"Does it matter what ‘church’ you attend?"

Bible Answer:

Many people today are encouraged to "Attend the church of YOUR choice." Is this "biblical"? If it is, we should certainly be able to turn to "book, chapter and verse" to support this approach to our deciding what church to worship with! So, the Bible is the source of authority for the proper answer to this question. Man’s opinions are not good enough when it comes to answering such a serious question! Jeremiah 10:23 says, "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps."

Is it acceptable to worship God in any number of ways? This is what happens if you take the approach that you can "attend the church of your choice". As was mentioned in the January 1998 issue of The Religious INSTRUCTOR, in the article entitled "Peanut Butter Religion", man does NOT have the "right" to pick and choose the way to worship God like he does his peanut butter at the grocery store (that is, according to MAN’s tastes or preferences)! Please read the following passages of scripture:

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Matthew 15:7 [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am [he].

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 4:4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Colosians 3:14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

I Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

I Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

2 John 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. {wrought: or, gained, some copies read, ye have gained, but that ye, etc.} 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Yes, the Bible clearly teaches that it DOES MATTER what "church" you attend! It is in the spirit of LOVE that I write these truths. Please note the chart above. Conflicting doctrines are NOT "the doctrine of Christ" (Read 2 John 9 above please)!

The head of the church is Christ (Eph. 1:22). There is but ONE BODY, the CHURCH (Eph. 1:22,23; 4:4). Just as there is ONE HEAD, there is but ONE BODY! The "religions" other than the church that Jesus built as found in the New Testament are to be avoided! They teach "another gospel" (Read Gal. 1:6-9). I welcome responses from those who disagree! THIS IS MUCH TOO IMPORTANT TO LEAVE ALONE!!!

To be right with God, people today MUST work and worship with a church that is scriptural in name, teaching and practice! Doing the "will of God" is absolutely ESSENTIAL according to Matthew 7:21 (See passage above). Matthew 15:8,9 clearly teaches that it is VAIN WORSHIP to follow the commandments of MEN. This means that people are in ERROR who are worshipping God according to catechisms, or the creed books of modern day denominationalism, or those who worship other gods than the GOD of the Bible!

Please pay particular attention to the fact that you are probably going to a church that is NOT practicing and teaching the ONE faith of Ephesians 4! Dear Reader…Almost all religious groups on the face of the earth today are NOT "scriptural" in name, teaching and practice! This is wrong and I take this opportunity to admonish you to: (1) teach these people the TRUTH and encourage them to obey and practice ONLY God’s Will, and, (2) if they DON"T CHANGE, then leave such religious groups and begin to serve God according to the "pattern" found in the New Testament.

Many religious groups are worshipping falsely today. These "churches" are not worshipping God "in spirit and in truth" (per John 4:24) because they simply do not practice what God requires of local congregations as found in the New Testament. Some people turn their religious group into not much more than a mere "social club" of eating and drinking. This is specifically condemned by God in I Cor. 11:17-34! Others are in error, in part, because they fail to observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week as the churches of Christ did (See Acts 20:7). NOTE: Why do many people today recognize that under the law of Moses the Sabbath day was to be kept EVERY week, even though the passage in Exodus 20:8 does NOT contain the word "every", and yet do not practice the Lord’s Supper EVERY first day of the week (Acts 20:7)? Other "churches" are wrong in their "teaching and practice" for many "other" reasons (too numerous to mention here). [EDITOR’S NOTE: I hope to start a column in future issues entitled, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves" based on the passage in 2 Corinthians 13:5 and challenge us all to constantly "check" what we do with the Word of God!] 

One Quick "Acid Test"

One "acid test" that can eliminate over 90% of the religious groups existing today from being "scriptural" is to check a religious group on the following three things mentioned below (NOTE: This is NOT a "comprehensive test" by ANY means, but rather one "quick look test" to notice error and know that one should not worship with a group that is wrong on one, or more of these 3 things).

A church must be scriptural in name, teaching and practice. The little "test" above can test one area of "teaching" and two aspects of "practice" by any religious group. The first two bullets above should be answered "YES" (Please read and study Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:27; I Peter 3:21; Matthew 26; Acts 20:7; Exodus 20:8). The third bullet should be answered "NO" (Please read and study John 4:24; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16,17; 2 John 9). Do you want to worship with a church that is teaching people error on God’s plan of salvation and is worshipping incorrectly? If you worship with a group that does not pass this little "acid test", then first try to teach them. If they will not change, you must leave and find a sound church of Christ, begin to attend there and to worship God in spirit and in truth! Remember, there is much much more to being scriptural in name, doctrine and practice than just the little "acid test" above! Please email me with your thoughts. This vital issue affects us ALL!

Where do YOU worship? Do you believe that some people will be lost eternally? Does the Bible teach that those worshipping according to the rules of men will be saved? (Please note the passages above from God’s Word on this subject.) Is the "church" you attend scriptural in name, doctrine and practice? IF you have further questions, please write or call. Your soul is the most precious possession you have. In view of being in eternity in either heaven or hell, please make adjustments in your life to please God!   --mjw

Do you have a Bible question you would like have answered? Or, is there a subject that you would like to see discussed between opposing sides of a particular religious subject?

The Editor will gladly consider your suggestions for topics for such dialogue in this web journal. Do you "disagree"??? Feel free to write a "response" for possible inclusion and discussion in a future issue! Please use the Word of God in your replies, though! You can contact me at Thanks!

Email the Editor at