Neither are the doctrines acceptable to God without good works,
nor does God accept works accomplished otherwise than as linked with pious doctrines.
Cyril of Jerusalem
BBC FLASHNEWS: Japan govt confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. If rain comes, remain indoor first 24hrs. Close doors & windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precautious. Radiation may hit Philippine at startng 4pm today. Pls send to your loved ones.
[T]he very protest against God in the face of evil in fact presupposes God's existence. Why are we disturbed about the brute and blind force of tsunamis that snuff out people's lives - including those of children who were lured, as if by some sinister design, onto the beaches by fish left exposed in the shallows because the waters had retreated just before the tidal wave came? If the world is all there is, and the world with moving tectonic plates is a world in which we happen to live, what's there to complain about? We can mourn - we've lost something terrible dear. But we can't really complain, and we certainly can't legitimately protest.To the question "Where was God during the tsunami?" Volf replies,
The expectation that the world should be a hospitable place, with no devastating mishaps, is tied to the belief that the world ought to be constituted in a certain way. And that belief - as distinct from the belief that the world just is what it is - is itself tied to the notion of a creator. And that bring us to God. It is God who makes possible our protest that there is evil in the world. And it is God against whom we protest. God is both the ground of the protest and its target. Almost paradoxically, we protest with God against God. How can I believe in God when tsunamis strike? I protest, and therefore I believe.
Just as God was in some mysterious way in the Crucified One, God was in the midst of the tsunami carnage, listening to every sigh, collecting every tear, resonating with the trembling of each fear-stricken heart. And just as God was in the Resurrected One, so God was in each helping hand, in each decision to sacrifice one's own life so that another could live. God suffered and God helped.Check this website to see some options on how you may suffer with and help the people of Japan. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison...
I know that, at the same time, God was also seated on God's heavenly throne. Why did the omnipotent and loving One not do something about the tsunami before it struck? I don't know. If I knew, I could justify God. But I can't. That's why I am still disturbed by the God to whom I am so immensely attracted and who won't let go of me.
To worship God.
You mean we can’t worship God outside the context of church worship service? Isn’t our whole life supposed to be a worship to God?
To set aside a special time for God, just like you’ll set aside a special time for your loved ones.
Well, why do we need to go to church then? Can’t we set aside a special time at home or other places? Maybe botanical gardens or mountains where we can get what Calvinists call sensus divinitatis (a sense of the divine)?
To fellowship with other believers
That sounds good. But what if we don’t get to fellowship with other Christians? In fact, often times we don’t even know the names of those sitting next to us during worship service. So, what kind of fellowship are you talking about?
To listen to God’s Word
My friend, where have you been? Don’t you know that there are a lot of online sermons in the internet? And those sermons are much better than my pastor’s sermons!
To participate in the Eucharist
Oh, then I can just go to church four times a year. My home church celebrates it four times a year.
To give tithe.
We can do it through i-banking.
To obey God’s command
Really? Please show me which God’s command you’re referring to then we can discuss again.
So, why go to church? I’ve tried to show in a simple way (hopefully not too simplistic) that the “standard” answers provided by Christians to the question are inadequate. I suggest that it may be more helpful to see worship (I’m referring to worship service) as a meal.
Why do we eat? The most basic answer to this is because we are humans. It’s as simple as that. Humans need to eat. Eating is part of human nature. Sometimes we eat for the sake of surviving. We don’t enjoy the food, but we eat whatever available to us because we need to eat. We are hungry. We are humans. At other times, we eat to really enjoy good food. When we are sick, we tend to skip meals. But this often makes us feel even worse. We need to eat. It’s just part and parcel of being humans. When we eat, sometimes we get what we want (feeling full, feeling satisfied, etc). But many times we don’t get what we want. However, we don’t stop eating. We eat because we are humans. So, the question “Why do we eat?” is not supposed to be asked in the first place. We, humans, just eat.
In a similar way, why do we go to church? Why do we participate in worship services? We go to church because we are Christians. Christians simply go to church. Going to church is part and parcel of being a Christian. It’s as simple as that. When we go to church, sometimes we get what we want. We want to sing praises to God. We want to hear good sermons so that they can help us to grow deeper in our faith. We want to have a good fellowship so that we’ll be encouraged to persevere in following the LORD in the midst of the challenges we face. Sometimes we do get all these good stuffs. But sometimes, hopefully not too often, we just don’t get them. This shouldn’t stop us from going to church. There may be times when we feel sick spiritually and don’t feel like going to church. This shouldn’t stop us from going to church too. Just like skipping meals will make us feel worse when we’re sick, skipping worship services will make us worse when we are in such condition. So, Christians shouldn’t ask “Why go to church?” in the first place. Christians just go to church. Christians just participate in worship services. This is part of their nature as Christians. Christians desire to see and experience the coming kingdom of God at which the Church is pointing and of which the Church be a sign. Because of our sinfulness, this desire is often misdirected. Christians are to redirect it through their participation in the life of the Church.