by Dr. Ken Matto

Are Christians that run from church to church a fulfillment of Daniel 12:4? Over the years I always thought that the reason many Christians went from church to church was because they feared commitment, but now, in these final days, I publicly recant of that mindset because I began this monograph at 11 AM on Sunday morning, and yes, I am not in church because at this time I am still searching for a decent church.

I too have run from church to church because if you desire to remain faithful to the Word of God, then the organized church with its Roman Catholic style of worship is to be avoided, but unfortunately because nothing else is available and many Christians are mentally and spiritually neutered, they have surrendered the ability to discern between right and wrong, true and false, acceptance and rejection, and because their Pastor said it is not right to judge, they have also surrendered their God-given authority to make judgments.

I wish to offer and expound on some reasons why I find it hard to commit to a local assembly (not that I refuse to). The Bible commands us to gather together. Several reasons that we must gather together are given to us in Scripture and as you know (or should know), the Bible is our only authority. Let us look at some of those Scriptural reasons.

1) To Bring Offerings unto the Lord
(1 Cor 16:1-2 KJV) Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. {2} Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

The principle which God gives for giving is not tithing (yet it is a good place to start) but rather grudgeless and ability giving as we read in the following verses from both Testaments. (Deu 16:17 KJV) Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.

(Ezra 2:69 KJV) They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.

(Acts 11:29 KJV) Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

(2 Cor 9:6-8 KJV) But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. {7} Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. {8} And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

These verses clearly teach ability and joyful giving. Tithing must be taught that it was part of the ceremonial law and not a present day requirement. The reason that tithing must be explained carefully is because those who cannot afford to give 10% may feel disobedient to God’s Word and those who can afford to give more than 10% will feel they have done their share. So the principles for giving are 2:

1. Ability
2. Cheerful giving with the right heart (motivation)
2) We are commanded to gather together
(Heb 10:24-25 KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: {25} Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

There are 5 principles in these 2 verses which we will examine closely. I had left a church and this verse was thrown at me without any understanding attached to it and I believe many Christians are guilt manipulated with these verses by others when they leave a church for a legitimate reason. Let’s look at some of the principles in these verses.

A)...let us consider one another...
This part means we are to look upon one another in the sense of observing carefully or noticing each other in the area of stimulating a brother or sister to good works and loving behavior.
B)...provoke unto love...
Here is the biblical definition of loving behavior and it is found in (2 John 1:6 KJV) "And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it." The loving behavior that God expects from His redeemed body is obedience to His Word, not the romantic love of Hollywood or the hypocritical love which prevails in so many churches. Biblical love is obedience to God’s commands.
C)...and to good works:...
These good works are already prepared by God for His redeemed children. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Many times the good works which are given to us come from the source of the local assembly. It is here where other Christians can also observe us and counsel us and help us develop our spiritual gifts. The good works never precipitate salvation but are only the results and proof of our calling.
D) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;...
This is the part of the verse which is used as a spiritual battering ram against Christians who have left a church. The word "forsaking" in this verse denotes a complete abandoning or desertion, not one who leaves a church and is searching or may not be attending for a few Sundays. This does not give indication they have completely abandoned going to church. There may be several factors involved in a person leaving a church that another is not aware of and to badger someone because they don’t fit into a certain mold at the time is doing evil toward a brother or sister. Now on the other hand, if they refuse to go to a church (house churches included) and would rather be out doing worldly stuff with no intention of going to a church, then this verse applies but it should never be thrown at someone as if this verse will be the solution of their problem. God may be in the midst of preparing a Christian for something else and part of that preparation may be to leave a certain church. God has the right to direct His children in any way He desires to bring something to a desired finish.
E)...exhorting one another:....
This portion tells us we are to encourage one another. Many times encouragement comes from those within the local assembly. We will get no encouragement from anyone in the world. The word is "parakaleo" which means one that is called beside. As brethren in a church we are called beside others to encourage them and not beat them down. Of course if they are going on a wrong path it is also our responsibility to help them biblically, whether in doctrine or deed.

Some other reasons why we are to assemble together.

3) Sunday is the Sabbath
(Isa 58:13-14 KJV) If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: {14} Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

God has set aside Sunday as His Holy Sabbath and we are not to do our own thing on this day. It is the day we  gather and focus on the things of God for a complete day. Our focus should not be on sports or worldly things. (If you would like a complete study on the Sabbath, contact me at the address on the first page or download the study "The Sabbath: Saturday or Sunday"

4. To Hear of the Ministry of Others
This principle is to be taken in two dimensions:
A) Prayer, Support, and Knowledge
(Col 4:7 KJV) All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:

Here The Bible tells us that Tychicus will deliver to the Church at Colosse the different events in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. In the modern church, when we come together we will hear of the ministry of others and how we may become involved. The church exists for the purpose of feeding (spiritually) its own and sending forth the gospel.

