I received this e-mail from someone I've never met. I've read after him and have to honestly say I wouldn't agree with his views on some things, but with this, I do agree. TOTALLY! [I've put in some clarification so as to express my own interpretation of some phrases.]
Relationship views everything in terms of a “person.” Religion views everything in terms of “place” or “thing.”
For example, people say, “I missed corporate worship.” [Therefore I missed worshipping the Lord.] They are basically saying that they see worship as a “place,” something to attend, a “thing” to be done, certain songs to be sung, certain “things” you have to do.
People who see worship as a “person” worship the Lord wherever they are, in Spirit and in Truth. Worship is deeper than singing songs with other people. When you see worship as a “person” you never express a loss, [of worship] missing something or needing something you don’t have. You are satisfied with the “person” Who is with you always.
If you are satisfied with the “person” it doesn’t matter if you go to church or not. [This is NOT to say you don't desire to gather with believers, and DO!] Going to church will not add to or take away from that “person.” If you are not satisfied with the “person” then you feel compelled to go to the “place” or do the “thing.” That’s what leads people to say, “I’m going to church [to worship], and you should go too, because that’s the ‘place’ God wants us to go and that’s the ‘thing’ God wants us to do.” However “places and things” do not [always] lead us to the “person” and they can very often substitute for the “person.”
Even the Jews were so stuck on the “place” (Jerusalem) and the “thing” (the Temple) that they missed the “person” (Jesus). So God took their “place” and their “thing” away in AD 70 to show them (and us) that He wants us to be stripped down to a “person.” Yet here we are, in AD 2016, making the same mistakes. We haven’t learned anything.
To read this and say or think, "Oh, this is denigrating gathering with believers," is to miss the point. Gathering with believers is a command, albeit, only commanded one time in scripture and that being Hebrews 10:25 and that without ANY time or place or sequence associated with the command. But gathering is a needed thing by all believers AND it will not be an issue if what is read in this e-mail were to be truly heeded by believers.