Question:I have a question to ask you that I do not know how to fully answer. My family members are not convinced that going to church as a family is the best thing for the family. I believe that going to church is important especially as a family, but they believe that everything taught at church can be learned at home. I have tried explaining a variety reason as to why to go to church, like fellowship with other Christians. They have had past experiences with different churches and so in a way I can understand why they would be apprehensive about attending regularly. No church is perfect and church politics turns my family away from church. I have been judged at church and people judge my family before they even know them simply because they do not attend church with me. I have told my family this and they fear that they will be judged even if they go to church and be surrounded by "Sunday" judgmental Christians. How should I go about or show my family that we should attend church and that even though church politics and judgmental people are basically at every church they can still get something out of it?
I as explained earlier in "Do you think it's a sin not to go to church?" there are things done in church services which cannot be done individually. The simple fact is that you can't reach heaven by refusing to follow God's commands.
Isn't it ironic that their excuse for not attending is that others might think less of them because they had not been attending. What circular reasoning! "I'm not going to give up lying because people who tell the truth will look down on me because I lied." Actually, what they are saying is that they refuse to change because other people are coming to the logical conclusion that they are not faithful Christians; yet they blame the people who think instead of saying I need to change my behavior so that it is no longer true.
I don't know what has happened in the past, but given the unsound reasoning they are using in this matter, it causes me to wonder if the "church politics" of the past were not matters where they were in the wrong but they didn't want others mentioning it.
I suspect that there is no end of excuses which they could offer. Showing them the fallacy of this one will only lead to bringing up some other one. The best thing that you can do is set the example. Go to services regularly and faithfully, whether they go or not. There are going to be times when they will suggest not going for one reason or another (after all, you will be making their excuses look foolish since little or nothing stops you from attending) and these become opportunities to tell them that you have a prior engagement with the Lord. You can then ask them if they would join you because you really like to have them come along. Eventually, your persistence will make inroads with them. As Paul told Timothy, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" (I Timothy 4:12-13).