Do you have to go to church to be a Christian?
The answer to your question is, of course, determined by the definition of what a Christian is. If a Christian is simply someone who assents to belief in the Triune God, then the answer is no. If a Christian is someone who is kind, caring, and keeps the basic ethical teachings of loving God and loves one's neighbor, then the answer could be no, one does not have to go to church. However, if a Christian is someone who has been baptized into the church and professed the faith of the church, then the answer is yes. At baptism or in confirmation/profession of faith, we make very important promises. We renounce evil, the spiritual forces of wickedness, and repent of our sin. We declare that we accept the freedom God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression. Then we declare we trust in Christ for salvation and promise to serve him in unity within his church. In those promises we accept God's acceptance of us within the beloved community, we promise to serve with the church, and the church welcomes us as members of Christ's royal priesthood. He knew what we deep down know today we can't keep on the path with Christ without the help and support of other Christians. Without hearing the Word read and preached, without gathering with other Christians around the table to share and feast upon Christ who is host and sacrifice for us, and without becoming part of the fire of the Spirit, we are like embers of a fire separated from the community of grace. We grow cold and the fire and flame of love grow cold and we die spiritually. We may still believe, but we stand outside the covenant in our practice. However, it is important to add God does not let us go or give up on us. What God promises, God does not revoke. We are still marked as Christ's disciple and still called to live in and with and for Christ. So what is the