Why a lot of professing Christians never attend church

“Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together”–unless, of course, the Lord reveals to you that you are the church, as one lady said to me.  Or, that you are smarter than the preacher, the deacons are trying to run the church, or no one in the congregation will speak to you.  Hebrews 10:25, sort of.

When you don’t want to do something, you shouldn’t have to have an excuse.

If you do not want to go to church, for instance, if you can skip church for a whole year and never miss it, you should “man up” and admit, “I’m not a Christian and don’t believe all that Bible stuff.  Church is for people who take the Lord seriously. Not me. So, I don’t go.”

Hmm. That felt ‘mean,’ didn’t it?  But it’s dead on accurate.

Please read on.

By “go to church,” we don’t necessarily mean a building with a steeple on it.  It could be a group of God’s people gathered in a living room to sing and pray and study the Word.  Or,  fifty people in a storefront.  The point is not the location or the structure but God’s people meeting on a regular basis for the work and worship of the Lord.

The redeemed of the Lord will be drawn to one another.  They love each other.  Jesus said so.

I heard of a pastor somewhere who collected excuses on “why people who call themselves Christians don’t go to church.”   He did not make these up…

One. A lady in the hills of North Georgia said, “In the winter it’s too cold, and in the summer I’m afraid of rattlesnakes.”

Two.  A farmer said, “One of my cows gets out of the pasture every Sunday.  Keeps me home all four Sundays every month.”  When asked about the 5th Sunday, he said, “They all get out on the fifth Sunday!”

Three.  A lady told her pastor, “I’m a shut-in and I’m offended you haven’t been to visit me.”  He kept trying, but she was never home.

Four.  “We’re not settled in yet.”  Oh, I’m sorry.  How long have you lived here?  “Only 7 years.”

Five. “We’re not going to church any more.  There are so many churches that we haven’t been able to decide which one to attend.  If there weren’t so many, we probably would have become active years ago.”

Six.  “I enjoyed the sermon, the choir, and the singing.  But I won’t be back. The sight of all those empty pews depressed me.”

Seven. This woman would not come because “I have to take care of my children.”  When they grew up and left home, she declined again and said, “I reckon I won’t.  I’ve never been much of a hand for gadding about.”

Why don’t Christians go to church?  I think I know.

You’re not going to like my answer.

They’re probably not Christians.  (I know. I said, “Why don’t Christians attend church” and then said they’re probably not Christians.)

Consider this brief analysis.

There is a social element to church-going, for both believers and unbelievers.  We meet friends, enjoy fellowship, and help each other with various situations. God made us that way. We need people.  “It is not good that (any one of us) should live alone.”

In this respect a church may fill much of the same function, in a way, as an Elks Club, American Legion, or lodge. Or even–for some people, I have heard–the friends at the pub.

In the earliest church, the believers gathered for “the apostles’ teaching, for fellowship, for breaking of bread, and prayer” (Acts 2:42).  Fellowship was, and remains, a huge element in the function of a church.

But for believers–those who truly do take the things of God seriously–that fellowship element, as important as it is, is just the icing on the cake.  Underneath it is the dead-serious work of the Kingdom–worshiping God, teaching His word, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, supporting those doing the Lord’s work, reaching out to those in need, etc.

Don’t miss this.  There are two strata in this soil, two flows in this river, two elements in church-going.  The top one is social and we call it fellowship; it’s more visible as a rule.  The other is spiritual, it’s underlying, and goes by a number of names–worship, ministry, outreach, and so forth.  It’s what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Teaching them to observe all the things I have taught you” (Matthew 28:18-20).

New believers need the church, they hunger for it as a newborn does its mother’s milk. A solid Christian will be in church, doing the work of the Lord, meeting with God’s people, and they will do this whether the fellowship aspect is there or not.  He/she needs ministry like a fish needs water, like we all need air.

A solid Christian loves the fellowship of a church, but even when he/she cannot find it in a church they visit, that’s not a deal-breaker.  They are there for Jesus’ sake, not their own.

The Christian-In-Name-Only (CINO) tries some churches, looking for all the trappings of a great fellowship.  They rate the churches by their friendliness, the attitude of the preacher (does he seem likeable, did he remember our names), the appearance of the buildings, the fun at the church gatherings, and such.  And if the church is lacking in these areas, they move on.  When no church in the area measures up, they simply do not go to church.

Because they’re there for the fellowship, not for Jesus Christ.

Is that brutal?  Probably.  And doubtless it’s not the whole story, not by any means. But it’s something to think about.

Our Lord said, “By this shall all men know you are my disciples, that you love one another” (John 13:35).

I’ll see you in church Sunday, brother, sister.


43 thoughts on “Why a lot of professing Christians never attend church

  1. The difference between “believers”, (even devils believe), and “Christians” who have followed Jesus to His Cross of SACRIFICE for forgiveness.

  2. I love your stuff, Joe!
    For me, a pastor (in the same church) for almost 27 years, I find great “solace” (if that’s the right word) in Jesus’ parable of the soils. It explains a lot to me.

