Online church is still church.. Right?

I’ll be honest, I don’t go to church. The last time I was in a church building was months ago and I was there for a wedding.

Yes, I am a christian. I love God with all my heart and read the bible daily. I just got disconnected from the church community sometime back, mostly because of the judgment and hypocrisy found in the Christian community nowadays. That caused my faith to shake and it took awhile before I had rebuilt a relationship with Christ. I am now very in love with Christ and want to learn so much more about Him and what God’s plans for me are.

I haven’t yet found a church(not that I have been looking to be honest), so I am still to go to church. Thing is, I am a huge internet junkie, and I’m online almost 24/7 and interact with a lot of other Christians. I stream services and pray with them virtually. So my question is does that count as “going to church”? I always comfort myself by “where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be” In today’s age where the world has become so small and everything is done online can you call online church your home church? Say if I give my tithe to it and I’m fully committed to it?

Opinions will be appreciated.

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8 thoughts on “Online church is still church.. Right?

  1. Hi Tracy. I can relate in a way to what you are going through concerning church. I have been and still is going through the same situation, although mine started because I grew up in a cult before being saved. I believe since God is omnipresent, we don’t have to run here and there to be in His presence and as Jesus said to the woman at the Well of Jacob: a time has now come where it doesn’t matter where we worship the Lord, but it is how we worship that will matter most.

    I believe that if we go to church just to fit in or ease a guilty conscience we are not pleasing God. The Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver. I believe that applies to anything we do for Him (not only giving). If it is not from the heart, it is hypocrisy and we know what Jesus thought of hypocrites.

    Nowhere did Jesus instruct His followers to be in church every Sunday/Sabbath day. He did, however impress on them over and over that how they love and treat others will be the greatest testimony to the fact that they are His followers.

    There is one admonition in the Bible concerning the gathering of believers, but it doesn’t say in a church building. Believers then gathered in homes anyway. I pray for you and I believe that the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth about this issue as He does in all other issues we deal with as followers of Jesus. I am not saying that my opinion is the correct one, but since I have experienced the emotional turmoil that can come from not going to church, I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

    I am so pleased to have met you here on WordPress 🙂 Sorry for the lengthy comment.

    • I love the long post 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story. It’s really difficult when family and friends choose to judge by whether you go to the church building or not rather than your relationship with Christ.
      So who is your “two or three”? if I may ask..

      • You can ask any time, Tracy 🙂

        I also spend a lot of my time with the online Christian community, and I know that feeling of being judged for not attending church, like going to a building makes you somehow better than others. I am still praying that the Lord will heal me in such a way that I can go to a church community with gladness. 🙂

  2. Tracy, Thanks for stopping by my blog and “liking” my Psalm post.

    You pose an interesting question. I think that any Christian community you are a regular part of can be considered your “church.” Hebrews 10:25 says “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” If your online church community provides you with support ane encouragement, as well as opportunities to grow in your faith, then it could be considered your church.

    However, I don’t think that would be enough for me. I would miss the hugs, sharing Communion, and the in-person human interaction. I wonder if an online community can provide the support needed when something goes wrong. I also wonder if an online community provides the same opportunities to learn how to extend grace and mercy when those we call fellow Christians don’t act like we think they should. Anyway, just some thoughts. Peace, Linda

    • Thanks for stopping by and you’re welcome I enjoyed your post.

      Wow, that’s definitely a different way to look at it, hadn’t thought of it like that. I will admit I miss the physical interaction part of it..

  3. Church is not found in a building, and as has already been stated, Jesus did not say you have to go to church. There are many places where people gather in their own homes to hold a church service. You would not think this is not church, would you? Then why is the internet any different? You could also find a few mutual friends to hold a Bible study or group for interaction if you’d like. There are tons of opportunities to volunteer in every city, and you could do a once a week thing to connect to others in that capacity.

    I would not, however, advise tithing to an online community, especially if you have just joined. If you feel the need to tithe, then find a local reputable charity to give your money to. It will go so much further and have a greater impact in your own community than throwing the money into cyberspace and hoping they are doing good with it. Real charity starts at home. Or, at least in your own neighborhood. If you don’t know where to start, spend your 10% on extra groceries and donate it to a local food bank. Or buy clothing at Good Will or something for foster kids. Don’t rely on others to spend your 10% – do it yourself, and it will go much, much further!

  4. Hi, Tracy, I saw your post on FB. I agree that an on-line community can be your church. Prayers said in a corporate worship session or prayers said in the privacy of your home are both valid ways to communicate with God. But I think Linda brings up a good point. Part of the purpose of gathering together is to give us the chance to learn together and help each other. You mention being turned off by hypocrites and judgementalism among Christians, but the truth is that we are all hypocrites. We all fall short of the glory of God. Of course there is a difference between those who are sincerely trying to live right, verses those who give ‘church lip service’. I don’t blame you for leaving a situation that might be detrimental to your spiritual health, but remember that Jesus was always found mingling with the sinners. You might be the very instrument that God uses to help someone make a change in their life, just by your example. It gives you a chance to extend grace and mercy, as Linda said.

    Have you thought of having a bible study in your home, or going to one that is offered in your area? That would give you some (physical) fellowship with other believers without committing yourself to a particular church. I have no doubt that there are others who feel the same way you do and are wondering about it, because it is a common ‘thorn in the side’. Shoot, you could do a study on the early church, and explore this whole issue! You know, even back then there were problems–Paul, in several of his letters to the churches, had to address the questions and conflicts among the believers.

    Whatever you do, I think if you look to God for your final authority, and do what He leads you to do, you will be on the right track. Good luck, and thanks for posing an honest, searching question!

    Janice

  5. Hi Tracy,

    Christ went where He was needed. Sometimes that was in a synagogue, more often it wasn’t. Let the Spirit blow you where He will, and strive to glorify God.

    Lou Barba

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