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God's Not Mad at You
“Do I have to go to church?”

“Do I have to go to church?”

MARCH 5, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Do I have to go to church?”

Steve Brown:
Do I have to go to church? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life, dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So, here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey Steve, How are you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing really good, as a matter of fact.

Pete Alwinson:
You look really good. I mean,

Steve Brown:
That’s cause I swam laps yesterday.

Pete Alwinson:
And you’re going to do it today later too.

Steve Brown:
And every time I tell you that, you say you’re proud of me.

Pete Alwinson:
I am. I’m so proud.

Steve Brown:
So, that’s the reason I say it.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man.

Steve Brown:
Then you say, I knew you were going to say that. I said I swam laps yesterday, 50. And you said I’m proud of you. And that’s why I said it cause, I know you’re going to say that, when I say it and I’m having a bad day. That’s Pete Alwinson, by the way. And you need to go to ForgeTruth.com. So much good material on that website. And you’ll thank me for telling you about it. And Pete’s book, you’re doing an audio version of your book.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. It’s going to come out through Key Life, I hear, probably. I don’t know how long it will take? But, next month maybe?

Steve Brown:
It’s a pain to do though, isn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
That’s a challenge, for sure.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Cause you’re reading your own words that you wrote and you think, I don’t think I said that. Some editor in an office somewhere put that in, I didn’t put it in. But that’ll be good. And we’ll let you guys know when it’s out and you can get it, Like Father, Like Son. As you know, Pete comes in each week and on Fridays and we’ve done this for years. We sit around this table in the studio and we answer your questions, sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong, sometimes we just don’t know, but we’re honest. And, we stand for correction when you let us know that something we said wasn’t right. And we’ll correct it, because we’re spiritual and Christians and we have no ego. We are totally sanctified. And if you believe that you’ll believe, at any rate. We do love getting your questions and you can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven, record your questions, sometimes we put that on the air. Or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Or in Canada it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org. And you can use all of those touch places to help us financially if the spirit should so move. And by the way, you can give on your phone, text Key Life at 28950 and follow the instructions. And we understand when you can’t help us financially, do say a prayer for us. And then Peter, you say a prayer for us and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Alright. Let’s pray. Father, thank you for your goodness today. As we stop just for a minute, it’s been a long week, and we thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are God eternal, and you are warm and kind and merciful and just and loving and so many other things. You are an omnipotent. We stop for a minute, and stand in amazement who you are and we worship you. Well, we need you. We have many requests, Lord Jesus. So we pray that you would hear us as we follow you, we want to be obedient to you because of your grace to us, but we’re often not obedient, so we confess our sins. And yet we, we, we need you to continue to work in our life, in those areas of our key relationships, the need for jobs, health issues, Lord, and so many others. We ask you now to be with our pastors and teachers and priests and leaders, as they get ready to lead us in worship this Sunday. Pray that you would help them give us your word and only your word, not their ideas. We pray that we would be led into the presence of the triune God, and you’d be honored and glorified. And now we commit this time of Q&A to you. And we pray these things in our strong name of our Lord. Jesus Christ. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, I’ve got a couple of email questions that have to do with church. Let me give you the first one.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright.

Steve Brown:
And I’ve never heard this before. This is the, this dog’s not going to hunt, but it’s an, it’s a good try. This person says how important is attending church? I believe that we are easier targets for the enemy, when we do not gather together in corporate worship.

Pete Alwinson:
Interesting.

Steve Brown:
Have you ever heard that before?

Pete Alwinson:
I’ve never heard that one before. Yeah. If we are all together, then it just takes one bomb versus many.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. I’m quitting church. I’m not going back.

Pete Alwinson:
Well. Yeah. How important is it to, I think it’s really important.

Steve Brown:
Oh, it’s very important.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. In our, as our ministry of Forge is coming back together, I see guys wanting to get together.

Steve Brown:
Oh.

Pete Alwinson:
That, that zoom doesn’t do it.

Steve Brown:
That’s God’s spirit.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
It really is. I mean, we, you can’t hug a screen image.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
You can’t, if you can’t touch you, you don’t, you’ve got some real problems and that’s clearly the reason Scripture is so clear about the importance of gathering together and the importance of the church.

Pete Alwinson:
Yup.

Steve Brown:
And I, you know, people say that I don’t, you know, I’m a Christian, but I don’t have anything to do with the church. And, I often say, how do people know who’s side you’re on? And you’re missing so much, because you’re so messed up. If you don’t come, you’re going to get more messed up, because that’s what we’re here for, each other.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And, it’s so clear in Scripture.

Pete Alwinson:
So clear. You’re absolutely right. And even the whole idea that we’re believer priests. And that we have spiritual gifts to use in each other’s lives is proof that we need that interaction. Now, I get it with, with

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
the sickness and the need for those, with comorbidities and other issues, to stay home. And I get that, but we do need to get back together.