    Keep it up, Bro.

  3. God established the Church for the belivers and we draw strength and food for the soul from going. Try praying for yourself before you go and ask God to open your eyes and heart to His message. He will do it if you are in tune with Him.

  4. “Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.”
    ― Lenny Bruce
    Organized Religion is a money driven racket. None of the various “Christian” churches/sects I’ve tried in my sixty-five years put Christ first. It’s always about the money. The yearly cost of religious tax exemptions: $71,000,000,000. That’s a fact. I DO NOT NEED A CHURCH IN ORDER TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY SAVIOR ANY MORE THAN I NEED A CATHOLIC PRIEST TO FORGIVE MY SINS. Also, I’ve found the bigger the church, the bigger the hypocrisy evidenced in the trappings of wealth. I meet and share my faith with others, not at any set time or place, but in the normal course of daily life. Trying to find a “true” church; I’ve felt like Diogenes searching the Earth for an honest man.

        • Hi William… If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, how many people have you shared to gospel to this year? How many sick person have you prayed for. How many poor people have you shake hand with and help financially or even a word of comfort in your Lord and Savior’s name. just a thought.

    • You are so absolutely correct. Man has brought down the church to be all about the money, some of our minister become and go into ministry for the money and sadly to say women. Shame on them for it all. I don’t want their shepparing to lead me astray,

    • Have you tried a small church or home Bible study? Certainly there are money-grubbers everywhere. Even Jesus encountered that with Judas Iscariot. The passage in this article admonishes us to assemble together. It was written after Jesus’ death, so certainly Jesus and the apostles didn’t condemn organized religious meetings. They did want them done properly, and certainly not all of them are done so. Instead of giving up on church, keep searching.

  5. We are saved by grace alone, by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone plus nothing else. Church attendance never saved before one was saved and attended, and doesn’t maintain one’s salvation once one is saved. It is a work, AFTER one is saved, and also …. good works, fruit etc. does not prove one is saved at all. Repentance means to change one’s mind about WHO CHRIST IS and to do what John 3:3 and John 3:16 says p e r I o d . As for church ‘attendance’, it was never for salvation and was never a salvation issue. The scripture in Hebrews regarding ‘forsaking not’ is not one which denotes who is saved, but is an exhortation to JEWISH BELIEVERS to exhort one another concerning the Lord’s imminent coming at the harpazo. Those who say that church attendance denotes salvation, or who call those who do not attend ‘false believers’ fall into this category of ‘works righteousness preachers’ …………..

    21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21 – 23

    …. or ‘did we not go to church?’ …. or ‘did we not go to bible study?’ etc ad nauseum.

    Mr. Preacher …. you preach ‘works righteousness’ and you will go to the Lake of Fire because He NEVER knew you.
    Pharisees religiously went to the temple and synagogue and those who rejected Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah and God in the Flesh …. are in H E L L , scalding, scorching, burning, searing and screaming. So, watch what you preach. Maranatha

    • Being a part of the church is a part of being born again. The church is the body of Christ and you are a part of it whether you like it or not.

    • I am not sure you understood the basic premise of this argument. Evidence of salvation is the desire to assemble with fellow Christians. No one has suggested that church attendance makes one saved.

  6. Eternal life is a free gift that cannot be lost, received by faith alone in Christ alone, apart from works of any kind; that includes church attendance of any kind. ….. the
    assurance of our eternal destiny is based solely on believing Jesus’ promise to the believer, and not on looking to our works, experiences, or behavior;
    believers are accountable for our actions before God, and will be judged at the Bema to determine our eternal rewards, but not our eternal destinies so to tell believers they are not saved because they do not attend church is basically cruel and heretical.

    The sole condition for receiving everlasting life is faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died a substitutionary death on the cross for man’s sin and rose bodily from the dead (John 3:16-18; 6:47; Acts 16:31).
    Faith is the conviction that something is true. To believe in Jesus (“he who believes in Me has everlasting life”) is to be convinced that He guarantees everlasting life to all who simply believe in Him for it (John 4:14; 5:24; 6:47; 11:26; 1 Tim 1:16).
    No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving everlasting life (Rom 4:5; Gal 2:16; Titus 3:5). This saving transaction between God and the sinner is simply the giving and receiving of a free gift (Eph 2:8-9; John 4:10 ; Rev 22:17 ).

    Assurance of everlasting life is certainty that one is eternally secure simply by faith in Jesus, not through church attendance of any kind . Assurance of everlasting life is based only on the promise God makes in His Word that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ alone possesses everlasting life (John 5:24; 1 John 5:9-13). Good works, which can and should follow regeneration, are not necessary for a person to have assurance of everlasting life (Eph 2:10 ; Titus 3:8).
    Assurance is of the essence of believing in Jesus for everlasting life. That is, as long as a person believes in Jesus for everlasting life, he knows he has everlasting life (John 5:24 ; 6:35 , 47; 11:27 ; 1 John 5:9-13).

