, they will never take the place of a a genuine Spirit-led community for the majority of the members of the Bride of Christ. 

  Do you have any thoughts on the subject?    

                                                                       

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About Susan P

Reader, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, traveler...
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6 Responses to Are there Gates of Hell Constructed of Religious Programming?

  1. Anonymous says:

    This was a very nice article. As a disabled person, I have had to find another way to worship with others as I can't sit in a traditional church setting.I think that church is a place where "Any two join together in my name"! There doesn't have to be a collection plate nor coffee and doughnuts afterwards for it to be fellowship! I have started my own ministry lately and found that this has helped me a great deal in spreading the good news,I also (surprisingly) sent an invitation to all the people I went to church with and none of them joined my page, all they had to do was "Like" and they could see my inspirational material come across the feed on Facebook. I guess church is anything that helps you and others, even if you are unable to go to church, I think God is happy that his work is being done through any means man has created. Thank you J A.

  2. Rehoboth says:

    Thank you, JA for stopping by my blog. How many times did you send an invitation out? Have you thought about putting it on the news feed?

  3. Good read.May I shock you? Because Charlotte is Catholic and I'm a Protestant Methodist, and because of Father Kirby's Alzhimer's…we don't have a physical church we attend. There is a Nashville Church we both like very much that broadcasts a Sunday Service that we watch. However, watching a service on TV is a poor substitute for being in the physical presence of other Christians. You get the message, but that's about it.However, as the comment above said, Charlotte and I take to heart 'wherever two or more are gathered in my name' and we go with that. It works for us, for now, but I try to listen hard for His direction in this area, especially where little Caleb is concerned.Good Blog Susan, may I be follower too?

  4. Rehoboth says:

    Thank you for coming by my blog, Kevin. Please do feel free to "follow" me. Invite Charlotte, too, if you like. Maybe I will be motivated to write more often.I'm not so stuck on denominations, though, Kevin. I happen to be Anglican because that is where God put me at this time in my life. Anglicans are pretty close to Roman Catholicism. Our services are very alike. As for Charlotte and you, all I care about is whether people know Jesus, and that He knows them. The heart of the Gospel is "Love God, love your neighbor." I have the strong impression that you both do those.Thanks again for stopping by.

  5. Ann says:

    Sometimes I have found real fellowship more on line than in person and sometimes visa versa.

  6. Rehoboth says:

    Thank you, Ann, for coming by and posting. Yes, I can relate to that, too.

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