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Is it true that much of the Christian Church’s success was derived from social convention rather than inherent human need for Christ, a savior? Many believe so. That a small town doctor might attend church to appear socially straight is not uncommon. That a student might attend youth group to meet, even prospect for dates is true. That the churches of America were once better attended, yes. But why?  It is true that social conventions can and do both encourage and discourage church participation. A lively “spirit led” service with optional arm waving will encourage some and discourage others from attending. Form and liturgy matters. So does doctrine. Many denominations include social norms not found in scripture, including democratically legislated conventions that besmirch, muddy, and even blacken the true light of scripture. The ramifications of socially acceptable laws go way beyond justified feelings. Feelings, less restricted, in truth, limits social freedoms and godly joy.  So if people are fleeing the churches, what should the true believers response be? Preach the gospel and teach what the scriptures say, nothing more, for it is the gospel that populates the houses of faith not social conventions.

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