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Hey everyone,
I have been a Christian for about 10 years. I currently work at a church as a secretary.
For the last 3 months, I have not been attending church.
(For the last 3 years, my husband has been on disability due a back injury..
but he went for surgery last year, and he has just a got a job!)
So.. because of those terrible 3 years, we have accumulated so much debt..
So, for the last 3 months, I have been working a part time job on Saturdays and Sundays.
I told my pastor ( my boss ) at church, and he was very excited at first when I told him, but last week, he took me into his office and told me that he would prefer I came to church. He even told me that if this job continues and that before I sign the contract for this job, that I have to ask him before I sign.
How dare he right?? He has no authority over me.. He is not the boss of my life!
I even explained that we are in debt, and this part time job pays way more than I get at church..
And I told him I have to get out of debt.
Anyway, now, for some reason, he wants me at church, he thinks that is more important than another job.
My pastor does not know my heart. I love Jesus more than anything in the world..
I made my own war room, I start every day doing devotions and praying..
(Yes, I understand, I could do more.. like fellowship..)
But right now, I feel on cloud # 9 with Jesus...
Anyway, some advice would really be helpful right now.
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Re: [ArieL79] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to
What a good thing to bring up! You are not alone. Many of my fellow worshipers have gone from one good job that supported family to two lesser jobs, most requiring work on Sunday partly because it's too hard to get employees with seniority to share the Sunday burden.

One solution is to ask your pastor where he would suggest for you two to get to worship on another day of the week. Maybe he will see that there might be a m=need to offer more opportunities at your church rather than send you elsewhere. When enough working members begin doing that it tends to trigger a response that helps meet your need to assemble together with other believers.

You are not doing God or Jesus or the pastor any favor by attending a church service. The purpose of that is for your benefit, to grow in grace and knowledge, and doing works of righteousness like bearing the burdens of others as well as your own. The pastor's purpose is to encourage you to grow in Christ, and lead you to serve alongside others of the Church.

Notice Jesus and the apostles didn't tend to establish declarations of sin like Moses did. Sin was already defined in the Law of Moses. We have a New Testament doctrine that whatever is not of faith is sin as explained in Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

The idea is that while an act of yours might not be sin, offending someone weaker than you by your technically legal act is accounted as sin, which demands repentance by not doing that as an offense.

I know many spiritually mature and immature Christians are easily offended over members who don't support the congregation with their presence, support, and sharing of burdens in general. Pastors can get offended too.

It's important that you attempt to work out a solution. If he leaves no suitable work-around, then maybe it's a door closing with door opening to assemble elsewhere among believers who accommodate working people, but that should be after all else fails. Maybe that would be easier to do if you would by faith believe the Lord can make up the loss of that church job with a blessing of additional income elsewhere.

Suggest establishment of a home worship group for workers to worship together, and be ready to perhaps host a meeting occasionally. You might attract people from outside your congregation, and have opportunity to help them grow spiritually.

We have two Sunday morning services, so I don't see much of half the other members, so don't mind having a significant number meeting in homes, or using the church on odd days and times. I'm happy they are working things out and their needs are met.

Pray before bringing it up again, and fasting some is a good preparation. Remain humble when meeting with pastor, be respectful. There are no holy days for us to observe, and that means God has not commanded believers to attend a Sunday church service. But because Paul wrote in Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

none of us should regularly neglect congregational duty, that being a habit hard to break. So it is also for us to pay our bills, in your case probably adding extreme financial conservation to your hours worked, eating a lot of beans and rice instead of eating out, doubling up on payments, driving a cheap used car, etc., attacking debt with high energy.

Praying for you.....Jim
Be fishers of men.....DG
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Re: [dovegiven] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to
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Re: [m7thprophet] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to
Is it something I could get fired for?
If I don't go to church, could they legally fire me for that?
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Re: [ArieL79] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to
Dovegiven gave you a beautiful and complete response.
Church is there for your benefit. If people don't choose to benefit from it, then that is their disadvantage.
I personally would not work on Sunday. But it is my choice to go to church. If your church has Wednesday night services, perhaps that would be an option for you. Or perhaps you could work some Sundays and not others?

I believe that your pastor could fire you for not attending church on Sunday. However, if that happens, you can conclude that Abba has a better job for you, perhaps even with better pay. My daughter-in-law worked as secretary for different churches throughout her life. And they did require her attendance. So I believe they can do that.