B) Warning
(Rom 16:17-18 KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. {18} For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

So we may gather together and be warned of false teachers and preachers that are deceiving the flock of God. This way we may be on our spiritual guard.

5. A House of Prayer
(Mark 11:17 KJV) And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

The assembly of believers is called a house of prayer. Christ is not focusing on the building or meeting place, but rather He is focusing on what the church leaders are focusing on. Here as well as Matthew 21, Christ is focusing on the church being used as a means of financial profit. Is this going on today? How about flea markets, rummage sales, bingo, Chinese auctions? A Rose by any other name. As I was writing this article I called a Chinese Christian friend of mine and asked her if the term "Chinese auction" has anything to do with the Chinese people and she told me no.

6. To Train Others to Continue the Ministry
(2 Tim 2:2 KJV) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

One of the chief reasons the local assembly exists is to perpetuate the teaching of the Christian faith to future generations.

7. To Discipline our Lives
(Heb 13:7 KJV) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Assembling once a week gives us at least one starting point per week to examine our Christian walk and to reflect over the last week to see if we are growing or fading in our Christian commitment. As we mingle with the world in our work-a-day atmosphere it is easy to drift and coming to a gathering at least once a week may help curb our drifting and get us back on track.

8. To Discern Between Right and Wrong
(Titus 1:9-11 KJV) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. {10} For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: {11} Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

The local assembly is a great place for the exchange of information to judge the ministry of those who call themselves Christians. All anyone has to do is put the TV on and you will soon discover the great many liars and deceivers which pervade the airwaves with the so-called gospel. Meeting once a week will help prevent the ruin of one who may have tuned in and by accident adopted one of the false teachings they heard on the TV.

9. To learn of Christ
(Mat 11:29 KJV) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

The greatest reason we are to gather is to learn more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will definitely not learn about Him on our jobs or other places out in the world. The Bible says we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and the local assembly can be a great place for this to happen. When we meet, we should come armed with the mindset of "what will I learn of Christ today?"

I have given 9 basic reasons why we are to assemble in a church or house church. The local assembly can be a place of great learning and spiritual growth for all believers and I hope that you will not forsake the assembly and if you find a good church that you will make a commitment to see it grow.


The reason this paper was written is to give reasons (not excuses) why many Christians find it hard to commit or even stay in a local assembly. This is another wake up call to clergy and church leaders to get their act together or leave the ministry. God warns in Jeremiah 48:10, "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood."

Let us now explore some of the reasons that True Christians leave churches:

(1 Cor 14:7-8 KJV) And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? {8} For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

Here is a major problem in many churches, they are giving an uncertain sound. So many have turned from the true gospel and have amalgamated other teachings into their Bible teachings thus adulterating the true gospel. Do not the Scriptures teach that we are not to commit adultery? This covers all kinds of adultery including the adulterating of God's Word and doctrines. Let us proceed to reasons Christians leave churches and if you are a pastor reading this and you are guilty of committing spiritual adultery with your flock, it is not too late to repent and teach the truth, but if you read this and get angry because your pride is hurt, then get out of the ministry. Does any of the following apply to you?

Churches by the hundreds have tossed out the KJV in favor of some rogue modern version simply because their seminary tells them it is better. I heard Bill Detweiller on the Calvary Hour from Orrville, Ohio say on a broadcast that the NIV was the most accurate. When I wrote him and sent a study to him refuting that statement, his response was "my seminary said it was the best translation." No study, no research, no investigation just rely on our seminary to give us truth. Woe unto the pastor who does not search before they feed their flock.
Here is a subtle method of pulpit prostitution. How many pastors read the writings of such people like James Dobson, Carl Rogers, and others and then blatantly sneak their systems of mind manipulation into their sermons and call it Bible. A true Christian will pick it up in the messages but woe unto them if we dare refute the teachings of the psychological gurus.
The Catholics are to be evangelized not assured they are saved by their system of Egyptian and Babylonian religion. Pastors who run to the Roman Catholic Church and hold hands with them at abortion clinics or anywhere else are traitors to Christ. We are to make no pact with anyone that is against Scripture alone. If they do they are violating the warning of:

