Forsaking the Assembly

Hebrews 10:24,25, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; not forsaking our own assembling together..." In the minds of many, there is a separation between the two portions of this verse, a shift of gears as it were. To my mind, the two parts are integral in that the reason for our assembling together is "to provoke unto love and good works," not easy to achieve in the formalistic dry-rot of our modern assemblies, wherein participation is limited and discouraged by the format of the meeting, which is conducted with all the precision of an execution by firing-squad. The attitude of most leaders is "If you don't like the way we do it, you can go somewhere else," as though valid edification and building up of the body can only be accomplished their way.

Also with reference to this passage, this is the only New Testament admonition to assemble together, surely a gross oversight on the part of the apostles, if assembling together is as important as most leaders paint it to be, virtually assigning to Hadean realms those who are not there, ready for brainwashing, every time the doors are open to the church building (which structures we find so necessary, but which are not even mentioned in the New Testament). Souls, not buildings or feedings, were the concern of the apostles and other leaders in the early church (read Acts 6), contrary to the emphasis placed by modern "elders," who are ready to abandon the quest not only for the one "lost" sheep, but also most of the ninety-and-nine, if that means abandoning concern for the "budget" or the "church-building" or the other relative trivialities which almost totally absorb their attention. And yet these have the gall to claim that they are GOD-appointed officers and leaders of the "flock." And, even more damaging to the future of the "church," these are the role models held up for emulation by the young. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the young see through the emptiness and hypocrisy thus demonstrated and look for something more vital, real, and meaningful to which to dedicate their idealism. What a shame, sin, and crime it is to subvert the intensity, passion, and dedication of true Christianity, such as that of the apostle Paul, the apostle Peter, and Stephen, who were willing to (and did) suffer the death of martyrs for the sake of the glory they saw in the Lord Jesus Christ, into the spectator-sport which we attend today. Is it any wonder that the children, who can see so much need around them, question the validity of a religion which is so little concerned with supplying the needs, physical and spiritual, of those who are hurting. - Gene Peacock