I have not given you any consolation. You are in prayer to the Lord and asking for His help in this. That is the only response you need to it. The only suggestion I can make is to simply continue what you are doing and trust Abba to either change the Pastor's will or find you a new job elsewhere.

One thing you might try doing is going to different churches that have services during the week and see what you get from them. (If your church doesn't have them.) You might find a better church that will allow you to attend an off-Sunday service. There is one other thing... our church posts their services on computer and it can be watched any time. If your church would post their services, you could attend any time you want.

Be patient... trust Abba... He has a plan for you, a plan to bless you and not to curse you.
Sweet dreams!
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to
Sarah: Hi.

There is one other thing... our church posts their services on computer and it can be watched any time. If your church would post their services, you could attend any time you want.

Though this might indeed be helpful in the particular personal circumstances this poster is experiencing I think it is based on a faulty understanding of what is the actual and spiritual purpose of church attendance and the limitations of what broadcasting of church services can actually achieve. They have their purpose and usefulness but are not 'Worship' and can't ever be 'Worship'. At best they are only private devotion when viewed by individuals.

We don't attend church in order to be 'programmed' or 'indoctrinated' by teaching from a Pastor. It is not primarily a 'classroom' in which we learn religion. Neither is it a 'living' for the Pastor who needs to maintain bums on seats. It is a family where we learn how to relate to God and each other. Our primary obligation is to God, not (as some Pastors seem to see it), to financially support the ministry of the church. (Though they are worthy, in most cases, of that obligation as well, being that that is their only income in full time service to the religious community).

Another mistake is to get the idea that Church on Sunday is what the church is actually all about. It is not. What each individual Christian Disciple does throughout the other 6 days of the working week are what 'The church actually does', and if a disciple HAS to work on Sunday, they are still working as if for Jesus Christ their Savior. Especially if they are paying off debt. The Lord's Day is not The Sabbath and Sabbath Keeping is no longer obligatory. The early church celebrated together mostly at sunrise on Sunday. They were mostly poor people or even slaves. They didn't get Sunday off work and church buildings with Pastors in charge did not exist. The very idea that a Pastor can dictate to anyone where and when they can work to earn a living, sets alarm bells ringing in my sense of what is 'right' and proper conduct in a Leader of a flock. This is entirely a matter between their Savior and themselves.

For a Pastor to insist upon a member attending church, even though it means giving up a well paid and much needed job, (while enduring a poverty stricken and debt ridden situation), is equivalent to the parent of a grown up son forbidding him to accept a well paid job in the next state, because it is too far from the family home and therefore an escape from his influence, while perhaps depriving the father of the useful financial contribution previously provided by the son.

There seem to be some Pastors who do not treat their congregations as individuals of varying maturity, but as if they are all potentially just wayward sheep in need of constant direction, coercion and control. Sheep in their flock, for fleecing, rather than as 'family'. 1 Jn. 2:12-14. The 'sheep' metaphor can be taken too far. We are not 'sheep', we are 'infants', 'children', 'young men and women', fathers and mothers' etc. and have every right to be treated accordingly.

These types of church and pastor are best avoided by wise disciples.

Regards Chris.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Sep 21, 2016, 2:13 PM
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Re: [ArieL79] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to
Ariel, if you are concerned about the legality of your employer firing you for not attending church services, you should contact your local States Attorney's office and just speak to someone there about your concerns. They will be able to advise you as to the legal aspect of your dilemma.

However, your employer might not take it well, should you speak of the legal aspect of the situation, so be prepared for trouble there. I suspect that it might be considered discriminatory practice to fire someone who is temporarily not attending the services at the church where she is employed as a secretary.

If there is ugliness, you might need to just seek employment elsewhere.

I find it difficult to accept that your employer won't work with you to solve this temporary problem, though. This is also something you could ask to have mediated by a lawyer or by the church supervisory committee…or some such entity as that to whom your employer must answer.

Best of luck to you. I hope you find a workable solution.

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [rdrcofe] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to
The Matthew 18 model should apply before leaving that congregation. The next scriptural step ought to be taking some witnesses along to confront the wrong-doer. That often stops unreasonable expectations right away. Just one witness, one vote, can change any destiny.
Be fishers of men.....DG
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Re: [ArieL79] Is it a SIN to NOT GO TO CHURCH? In reply to