The Church of My Own Opinion

Bill Brinkworth

“Well, I need to get up.  It is Sunday.  I really do need to go to church,” he thought; as he rubbed sleep out of his eyes. He struggled to make the first move of the day out of his bed.

“But then again, why do I have to go?  God is everywhere.  So why can’t I worship Him here or on the lake. I know, I can take the boat and go fishing.  It will be okay with God.  I’ll just talk to Him out in the boat and admire all He has made.”

From the heavens, the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit, whispered to him, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is …” (Heb. 10:25a).

That fleeting remembrance of the verse soon left, as the half-slumbering sluggard, drifted in and out of sleep. Minutes later, he again awoke, and continued his thoughts.  “Besides, the preacher is not always right anyway.  He thinks the Bible is the only source of knowing God’s way.  Why it’s just a book, and probably has a lot of mistakes. What does he know; besides, I’m a good person, and I think I know what is right. I don’t think you have to go to church every time. I don’t think God wants me to stay away from everything that’s bad.  I know He wants me to have fun sometimes. He probably doesn’t expect me to be perfect all the time.”

Again the soft voice of the Holy Spirit put in the mind of the contemplator a verse that was preached the last time he was in church, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

The fleeting reminder of the verse did nothing to change the opinion of the dozing man. Another train of thought was chased around in the man’s logic. “Yeah, I’m a good person.  I don’t need the preaching and Bible reading like those other folks. I do a lot of good things, and God knows about them. As long I’m not as bad as the others, I’m sure it’s okay with God.”

The Holy Spirit wanted to shout down from heaven, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom. 3:23), but He didn’t think He would be listened to.  He decided He would try one more time to speak to the hardening heart, “… There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom. 3:10b).

The verse was received in the half-slumbering mind, but it too was ignored. “Well, if I don’t go to church, I can save some money by not putting it in the offering plate. Besides the preacher just wants my money.  That church has got more than enough.”

Immediately the Holy Spirit thought of the verse about how not tithing is robbing from God (Malachi 3:8-10), but He reasoned, “Why should I tell him. He’s ignored everything I tried to tell him already.  He’ll just rationalize it somehow.  Probably the old excuse, ‘Well that’s just an Old Testament verse and not for today.’  He has made up his mind to do what he wants and will not obey anyway.” The Holy Spirit was silent to the slumberer, and spoke no more.

Ten more minutes of dozing continued, until finally the man made his first move to get out of his bed.  He already had formulated his plans for the day. He would walk the dog, get breakfast, and hook-up the boat to the truck and head out to the lake.

One more local Church of My Own Opinion had just let out, but there would be millions of them meeting all over the world.  It was the most popular denomination.  As with most of the meetings, the Holy Spirit’s voice was not wanted to be heard; so He was likewise silent in most of their services, too.  He was very grieved (Eph. 4:30).

True obedience hath no lead at its heels.” — Adams, 1653

This article was featured in The Bible View #465.

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