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It's Just Not the Same

You ever hear people say they don't go to church because they watch a certain pastor on TV or online? They say that's how they get their dose of God.

There's nothing wrong with listening to a church service at home or online from time to time, but there are certain things we can't get from a sermon from home. There are certain reasons why the church exists. One being the help and support we usually get from others ("may he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!", Psalms 20).

There's nothing like hearing a pastor in person and getting that nudge of hope or that head shake of agreement from the person next to you or that hug from the person behind you during meet-and-greet or that all encompassing corporate prayer. There's lots of encouragement in the church. And when people think they're always getting the same touch of God from home as they get from His synagogue, there can be a big disconnect.

Consider math instruction from a teacher by TV or online. How can that teacher show us where we went wrong if she can't see our work? Who's going to see us work the problem through step by step? Our TV or online teacher can't do that. It's just not the same. Or that special concert you're excited about. Imagine catching the shirt of the artist when he looked right at you and threw it directly to you. Or seeing the look in his eyes when he's singing that song and people are waving their hands in unison. It's just not the same on TV or online is it? How about being in the stands at an NFL game? The energy from the crowd is awesome, especially if you have prime seats, but honestly it really doesn't matter where you sit. Or that team mascot who decides to dance with you, yes you. And now you're seen all over the world. What if you stayed home?

It's all about the atmosphere. And there's nothing like the Lord's house. There's nothing like the active engagement we get from being in the house of God (his tabernacle, his holy place) and around other people. Being at home every Sunday or during bible study does not have the same impact as being at church. It just doesn't...because it's just not the same.



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