- When people become Christians and are baptized they become members of the Church, the Body of Christ.
- When Christians absent themselves regularly from worship, they are severing themselves from the benefits of being a member of the Body of Christ.
- ‘Begging’ the uncommitted to take seriously their obligations to the Body of Christ has no basis in Scripture or Christian theology.
- Persons who are ‘begged’ (or badgered) into participating in worship along with the other members of the Body of Christ feel put upon and consequently they feel disengaged. They don’t really wish to be there, and they know it. So, filled with resentment they ‘get nothing’ out of the service of Worship.
- When they leave worship, the tell themselves that they were right not to be regular in worship attendance because they ‘didn’t get anything out of it’ but of course they didn’t get ‘anything out of it’ – they resented being there in the first place. As a consequence, their disdain for or disrespect of communal life (life as participant in the Body of Christ) is fed and once fed, grows.
- At the end of the process, because they didn’t want to be there in worship in the first place, and feeling resentment for having to be there because badgered or begged, they resolve to absent themselves for the foreseeable future- thus robbing themselves of community encouragement and the community of faith their encouragement and spiritual gifts.
- People, then, who do not wish to be at worship, should not be in worship. Resented attendance is always counterproductive attendance.
- However, it’s worth remembering that those who do not wish to be part of the Body of Christ are behaving in a way both contrary to Scripture and conscience and are quenching, in their lives, the Work of the Spirit. They are, to put it simply, hurting themselves. It makes no sense that they need to be begged not to do so.
Why ‘Begging’ Christians to Participate in Worship Is a Mistake: An Observation