This pious belief—usually touted by those who work a Monday-thru-Friday schedule—is based partly on Hebrews 10:25, where it admonishes Christians not to forsake the assembly. We’ve been taught that this means “don’t skip going to church.” The argument then follows that forsaking the assembly means you can’t partake of the Lord’s Supper, worship with other Christians, etc. Many see these a matters of faith, and if not carried out weekly invites wrath from the Lord. But is God more concerned with church attendance rather than taking care of one’s family?
The gist of Hebrews 10:25 has little to do with Sunday morning worship service, but was written in the context where Jewish Christians were under tremendous pressure to forsake Christianity and return to the Mosaic system.
Where’s the priority? In today’s job market, where Sunday has become another workday, Christians are faced with a tough choice. To answer the dilemma, most churches offer evening and mid-week services. Yet because some think that the Sunday morning worship service counts more than the evening service, they see a job as “serving mammon instead of serving God.” Bogus nonsense that usually comes from someone working a cozy Monday-thru-Friday schedule. What about the military, where a person is technically on the clock 24/7?
During World War II, when America was working like crazy to support the effort, churches came up with the Sunday “evening” service. This gave folks a chance to still attend on Sunday after working all day in some factory. The evening service has remained every since, and there are those who think that you must attend both.
God wants you to take care of your family first. Note:
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim 5:8)
If providing for your family means working on Sunday, so be it. Go to the evening service instead. Yet I've sat in meetings where certain men said, “If your employer won't let you come to church on Sunday mornings, find one who will!” Paul addressed this very issue, where folks were looking down their noses at others for not worshiping on days they thought were “more holy”:
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?…One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord…You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother?…So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. (Rom 14:4-13)
In the Old Testament, God even allowed for people to miss certain mandatory feasts, allowing them to make up for it on another day. (Numbers 9:10)
Christianity is not about church attendance, though it should be a part of every Christian’s walk. Nor were the New Testament letters written in the context of Sunday morning worship services. Ninety percent of what is written there is for everyday living.
There are arrogant preachers who think everyone should be at church on Sunday morning so that the flock can hang on every spoken word. More importantly, a packed sanctuary usually insures a fat offering collection.