(2 Cor 6:14 KJV) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Here is another example of Satan's clergy at work. In July 1997 the Episcopal Church was meeting in Philadelphia and one of the topics on their agenda was the subject of "same sex marriages." Can you imagine? These dumb, spiritually dead clergy are actually discussing whether they can marry two men or women. The evangelical church is also being soft on this sin since many brain-deads in the pulpits are actually accepting the lie that homosexuality is genetic.
It is bad enough when the seminaries are bowing the knee to the Wall Street, New World Order crowd but when local clergy belong to organizations like the Masons where they worship a false deity and you must swear allegiance to them under penalty of death. How can a true Christian pastor swear allegiance to Satan? They can't, therefore those that do are unsaved and need to be plucked from the pulpit.
Here is Satan's latest movement which is now having Catholic Priests speak at local rallies, they are hooking up with the Brownsville Assembly of God (the Pensacola outpouring), Mormon involvement, endorsement by the Roman Catholic Church, homosexuals in attendance, and signs and wonders since it is a child of the Vineyard Movement. But yet Pastors still send their people there believing that Satan is capable of training their people since they apparently cannot. PK is a dangerous, ecumenical, spiritually dead, dangerous movement. Jumping up and down in the bleachers or watching a dolt like Chuck Swindoll ride his motorcycle on to the stage is not Christianity, it is a "straight to hell" religion.
Here is another teaching so prevalent in churches because it makes man the final authority and God the beggar in salvation. We do not command God as to when we are to be saved, He plans it for us. If we are God's elect He will save us during our life. The heretical teaching of Arminius perpetuated by John Wesley that you can lose your salvation is a slander against the Cross of Christ and God's magnificent salvation plan. God elects, God saves, and God keeps. Will someone show me in Scripture the saying "I accepted the Lord?" Can you imagine this scenario, "Saul being knocked down on the road to Damascus and then telling the Lord, 'Okay Lord I accept you, now what is the wonderful plan you have for my life?' "
When pastors want to sin, they will always disregard the principles in Scripture. For example, have you ever heard this one "There is nothing in Scripture forbidding us to drink?" Hey closet drinker, what about this one?

(Rom 13:14 KJV) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

What does alcohol minister to, your shoes?


(Prov 23:31 KJV) Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

God tells us not to even look at the wine in the cup and that is way before drinking it. One pastor in Somerset, NJ believes if you drink a highball or beer, you are exercising your Christian liberty. We looked at 2 biblical absolutes which are totally neglected or avoided so pastor dear can drink at his clergy meetings or church council meetings.

The Bible tells us that if a person marries another while their spouse is still living, they are committing adultery. Oh, your pastor never told you, I guess he wants you to be happy and disobedient.

(Mark 10:11-12 KJV) And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. {12} And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

How many times have you heard this, "Well, Dr. so and so said this" or "Rev. someone says?" With pastors getting more and more education, they are throwing the simple truths of Scripture out the window in favor of theological rhetoric which is endless, in fact God has a biblical description about these guys in 2 ways:

(2 Tim 3:7 KJV) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

WHY? Because.....

(Mat 11:25 KJV) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

There is a principle at work here. The more you are educated in the world's manner, the less God reveals to you through Scripture. Next time a Ph. D. gets up into the pulpit of your church, pity him, because God has probably withheld many things from him.

(1 Tim 3:2 KJV) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

(Titus 1:6 KJV) If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

The question I have is how can a woman be the husband of one wife?

Where is this concept found in the Bible? It is based on the "free will" doctrine that people have to "accept the Lord" and that children are incapable of making that "decision" owing to their simple untrained intellect. So to train the children in the church, we kick them out when the sermon starts so they can watch videos or color in pictures of Noah's Ark. We have children's church till they are about 14. So for about 8-9 years we are telling the children, "The Preaching of God's Word is not for you." So when they leave the church at 18 we complain and ask where is the youth? They left because for 9 years the church was becoming a religious "Blockbuster" on Sunday morning with the VCR running and unfortunately no spiritual principles were being implanted in their minds, yet, simultaneously they were drinking in all the trash they learned from public school. Abolish children's church if your church has it because it is doing a great injustice to the children. Here are some passages to ponder:

(1 Sam 2:18 KJV) But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

(Jer 1:6-7 KJV) Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. {7} But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

(Luke 1:41 KJV) And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

(Luke 1:44 KJV) For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Need I say more?

