Church Without God—Does It Work?

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The Atlantic magazine recently published a lengthy article titled, They Tried to Start a Church Without God. For a While It Worked.” The piece describes the initial popularity of so-called secular churches. The most common are called Sunday Assemblies, which meet Sunday mornings to sing songs, listen to some kind of teaching or presentation, and eat snacks afterward. This is supposed to be a replacement for the community found in churches. But does it work? And why do they even want to copy what Christians do and just secularize it?

The article argues that these secular congregations must become more like real churches in order to maintain their members and bring in new ones.

Well, the article reports that participation in these secular “churches” has been steadily declining, and various chapters have closed. It seems there’s little to hold these groups together—no cohesive bond—and increasing the quality of the entertainment just doesn’t seem to do it. The article argues that these secular congregations must become more like real churches in order to maintain their members and bring in new ones.

Really, these Sunday Assemblies are just counterfeiting the real thing. They are an attempt to fill the human longing for meaning, purpose, and connection, because, apart from God, there really is no ultimate meaning, purpose, or hope. The atheistic worldview—which believes that this life is everything there is and when you’re dead, that’s it—doesn’t offer ultimate meaning, purpose, or hope. But the human heart yearns for these things because we’ve been created for eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11), so some people try to find it in some kind of community. Also, God has made it evident to all that he is Creator (Romans 1), and he gives us all a conscience (Romans 2)—so all people do have this yearning for God! Now, without a common bond—God and his Word, as well as the unifying work of the Holy Spirit—these Sunday Assemblies aren’t lasting.

What people need is not ultimately human connection or community—what they need is the gospel message. The gospel gives us ultimate purpose, meaning, and hope. When we repent and trust Christ for salvation (2 Peter 3:9; John 1:12), we receive new and eternal life, as well as a new purpose—glorifying God and living for him! We’re also welcomed into the family of God, adopted as a child of God, and have instant community with his people and with his Spirit.

The gospel is the answer everyone needs!

Get More Answers on Answers News

This item was discussed Monday on Answers News with cohosts Bodie Hodge and Avery Foley, along with frequent guest Roger Patterson. Answers News is our weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following topics:

  • City bans Christian flag but approves over 200 others.
  • Ancient barbeque?
  • A memorial to a melted glacier?
  • And more!

Watch the entire episode of Answers News for July 29, 2019.

Be sure to join us each Monday at 2 p.m. (ET) on my Facebook page or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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