I have a friend who "goes to church" via the Internet. Is that a scriptural way of worshiping and meeting?
Thank you as always. I am very appreciative of the work you've been doing for so long!
No, it is not. In doing so he cannot:
- Assemble: "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25). Assembly is a two-way interaction. Your friend gets some benefits, but he gives none to anyone else.
- Sing: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). Singing is a two-way interaction. You cannot teach your fellow Christians if they cannot hear your songs.
- Lord's Supper: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (I Corinthians 10:16). There is no direct sharing of remembering the Lord's death. Note the phrases in I Corinthians 11:17-20 in introducing the taking of the Lord's Supper:
"since you come together" (I Corinthians 11:17)
"when you come together as a church" (I Corinthians 11:18)
"when you come together in one place" (I Corinthians 11:20)
Worship is about coming together in a single place to join with fellow Christians in common action. "How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification" (I Corinthians 14:26).