Can you be a Christian and not go to church?

Someone asked that very question on facebook the other day. Here is my response:

I tend not to like the way “going to church” frames the question. There is an unhealthy way of thinking of Sunday morning church gatherings that emphasizes that it is one of a number of rules that we need to check off to make God happy and be a “good Christian.” The better question is “can a person be a Christian and not belong to a Christian community?” I would say that it would be a very unhealthy Christian life to do so. Even the Trinity consists of diversity in unity, and God’s intention for mankind is to reflect that diversity in unity through “community.” God’s plan is to redeem not simply individuals but “a people,” a community, the Church. When viewed that way, the Sunday morning church meetings are (should be) nothing more than a visible expression of the life of the community.

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