In a blog called Changing the Face of Christianity, R. Brad White examines Romans 12 and writes that a believer who “avoids going to church and being part of a local body of believers” is a “lone-ranger Christian” who is “weaker” than church attenders, and he compares the non-church-attending believer’s absence to a “disease within the church,” which can be cured if the non-church-attending believer would “engage in fellowship and service within a local body of believers (aka ‘the church’).”
While I agree that there is a disease in the church institution, I don’t think that many church-attending Christians realize they regularly kick their unwanted “cure” to the curb, and consequently (because God is so freaking cool like that), the body of Christ is now absolutely thriving outside the church building walls, doing life together in the world without the institution’s help, approval, or blessings.
Ironically, Paul doesn’t say anything about going to church in Romans 12. White describes the way the disease works, writing, “If you are an encourager, and you don’t encourage the body… If you are a teacher and you don’t teach…” etc, but why, please tell me why must a believer practice these gifts within the confines of the system in order for such activities to be considered valid “scorecard” stats?
We don’t go to Church, we ARE the Church, and wherever we are, there the Church is, doing what the Church does best!