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Maverick Movement

Watching a service is not attending a church

by Theodore Wright.


Have you ever asked someone, “What church do you go to?” with them responding “Oh, I go the electronic church!” You might respond, “What church is that?” They respond that they watch church on television or do the same with the internet. I am sorry to say that this is actually NOT going to church at all. It is only watching church.


We do believe in fellowship among generically evangelical churches. Yet, we do not believe in fellowshiping in cults nor the false religion of Roman Catholicism nor in churches like it. To mention another conviction which we searched out was the matter of so-called “online churches”.

While watching church services on television or internet may be edifying, it is NOT the same as going to church. It is not being in church. These places which may perhaps be referred to as “online churches” but it isn’t really church at all for you if you are not physically there. This is the reality of the matter. What is only virtual lacks reality just like playing video games instead of participating in physical sports.


At times, a church is defined as building but what it really shows itself as is a gathering of real physical people. Serious fellowship is lacking with these alleged “online churches”. Even if there were some interaction, such really is limited. Do you find anything else missing?



Attending at a gathering at a building can lead to have attendees staring out into space if the services are done on a screen. You will find the way these reputed “church people” become cool or even cold emotionally about the pains of others since they are desensitized by this boob-tube. This is not attending church. These virtual services and “live streaming” are only the watching of church service, not the attendance. Reconnecting with others after watching these is difficult without even knowing it. These “live streaming” services create social distancing while people are even physically nearby others. Live streaming is fake and dead.


There have been places where a building, even what used to be a theater or movie house was used for having virtual services presented in which they “play church” to pretend it is really church people attending when the church is really somewhere else seen on the screen. That is, if it is not just a bunch of video recordings clipped together with perhaps something live. Still, wherever they gather to watch this on screen it is not doing church or being church themselves. Even in some places, the one running these is not called a pastor but called a “director”. The director doesn’t generally call out “Action!” when the services are started but if they present this as if it was really church for people watching, the people should call out “Cut!”


Virtual services are not the real thing as going to church. It is like a baby not having real food but simply sucking on a pacifier. People are getting zombied-out at these. Do not expect these places to really be churches, even though they feign this as a guise. A real church acts like one and Christians act like real ones. They don’t just “go through the motions” about it. If they were doing well in Christian behavior they would do real reaching out in love and not replace real in-person believers with the virtual. Oh they may try, but still there are the hindrances of getting lost in the virtual. Even if Christians have a physical church in addition the virtual services they may still experience the coldness of the phony church when times get tough. Don’t let their imitations of church fool you. It is a theater.



Some pastors will do almost anything to promote their own local church and not establish more churches instead. Perhaps doing this will get them more money. Too often pastors and leaders play it safe politically in churches as is it is already. The building of the Kingdom of God is not about building your own kingdom. Nor is this about replacing your own false concept of church to replace Christians and the searching to seek out real churches instead of being elsewhere.

If you have not waken up yet to the reality that what you watch on a screen is NOT your own personal attendance of church then ask believers who attend the real physical churches that do not do these kinds of services. Even those churches who do virtual services would tell you that it is better for you to be physically there.


Therefore, we encourage Christians to attend physical churches which is what church has been for many centuries before liberal attitudes like these surfaced in modern times. Although these virtual services have gained some kind of popularity for a while, especially due to the lockdowns during the COVID-19 virus, they have become less popular with restrictions lifted.


Why are virtual services getting less popular? Because Christians miss real gatherings of real Christians in a real place. What Christians miss is real church since they get tired of pretending and substituting. If there are restrictions pending on churches, then have a home fellowship with real people. Reconnect with friends again. You may send them an email or give them a phone call but don’t stop there. Get together! Let us worship the LORD as a body!




Wake up to reality! Watching church on television is NOT going to church. Neither is watching church on the internet. It is merely watching church. You may learn during the sermons. You might even worship God at home during these. You might even be going to a church building that does this pretense together with some others who will corporately promote the idea. Yet, if there is a screen used instead for worship and message, it is only watching church just like church services on the radio is just listening to church.

Despite what you think, you are NOT ATTENDING CHURCH.


Do you believe you are going to a real church when it is only using a screen?  The reality is that you have been sold a lie and been trained to perceive something else as if it was really church when it is not.  So, stop pretending. Repent! Reject the lies others want you to accept and GO TO A REAL CHURCH!


The term “Virtual Reality” has its limits before it turns into the oxymoron of a self-contradiction of terminology. Salvation is not a virtual reality unless you are trying to turn the matter of repentance into a game. Place your real trusting faith solely in God’s Son Jesus Christ for your personal salvation and encourage others to do the same.

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