Steve Brown:
And I understand too, the people who’ve been hurt in church, you know, RC Sproul, you and I are both our late friend, RC Sproul wrote a book called The Psychology of Atheism. And he said, those who leave the church, leave because of some kind of event that was traumatic in their lives. And I think that happens sometimes.

Pete Alwinson:
It does.

Steve Brown:
It’s a mess. The church is messy, and you know, I’d prefer to join the Rotary Club, but we don’t get that option. And every time in Scripture, when the Scripture is talking about the church, they, it’s always plural.

Our father who art in heaven.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
In I Corinthians 3, Paul said

That everything was ours. Don’t you know that God’s, that you’re the temple of God’s Spirit.

And the you is plural.

That y’all are the temple of God’s Spirit.

And in I Peter, in that chapter that you’re,

You’re called you’re Holy priesthood, a Holy nation God’s own people receive mercy.

He uses it in the plural.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. I know, isn’t that amazing.

Steve Brown:
So there’s no wiggle room and, so suck it up, find a church and go.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. You know, and I, and I do think you gotta look hard. I think it’s harder these days and in our metro area, I think there’s a lot of churches that are going through great transitions.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I do too.

Pete Alwinson:
And, um, and, and it’s, it’s harder to make that decision up. And so it’s a real prayerful thing. It’s a real visiting around kind of thing too.

Steve Brown:
Oh man, I’ve done that. And as you know, and it’s been a very difficult time, I’ve never left a church.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And, and I felt at, at a loss and depressed,

Pete Alwinson:
Yup.

Steve Brown:
And I think that was spiritual. So, deal with it, go to church, find a church and go to it. Which brings me to another question.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Should they find a Methodist church, this person says, and if you, well, it says are Methodist churches okay for born again Christians?

Pete Alwinson:
Interesting, that they would say that, you know, really the answer is a generic answer. The church to go to is a Bible teaching, grace energized church. They got to understand the gospel. If it’s, if it’s, you gotta do these things and they’re laying out guilt stuff every day. You and I would say, absolutely, that’s not the church, go where they understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, grace motivated, energized, and where they’re teaching the Bible, the whole counsel of God

Steve Brown:
And where Christ is exalted

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
and people do their best to love each other.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And if you find that kind of church, It’s going to be messy. They, they’re a bunch of clicks and it takes a long time to get connected. It’s, it’s, you will feel uncomfortable. I often say at churches, look, if you’re visiting, take it from the old guy, leave before you get hurt. And, but the truth is, and I love your answer too, because you know, there’s some Methodist churches, where you shouldn’t be comfortable.

Pete Alwinson:
Yup.

Steve Brown:
There’s some Presbyterian and Baptist and Lutheran and Episcopal and Anglican churches where you’re not comfortable or welcomed as a born again Christian. So you’ve got to look at the individual church.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And your point about the messiness of churches. One of our friends, Mike Henderson said to me the other day, he goes, you know, Proverbs 27:17.

Iron sharpens iron.

You know, when that happens, sparks fly. That’s a good statement. And I never thought about it quite that way, but that’s true. You, you cannot have iron sharpening iron, without some sparks flying from time to time.

Steve Brown:
That’s, that’s really true. And the churches that are, that everything is wonderful, when we join hands and walk off in the sunset with Jesus kind of thing. Those kinds of churches, are churches where they generally don’t believe anything.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Cause if you don’t care, I mean, I can, we can sing the sing songs together.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
If we don’t care.

Pete Alwinson:
If we don’t care.

Steve Brown:
But if you care.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s powerful. Find a good Bible teaching church.

Steve Brown:
This is, yeah. We can say something about it. In my daily Bible reading, I’m stuck on I Corinthians 6:9, if you’re not familiar with that, that’s a list of bad stuff. And then Paul makes a statement. You don’t get to heaven, if you’re doing this stuff. It’s I Corinthians 6:9, I look at all the sins listed that will keep people out of heaven. But how does grace fit in here? My deep thinking nature keeps asking what is greed? I think we all could maybe have an idol. And find our place in that text.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, I think so. And, I think Paul is saying with John on these things. John says something like, you know,

He who was born again doesn’t sin.

Well, he’s not saying that we don’t sin or that we won’t know have, even idols that were still fighting, but the trajectory of our life, the mainstay of our life is not sin. And we’re really trying to move away from sin. If you’re born again, you don’t want to sin.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, I really don’t.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
I want to be better. And I have friends that say it ain’t working.

Pete Alwinson:
And you have many that says, Hey, Steve, you’re a whole lot better than you used to be.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. But we got to go. Thanks for the compliment. Before we go, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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