Well, my dear church checkers. All it took was a worldwide pandemic to threaten the lives of three percent of the population for local churches to finally admit what we've known all along:
You don't actually have to go to a physical local church in order to be a good Christian.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak now sweeping across the globe, churches are closing their doors and cancelling services quicker than you can say "Amen."
SMCC's online service this Sunday was available on their YouTube Channel, and in the description of the video, they told us "Even when we can't go to church, we can still be the church...Remember, the church isn't closed, just our buildings are. Enjoy your time at church today!"
This is the same church that claims: "winning alone isn't winning."
Alpine Church, our most recent church checked, has cancelled all services for March 15th and 22nd. Like SMCC, they put their services online but show no concern for the spiritual health of Christians now lacking physical attendance at church.
You would think if attending local church were really as essential to our personal faith as these local churches have claimed that some efforts to avoid cancelling services would be made.
And yet, every church we've checked, with a couple of exceptions (smaller churches don't need to cancel due to a much lower risk of infection), have cancelled their services, with many of them putting services online. All without a single mention of how we're going to survive as Christians without our physical local church buildings, and all the supposed spiritual necessities they provide us in our walk with God.
Why aren't they worried about our relationships with Christ as we are now deprived of the local church services and buildings? What will happen to our faith if we don't have that weekly small group meeting to hold us accountable? How can we worship without our church's band to perform before us? And most importantly, how will we serve God if we can't even go to the local church building where we're told how to do that?
The truth should be glaring by now. The local church, its man-based "accountability," its worship concerts, its service demands, and even its self-help seminars posing as sermons, are not only unnecessary but maybe now by being forced to stay at home, will be exposed as completely antithetical to the Gospel and God's Word after all.
Many churches, like SMCC and Alpine Church, are now admitting that even though we can't physically come together, we're still the Church, and we can still pursue God, walk with Him, and do literally everything that we could do while we were going to church in person.
SMCC is even insisting that Christians continue to give financially as they were before, even without their physical, in-person services to motivate them.