Many religions have teachings that encourage people to attend church or a service of worship; the New Church is no exception in this regard. You could ask many New Church members about the importance of church and most would agree that attending church is a good idea, and I agree. A question that is more difficult to answer is whether you should also push your friends to attend church. Does it matter if your friends attend church? Is it your responsibility to push them to attend?
In Apocalypse Explained 696, it talks about how in the measure someone knows the truths of faith and lives according to them they are worshiping the Lord. I think this suggests that you should want friends who learn more truths of faith. Moreover, attending church is an excellent way for people to acquire more truths of faith, apply them to their life and therefore worship the Lord. Therefore, if your friends attend church are they more your neighbor than if they didn’t?
I don’t think this is a straight forward question to answer, but it is nonetheless useful to consider. In the book of Luke Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan is a story in the Word about a man who takes care of someone in need without thought of recompense. I think this story is an example of how your friends are more your neighbor if they attend church. The best way to examine who your true friends are is to judge them by their actions. You know the Good Samaritan is the neighbor by his actions, he helped the man in need, not just in words. I do not believe the claims of a friend who says they love the teachings of the New Church but never practice them or seek to learn more of them. You do not worship the Lord simply by word of mouth, you must practice the truths of faith you learned; that is worshiping the Lord. Continue reading How Much Should You Push Your Friends To Go To Church?