There is a church on “every corner” so it seems. If you don’t like this one, be sure to check out that one over yonder. If that does not work, then take three additional steps and check out a third location. Finally, if that does not work, then move another block down the road and, surely, you will find one that meets your desires.
As unfortunate as this sounds, this is not far from how people look at the various churches. We are a country that gives a great attention to personal liberties. If we don’t like this, let us try that – and this philosophy is applied to church attending or church hopping. Is this the place to start in determining where to “go to church”?
A better place to start would be the New Testament. Begin with Matthew 16:13-19, considering what the Lord said about the church He would build. The one point from this passage that is important to learn is this: the church belongs to the Lord Jesus; it is not the creation of any man. Why is this important? Because, when man creates something, he sets forth his own schematic diagram, his own rules for those who attend and/or what to become members.
This is not the way to approach it.
Here in 1 Timothy 3:14-15, the Lord’s apostle gave clear points to Timothy (in chapters 1-3) relative to the church in a community’s location. We have learned, just in this chapter, holy men are to serve as elders / bishops and holy men are to serve as deacons. We also learn the church of the living God is the pillar and ground of (for the) truth (3:15). Yet, if the church of which you’re a member does not follow the Holy Spirit’s structure, simply as put forth in this chapter (to say nothing else of any other chapter), then how can it be a pillar and ground of truth?
Does it matter? The Holy Spirit said it did. RT