Sunday, June 23, 2013

Is the Christian School Biblical To Dismiss Students Because They Did Not attend Sunday Service?

On December 30, 2012, it was published that Covenant University of Cannanland, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria had dismissed 200 students for missing church. Many Christians were asking me if that was fair or if that is biblical for a Christian university to do that. I know that it has taken time but for the sake of the principle because it is a theological question, I still find the question and answer relevant for today and in the future.
Prima facie one would argue that the school is wrong to have expelled the 200 students who refused to attend church service. However, a profound look into the crux may paint another caricature. Superficially, the school has no biblical base to expel any student for not going to church because there is no such obligation prescribed in the bible neither by Christ nor the apostles, making going to church mandatory.
First and foremost the church after the coming of Jesus changed its status of the house of God from a building to human beings. The building became a house of prayer (Mt 21:13) while the human body became the temple (I Cor 6:19-20). Therefore, churches and cathedrals are not the house of God because God does not live in temples made by human hands (Acts 7: 48; 17:24)
Going to church is like going to school. Some people have passed GCE without ever seeing the four walls of a classroom. The church is like a lamp stand that holds the bulb. If the individual knows another way of holding their bulb without using the lampstand, that should not create a polemic. That means, one can still follow God without necessary going to church as the church is a place to exhort and encourage the Christians to Christian living (Heb 10:25, 3:3).  People can still assemble together without going to church. If we visit each other at home, it is still assembling. In a nutshell, the church today needs an overhaul of her tenets and priorities, and a recall of her foreign missionaries to sort herself out.
 Nevertheless, going to church or assembling ourselves together may be of great help if we assemble and implement the principles binding assembling together. That is: exhorting and edifying one another both in spirit and in truth.
Notwithstanding, while going to church may not have been a sin per se, but it is a sin if it becomes the transgression of the law because sin is transgression of the law (I John 3:4). If the university had a policy in place which was signed by the students to attend church service daily and unfailingly, then they are guilty. According to the university authorities, the students “contravened Chapter 1, section 30, page 40 of the 2010-2014 Student Handbook.” They have sin because they have transgressed the laws of the school. Whatever punishment reserved for that infraction could be applied on them and the school will be absolved of any condemnation.
              If they had been issued warnings, but they were stubborn to adhere to it, then they should bear the brunt of their stubbornness. The issue of forgiveness must not play in as an obligation from the school to forgive else we will have to require the courts to forgive everyone who commits a crime and asks for forgiveness. The bible says that the law is there to punish those who default (Rom 13:4).  The school is an institution with rules and regulations.

Until then, that is my opinion!

St Arrey of Ntenako


“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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