Formal, Ritual, staunch liturgical churches can chase even house spiders away. These are nothing more than spiritually cold assemblies. In fact, in many of these churches you can time your watch to the parts of the service. Even if a church has a believing pastor, ritual hinders the work of the Lord in the morning service. Another dangerous element of ritual is in the area of the Lord's Supper. If it is a "custom" to have it once a month, then people, whether believers or unbelievers will partake because that is what tradition dictates. Break free of certain forms of formalism and I am not speaking of bringing in all the modern trash that takes the morning service to the other end of the lunacy spectrum.
Normally the guys or gals with the most money are propelled right into a position of leadership, whether saved or unsaved. The church is a place for believers to gather and it is not for unbelievers. It is place where the Christian grows in their walk and then takes it into the world to make disciples to bring them in. Here is a deceit in its highest form, an unsaved clergyman telling the world of how wonderful Jesus is and that very same Jesus is going to cast him into an eternal hell on judgment day for his sins! The reason these unsaved people make it into church leadership is because the naive Christians in the pews allow it by constantly voting them in. Woe unto any true believer who votes in an unbeliever to rule Christ's church.

(Jude 1:16 KJV) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

How many times do you walk into a church and peruse the book table? Normally the book table or library will represent the beliefs and teachings of the church. If the pastor is a flaming psychobabbler, then you will see psychology there. If he is a one world, liberal globalist then you will see books by Campolo or Sider. If you see a church that has only Puritan writings, then you may have walked into a great church.
Evil assemblies are forming like the Vineyard Movement and the Pensacola outpouring which are affecting many churches with their evil poison. Any time you are in a church where tongues, signs and wonders are accepted, run from it. When you hear a pastor say, "I don't know if tongues are real for today but if anyone does it they should do it in order or as a prayer language." This pastor does not know good from evil. He is just appeasing those who believe in it so he doesn't offend them. He would rather infect the whole assembly than do radical surgery and remove the poison. True Christians will detect this and leave.
I have personally seen a number of these yet I have never seen a church spiritually prosper under a "church boss" government. God has set up elders to rule a church and He will not bless this form of government. Normally the gospel is hindered in this atmosphere and therefore is evil.

(Rom 1:18 KJV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Here is the greatest crime against Christianity perpetrated by the organized church and that is silencing the True Christian whom God has empowered to do a work. Send the Chariot Elijah if a thinking Christian dares to oppose the pulpit rhetoric! If a Christian is a teacher, then they must be allowed to teach. If they are refused permission to exercise their spiritual gifts, they will leave and rightly so because if God has placed a spiritual gift in that Christian (and each Christian has at least one) and they are hindered from using it by some self-appointed leader who wants to protect the sinning and disobedient. Woe unto the church who places unqualified people in positions just to protect the pastor or someone else.
A True Christian goes to church to worship and not to attend a religious rendition of the Ed Sullivan Show. There has been much replacing of true worship with the charismatic 100 decibel full band variety show. What is really tragic is they use the Psalms where instruments are used to praise God. The instruments are used in accordance of worshipping a holy God and not to imitate Led Zeppelin or some other evil rock band, including rap.
It is unfortunate but the Pastor sets the tone in many churches. Nowhere in Scripture are they given such power. The Pastoral office, in many churches, has been elevated to a point of Supreme Commander. The church has only one Supreme Commander and that is Christ. Let us look at some pastoral attitudes which repels a true Christian.
Nothing repels another more than when someone arrogates to themselves a position of sole authority. A pastor who is a dictator is not a true shepherd but someone who has a deep longing to be someone. Serious leadership should be the norm but not dictatorship. The bottom line is that I have never seen nail prints in the hands of any pastor. (He who has ears to hear)

(1 Pet 5:2-3 KJV) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; {3} Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

A pastor who can never be challenged either in doctrine or lifestyle has become equal to a cult leader. If your congregants can't challenge you, I can guarantee that God will.
This pastor will not preach anything challenging nor cutting because he fears the power brokers in the church or some other clique that may cause him grief. If a pastor teaches out of the Bible, either the chaff will leave the church or the chaff will become wheat.
A pastor like every other Christian must have accountability. No one can be an island or think they can be. The pastor that has accountability will have a good system of checks and balances to keep him on the narrow way. Will he make mistakes? Sure! But an accountability system will help him recover what ever has gone awry.
Too many pastors are allowing anything and everything into the church just to be a good guy to his congregation. Satan loves clergy like this because they give their leader free reign to divide, deceive, and destroy the congregation. All teachings must be filtered through the Scriptures.

There are many other points which could be expounded but these 20 will give us a good idea of why True Christians go from church to church. If the church I am attending goes apostate, I will move on again. These people should not be condemned but church leaders should take heed. Every time a True Christian leaves a church, it is an indictment against that assembly and church leaders should not take the attitude of "Well, if you don't like it here then you are free to leave." When someone gives a legitimate reason for leaving, a meeting of the church staff should be called and to find out if the person is correct. As Dr. Robert A. Cook once said, "If they are right clean up your act, but if not then don't worry. Okay, will you be Pastor Ostrich or Pastor Do Something? - 5/23/97