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Question 128

Q: Pastor Lutzer, is it okay to listen to your program, and other radio and TV preachers, instead of attending church?

Asked by: David

A: Well David, first of all, let me say I’m so glad that you listen to Running to Win.

And of course, there are a lot of good programs out there proclaiming the word of God, and I hope that you listen as often as you can.

But the answer to your question is no. Staying home to listen to these broadcasts is not the same as going to church. Now mind you, there are many people who listen to our broadcast who can’t go to church. I’m thinking particularly of those who may have a physical infirmity, a disability, or because of old age, or due to a number of different reasons. Of course, it’s very good that they can listen and participate, however, if you can go to church, you should.

The reason is this: going to church is more than listening to a sermon or hearing music. Going to church is connecting with the community of God. We should be a transforming community, and we can’t be that alone. God has worked it out in such a way that it is through human relationships, through the exercise of the body working together as a whole, that much is accomplished. You can’t live the Christian life that you should on your own. We need one another and the place to find that “one another” is in church.

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