God’s moral teachings apply to those who follow His ways whether or not they are “in church,” that is, in a worship assembly. We act “in church” the way we practice the rest of the time. Attending any church does not “fulfill God’s requirement,” but rather, in attending an assembly of a church of Christ, one should consistently follow God’s commands:
“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and say to the poor man, ‘You stand there,’ or, ‘Sit here at my footstool,’ have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:1-13 NKJV).
Neither the clothes on the back nor the color of the skin should determine a Christian’s attitude toward others, either in worship or elsewhere! Politicians who show up at some worship are simply making public what they believe all the rest of the time.
CBS News reported on April 24, 2011: “President Barack Obama and his family attended Easter service Sunday at a Washington church founded in 1863 by freed slaves… Located about two miles north of the White House, Shiloh Baptist is one of the oldest African-American congregations in the city… Last Easter, the Obamas worshipped at a historically black Methodist church in a different part of the city.” © 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Choosing a church because of skin color shows prejudice that violates God’s Royal Law, and it illustrates how worship reflects one’s personal convictions the rest of the time! To violate God’s Law “in church” is the same as violating God’s Law the rest of the time! Aren’t Mr. Obama’s church choices therefore consistent with the prejudice he follows during the rest of his days?
Donald Trump, now with political ambitions, made his attitude toward church known when he said: ”Well, I go as much as I can. Always on Christmas. Always on Easter. Always when there’s a major occasion. And during the Sundays. I’m a Sunday church person. I’ll go when I can.” –Monday, April 11, 2011, Lawrence D. Jones, Christian Post Reporter (www.christianpost.com) using quotes taken from a Christian Broadcast Network interview for “The 700 Club” aired on April 12, 2011. Mr. Trump shows his attitude toward God during “major occasion[s]” of worship by definitely observing Catholic “Christmas” and “Easter,” but as “a Sunday church person,” like so many others, he saves up his religious conviction for his choice of times to worship God. According to the Royal Law, he may not feel obligated to observe God’s principles, except for his own chosen times of worship. “The first day of the week” was when disciples of Jesus Christ “came together to break bread” (Acts 20:7), for “as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Mr. Trump may not wish to proclaim the Lord’s death every week with the Lord’s Supper, because he may not be converted by the Lord’s death every day of the week, either!
The saints, “especially those of Caesar’s household” (Philippians 4:22), must make themselves known today. Whatever influence we have, whatever teaching we can impart, politicians must be found who truly represent the “Royal Law.”
—–John T. Polk II