Q. I am constantly getting criticized by my mother on going to church. She claims that you cannot be a true Christian unless you go to church. She claims that you cannot be truly saved unless you go to church. I have a boyfriend who I am very serious about and love very much. We plan on getting married in June. We have not gotten engaged yet because he is being persecuted by my mother (and so am I) about this church issue. It is causing me a lot of pain to deal with my mother in this because I have my own personal belief that I can be a good Christian without going to church. What advice can you give me for the next time I talk to my mom? She keeps pushing her beliefs on me and judging me for not believing the same as her. Do you feel it is necessary to go to church to be saved and a true Christian?
A. There isn’t a clear Biblical requirement that we attend church to be a Christian, although Paul admonished us not to abandon the fellowship. Being around other believers is important in helping us maintain our faith and our priorities in life. Most believers look forward to attending church each week for that reason, and find it’s one of the more enjoyable events in their weekly routine.
I’m curious. Do you not like church in general, or just the church your mother wants you to attend? Or are you trying to convince your mother that you have the right to run your own life?
In the long run, whether you attend church is not nearly as important as healing your relationship with your mother. Surely you and she can discuss this on a rational level and with the Lord’s help find a resolution that benefits everyone so you can enjoy the kind of relationship you both desire. If not maybe there’s a leader in the church that you both admire who would be willing to help you resolve this. Ask some people to pray for you and then ask your mother to discuss this with you.