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Mandatory Church Attendance

I have issues with Christians mandating Church attendance. I am not speaking about those that encourage Church attendance, but more-so about those who judge other Christians on their attendance. If someone doesn't attend with a certain frequency, then he/she isn't considered a member anymore, and thus is labelled as a mere visitor (even though he/she may have been a long-time member for many years).

Let's rewind the clock back to the first three centuries. There were no Christian churches as separate and distinguishable buildings. Initially, the Christian movement was simply a messianic sect within 2nd Temple Judaism. By the time Christians identified themselves as a separate religion, they were periodically hounded and persecuted off-and-on until 314 a.d. From the first decades of the new movement, Christians wrote of themselves as belonging to "churches," but the Greek term ekklesia meant "congregation," and the early Christians appear to have met in their own homes to share in worship (Acts 2:1–2; Romans 16:5).

In fact, at a few places elsewhere in the Roman empire, archaeological evidence has uncovered several instances where private homes were renovated for use as places of public Christian assembly during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Notable have been the discoveries in Rome since 1934 of earlier structures beneath several Byzantine churches, and the uncovering in Dura-Europos in 1931 of a well-preserved Christian edifice converted from a private house by the mid 3rd century.

Thus, until the era of Constantine in the early 4th century, Christian worship continued to be conducted, for the most part, in the private homes of church members.

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