Is church a choice? Certainly, from the perspective of the Bible attending church is not a choice. There are no Biblical examples of Christians in the New Testament period who were believers that did not attend church.
However, many Christians today seem to treat church as if it was an optional Christian event. In our age, it seems that one can be a Christian without attending church. As if it was a choice.
And not only a choice as to if one will attend a local church, but the choice of attending a different church every other year, or every other month, or every other week. Perhaps one may think that if they attend a different local church once a month and in-between those visits stay home and watch “church” on TV or via the internet then they are keeping the Biblical example of attending/participating in church.
However, for one to attend “church” as described above would be for one to be duped by the modern love affair with consumerism.
Church is not a consumerist’s choice. In our North American age of multiple choices one may change their choices based on feeling, financial changes, social changes, or countless other reasons.
When I go to the grocery store I do not go to just get cookies – I go to choose a package of cookies from 20 to 30 different choices.
I choose my bank based on what services it does for me and if I so choose I change my bank if something better comes along; a bank that is better for my needs, wants, and desires.
I buy an automobile based on my needs and wants. I make consumerist choices based on what that product or service does for me.
Church is not the same. I should not choose a church based on what it does for me or how I feel. I should choose a church because it is a place where I can serve other people and I sense a calling from the Holy Spirit.
If my church does not have something that I would like, then meet with the leadership and start that ministry.
Serve in the passion that God has given you.
Reform always starts from within and from participation. To leave it is to reject it.
We must be careful as believers to be counter-cultural. The church should always be counter-cultural. Sin is pervasive and impacts every area of culture. It is to this aspect that we are called to preach and teach the Kingdom of God.
Therefore, we must be aware that our cultural sense of consumerism will influence are loyalty and participation in the local church.