Individualism, Kant, and "I am the Church" Mentality

Okay, so some Christians regularly skip church to opt for going to the beach, going camping, going to a sporting event, hitting the off-button in order to finally sleep in, or in some other way exercise their "personal relationships" with Christ. What's the big deal? Can't we all worship God in our own ways? After all, God is not to be found in buildings. So, doesn't meeting in buildings somehow dampen my worship experience?

One of passages in Scripture that feeds this error is John 4. Well, okay, it's not the passage but how we read the passage. Jesus meet with the Samaritan woman, who inquires if God is to be worshiped on this mountain or that one (a religious debate of their time). Jesus testifies that true worship does not involve location, but "spirit and truth." Since true worship does not involve location, some contend, then it does not matter if you worship God in a church or on a surfboard.

I was reading a journal article on John 4 which got me to thinking about this. Specifically, there is a quote I wanted to share here for you to ponder:
Kant was infamous for his dislike of formal or ritualized religion, and would regularly duck out of academic processions just as they were about to enter the church. Like Kant, some today, in the context of modernity, with its emphasis on individualism, have appealed to Jesus' words as justification for privatized religion. On this modern view, Jesus is calling for piety: the inward devotion of individuals. I think the moderns have it wrong. Jesus is not contrasting external worship with internal worship. John 4 is not a charter for individuals to worship in private. No, the point is that the Father has created real worshipers by begetting them again in the Spirit. The Father is creating a new temple in the form of a new people: the body of Christ.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, "Worship at the Well: From Dogmatics to Doxology (And Back Again)." TRINJ 23NS (2002), 11.

As such, it is a stretch to apply John 4 to an anti-church perspective.

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