By Andy Waits
I want to apologize in advance for missing church this Easter. Yes, I know it sounds bad. However, I think if You will hear me out, You’ll understand (I love how You always comfort me and assure me that my behavior is right, no matter what Your Word says). It’s not that I don’t want to go this year. I do. I simply have other things in my life that are more important right now.
First, I would like to remind You that the Bible (Your own Word) does not require church attendance. The Bible only speaks to one’s individual walk with Christ and never requires or even encourages a person to meet with other Christians for Bible study, fellowship, prayer, missions, or worship. Church is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But I can’t allow it to impose on my already busy schedule. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, right? I admit, You did write a whole chapter on this (Hebrews 10), and every believer in the New Testament was connected consistently with a local church. However, I’m sure You know how the Christian culture works today. We only read parts of the Bible; the parts that lift us up and encourage us. Personally, I don’t have much use for the other sections, the ones which hold me accountable to Your standards.
Second, family comes first, okay? I go to church all throughout the year anyway. Why is it such a big deal if I miss on the one Sunday we celebrate the most holy and miraculous event in history? I look at it this way: My family is my church. While we might not be a group of believers meeting together under the marks of a Biblical church (Preaching of the Word, Ordinances, and Church Discipline), we talk about You a lot at lunch. Jesus, I think we have two different definitions of the church. I am not going to say You are wrong, but Your Word isn’t going to change my mind.
My family has been through a lot this year. They are hurting, Jesus. And, no, talking about the difference between my earthly family and spiritual family is not open for discussion. My family needs me, especially on holidays. I know you’re going to say they need You more and any comfort I can offer them is only temporary. I disagree. I can’t exactly articulate why I disagree, but this is how I feel. I can sing this confidently (alongside many other people who attend church):
I have decided to follow “family.” No turning back. No turning back.
Thank you for understanding and making me feel good about me.
P.S. Just a friendly word of advice. You need to remove Luke 9:23 from the Bible. It is pushing people away and causing them to see You as a God that requires a commitment to follow You.