My Thoughts. . .
Thursday, June 18, 2020
There is a story about the judgment. A line is waiting for the time when each stands before Jesus. Toward the end where judgment is made, everyone in line hears a commotion. Those in line comprehend that the announcer is excited and overwhelmed with the news he wishes to share. As that individual gets closer, people see that he is an excited male running and shouting a repeated statement. After a few minutes they can make out what he is excited about. He announces, “Wednesday nights don’t count! Wednesday nights don’t count!”
Some folks believe the ovens of hell are reserved for people who neglect to go to church on Wednesday nights. They believe a Christian will experience heaven only if he has perfect Wednesday night attendance. If you do not teach those requirements, it must be because you do not believe the gospel. Actually, the Good News of Jesus is not that one is required to attend on Wednesday nights. I know that sounds blasphemous, but Wednesday attendance is not mentioned anywhere in your Bible.
Although one may admire the zeal of a person who has perfect Wednesday night attendance, it is sad that one seeks that honor when God has not made it part of His Good News. The doctrine concerning the necessity of that Wednesday night service was introduced eighteen hundred years after Acts 2. That would make it a doctrine that was too late to be a biblical requirement.
The Acts 2 church met EVERY day (Acts 2:46). Yes, EVERY day! You do not hear anyone demanding that we must copy that EVERY day pattern in order to please God. In fact, a few years later the Troas assembly was meeting on the first day, with no others being mentioned. So, Paul and company met with them on that one specific day (Acts 20:7-11). Luke indicates they were there seven days, and a Wednesday night assembly is not mentioned. Surprisingly, the biblical pattern given is not completely ours! It is NOT a Sunday morning assembly. They met Sunday night and did not break bread until AFTER midnight (Acts 20:11). I do not know of any preacher who demands that we follow their example, or we will lose our souls. We pick out of Acts 20:7 what we deem essential and ignore the rest of that pattern. We assume the way we do things is what will please God. Are our assumptions the standard for arousing God’s favor? Are those assemblies at other times and on different days biblically required or just humanly invented? To ask may be considered heresy, but did Jesus not question why certain religious actions were being practiced in his day? To ask is not sinful nor being disrespectful, but to understand why we do what we do. If we are to be a group that quotes book, chapter, and verse for our authority, we need to always examine our practices to make sure they are (2 Corinthians 13:5).
If willfully neglecting to attend the Wednesday night assemblies 1) shows one’s disrespect for God, and 2) puts the absentee’s soul in jeopardy of being lost, then are elderships not remiss in their responsibilities by allowing that sin to continue without fellowship from being withdrawn? Since the guilty are not disciplined, it demonstrates that the “sin” is not as severe as some claim. If those who fail to attend are guilty of not respecting God, the lack of disciplining portrays that same disrespect.
Should churches have Wednesday night assemblies? Certainly. The purpose for its establishment was to give members a mid-week meeting to build of their faith. Such assemblies are to provide needed instruction, an opportunity to have fellowship, to be and to give encouragement, and to provide that love which is a bond that glues us together. When for that purpose, Wednesday nights do count!