A few months ago I received a bulletin from a church in Texas. On the front page was an article called "Some Don'ts For Church Attenders." We are now introduced to the "Church Attender" role or position. Are you a Church Attender? "Apparently the preacher/editor sees the people as 'attenders,' so he hands down some 'don'ts' for them."
Do you have the idea that the Lord's disciples make up the church; that is, that they are the church (ecclesia)? See how wrong you are? "Church" is something you attend. The church is one thing and the disciples are something else. In this view, the disciples are "attenders," those who "attend Church." See how it works? When Paul wrote to "the church of God" the saints in Corinth, he had it all wrong. Those saints were not the church, they were only "Church Attenders." It is ridiculous how far from truth we have drifted and how corrupt our language is.
One of the "Don'ts For Church Attenders" is: "Don't stay away from church because you have company..." Church is, therefore, something the saints can "stay away from." It is, therefore, something separate and distinct from the Christian. Can you believe this? Quite often you hear some brother or sister ask: "Where do you attend church?"
Another "Don't" is: "Don't stay away from church because the Church is not perfect; how lonely you would be in a perfect church." This is a "Don't" for anyone who attends church! What is "the church" mentioned here that you can "stay away from" and that is "not perfect"?
Why do preachers press so hard for you to "attend church" to be a faithful "Church Attender"? I challenge you to back off and think about it. Why do they insist that you should faithfully attend every service -- "attend church" -- even though such is not once mentioned in the New Covenant Scriptures? Could it be that you are the key to their success as the Pulpit Minister? First, you are headcount! You are another number to be reported as evidence of "Church Growth."
Second, you are the source of revenue! Money is an essential in these swelling "Church Operations" The Pulpit Minister knows that his pay depends upon you and all the other "yous" or "members" who are taught and pressured to put all your financial giving into the corporate treasury to be used by the corporate officials, The Eldership. You have no voice or vote in how "the Lord's money," as it is erroneously called, is spent. The Eldership has total control over the total corporate operation including the money. The money is spent at the discretion of the Eldership, without any reporting to or approval of the people -- you! And a large part of the treasury goes to pay the "wages" of the hired professional Pulpit Minister. Hence, his livelihood is at stake. You are needed to obey and pay.
Many of our preaching professionals are paid fabulous salaries, plus the usual "compensation package" of benefits -- house allotment, utilities, Social Security, hospitalization, paid vacation, car allowance, etc.
Now think about it. Why are "Church Attenders" so important to the Pulpit Minister? Headcount at the various "services" and contribution are signs of success or failure. If you are not a regular "Church Attender," you are not a headcount nor a source of revenue! -- W.W. Wow.