Question:

Hello.  I'm responding to the article "Parallel Worship" by Bob Berard.  I have my own misgivings about children's church and junior church, which is why I began searching for articles.  However, Berard immediately puts himself on the wrong footing by claiming that such groupings for kids "violates the injunction of Hebrews 10:25 'not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.' "

That's a mishandling of Scripture because the verse doesn't set any parameters as far as age-groups are concerned.  It simply calls for Christians to meet with each other. It does not say that every time there's a gathering of believers they must be of all age demographics.


Answer:

Did you read the rest of the article? Because brother Berard, about halfway down, does spend several paragraphs explaining why he sees Hebrews 10:25 as addressing full church assemblies and not small groups of Christians.

Though Bob didn't get into them, there are other verses that tell us that worship was done by the full church.

  • "since you come together" (I Corinthians 11:17)
  • "when you come together as a church" (I Corinthians 11:18)
  • "when you come together in one place" (I Corinthians 11:20)
  • "when you come together to eat" (the Lord's Supper) (I Corinthians 11:33)
  • "if the whole church comes together in one place" (I Corinthians 14:23)
  • "Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification" (I Corinthians 14:26)

I Corinthians 11 focuses on one aspect of worship: the partaking of the Lord's Supper. I Corinthians 14 talks about the worship assemblies in general. What is noteworthy is that the descriptive phrase is that the whole church comes together at one place for the purpose of being a church.

There is nothing wrong with small groups gathering for studies, prayers, or singing. But when the church meets for worship, it is a call for all members to come together. The problem is that in some places young people are being split off to have their own worship assembly. Since you can't let young people be by themselves, some of the adults also go with them to supervise. The result is a worship time when the whole church is not gathered together in one place.

I did see that and at first I wasn't convinced, but the more I think about it, the more I think you may be right. Thanks for taking the time for further explanation. Well put.