Monday, March 26, 2007

Abnormal

A Christian is part of a large group of believers who gather regularly for a Sunday service. He is also part of a small group that develops deep friendships, who really know and encourage each other.

If such a person were to drop out of the small group, the large group of believers wouldn’t consider this as anything other than his own personal choice. He would still be normal.

But if that same person were to declare that the large Sunday service was no longer for him, and chose to stay with just the small group, some people would consider that abnormal.

Why is that?

9 comments:

Jamie A. Grant said...

Answer The First: Authority structure. We can't be Lone Ranger Christians, so to whom do we answer if we're only in a small group?

David Grant said...

How does going to a large service make one answerable?

Ashleigh said...

I do both the large service thing, as well as the small group thing...My personal feeling is that a person is more likely to be held accountable by those in the smaller setting. It's really easy to disappear in a larger group.

Why is leaving the large service for a smaller group deamed "abnormal"? Perhaps because so many people are wrapped up in the idea that the church defines their Christianity. If one leaves that, perhaps it is seen as though that person is turning away from Christ...because we all know that you can't truly "know" Christ outside of a church, right?

*Insert sarcastic eye roll here*

Then again, I'm a relatively young Christian, so I could be WAY off...

Jamie A. Grant said...

Ah, but to whom is the leader of the small group answerable? That's the sticking point.

Though the answer should be clear: They should be accountable to the rest of the small group.

And your comment was well said, Ashleigh.

David Grant said...

Ashleigh,
In the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, it was a little child that stated the obvious. I definitely don't think you are too young of a Christian to see.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor's_New_Clothes

David Grant said...

Being accountable one to another, with people that know us and can help us, could shake the very foundations of how we are to grow as Christians.

Joel Evan said...

So we move to an accountability-based system? As long as I have an accountability partner, I'm okay?

I like large services, at the very least because I like hearing different perspectives, and reminders, as well as the fellowship. But I also generally like sermons (just like I like reading Christian literature...and blogs). I think there's definite possibilities for growth there, although I don't discount the obvious benefits of a small group as well.

Throwing away large services would strike me as chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

David Grant said...

Joel,
I didn't realize I had posted something about chucking out large services. I actually don't think I've said that anywhere in my blogs. I have stated that the weakly large service loses its impact and is not a biblical absolute or for that matter even a suggestion.

I was posing the question of why someone would be considered to be abnormal if they decided to stop attending Sunday services.

I personally think that large gatherings and preaching are vital for Christians and anyone else who would like to attend.

I may be mistating the intent of this blog, but then, I am not a lawyer.

David Grant said...

Why is the Sunday service the "baby"? Lots of methods have come and gone. Biblically, why does this one have such predominance and such shaming if not practiced.

How do we apply 1 Cor. 14:26 in the large? It seems that this passage has almost no meaning for many Christians that attend Sunday services regularly.