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Part 2 of 4
There was little doubt that the question “Do Non-Believers Belong in Worship Services?” would stir controversy. Frankly, I felt the same way as most until recent topics addressed on this weekly blog (now in its 90th week) led me to see what the scriptures had to say about that question. Like most readers, I had assumed and never dared ask a question that conventional church growth models, nearly all churchgoers and even seminaries considered a foregone conclusion. Of course non-believers should be encouraged to attend church – any opinion to the contrary is callous and exclusionary at best.
However, it doesn’t take a great deal of biblical investigation to realize that “church” is by definition the assembly of “called out ones” who are “devoted to the Lord” – not a building, and not designed for non-believers. Countless verses support the argument that believers are supposed to BE the church between Sundays, responsible for leading people to Jesus – and only then are those new believers to join the body of Christ in collective worship.
Some readers understood how our modern-day redefinition of “church” has shifted responsibilities from members to pastors and staff – and turned attention from equipping and mobilizing to attracting and retaining. Yet others reacted quite differently, reflexively citing essentially 7 common arguments for why non-believers do belong in worship services. We’ll address the first 4 of those today…
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