    Salvation and discipleship are different states. The ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life is to produce spiritual maturity reflected in consistent Christlike behavior and attitudes (Gal 5:22-25; Luke 14:25-33; Col 1:23-29). Therefore, obedience to the Word of God, while not necessary for obtaining everlasting life, is the essential responsibility of each Christian (Rom 6:12-23; Heb 5:13-14; 1 Cor 2:14–3:4). However, the Bible does not teach that this obedience will be manifested in all believers and that includes church attendance. If a believer does not yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in his experience, failure will result, evidenced by sinful acts or even prolonged disobedience (1 Cor 10:1-13; Gal 5:16-21).

    The believer is assured of everlasting life and is thus eternally secure, since that life is guaranteed by the Lord Jesus Christ to all who believe in Him, and is based upon His substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection (John 10:28-29; Rom 8:38-39). Therefore, it is inconsistent with the gospel and with Scripture to seek to gain or keep everlasting life by godly living. The Scriptures, however, do present several motivations for obedience in the Christian life.
    A powerful motivation for living the Christian life is gratitude to God for saving us by His grace (Rom 12:1-2; 2 Cor 5:14 -15; Gal 2:20 ).
    Believers should also be motivated by the knowledge that their heavenly Father both blesses obedience and disciplines disobedience in His children (Heb 12:3-11; Lev 26:1-45). God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows, that he also reaps (Gal 6:7).
    Finally, every Christian must stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, not to determine his eternal destiny, for that is already set, but to assess the quality of his Christian life on earth (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 22:12). Anticipating either reward or loss of reward at the Judgment Seat should also motivate believers to perseverance and to faithfulness to God’s revealed will (1 Cor 3:10 -17, 9:24 -27; Jas 5:8-9; 1 John 2:28 ). One’s capacity to glorify Jesus will forever be based on how faithful he was in his stewardship in this life (Luke 19:17 , 19, 22-26).

  7. So, may I be brutally honest back? This doesn’t even come close to why I, a committed Christian to the teachings of Christ, don’t attend church. In fact this is pretty typical of the common assumptions made by the clueless and out of touch evangelicals that don’t venture out of their four walls very often.

    1. I am not challenged by the things that come across from the pulpit. I find most of it to be shallow, and simply the regurgitation of popular aphorisms. I work in a spiritually hostile environment that is very anti-Christian and I need serious answers and encouragement. If I really want to find someone that challenges me I have often have to go to national speakers, which I can do at far more convenient times than Sunday morning. Also, pastor or pastors, I’m watching your life and reading your FB posts. I’m not seeing someone I wish to follow as they follow Christ.

    2. This is related to number one. I did church outreach for years and still do, of course I encourage the new believers I win to go to church, but for me, I found that church leadership had no problem loading me up with “chores” and burning me out in the process. Jesus said his yoke was light, why in the world do the pastoral staff keep adding more weight to that original burden? I started saying “no” to chores and people started questioning my commitment.

    3. Personal drama among the sheep. This one is the most forgivable since people will be people, but if your pulpit content is shallow, guess how the sheep are going to be? I will reach out to transgender\homosexual practitioners and if I wanted to bring someone in drag to church, most folks would freak and would not extend kindness and genuine love that Jesus does. So guess where I don’t want to bring someone that isn’t churchified.

    BTW – Stewardship is far more than Sunday a.m. services, and though for many this is a start, I am dismayed at how often it is seen and promoted as the end result of faithfulness.

    • Okay. I said “why a lot of professing Christians don’t go to church.” Not everyone. Don’t claim to be that wise. — However, on rereading your comment, I think your pride is the problem, not the preachers and the churches.

    • Hi Tim… maybe the Lord is showing you the lack in the Body of Christ for you to have a part on it. Pray for God’s direction on how you can be a blessing to the Body of Christ where you are a part of when you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

      • Hello Tim! I appreciate your comments. Both my parents were pastors, I have a nephew who is a pastor, and a child I believe I see the call upon her life, and I am a pastor. We joke about it being the family business.
        1. “You are not challenged.” Is the church there to challenge you? or are you supposed to be there to challenge others to move closer to the likeness of Christ?
        2. “I started saying “no” to chores and people started questioning my commitment.” Yes, they should have been more respectful of the boundaries you tried to set. They should not have judged you as lacking because you did not take on more chores until you died of exhaustion so they could stand at your funeral and extol your selflessness in efforts to get others to do the same. Oh, for one who would simply hold their boundaries, do with excellence the work Jesus has given them, that energizes them, and then go home to rest saying “I’ll be back next week to do it again”.
        3. “So guess where I don’t want to bring someone that isn’t churchified.” You most certainly do not want to bring them into an environment where they will be judged and criticized. It’s the Love of Christ that wins them. My job as pastor is to teach my people to create an environment that is welcoming and non judgmental. Sinners, unsaved, un-churched people whatever you want to call them, they are not to be judged by us, they are to be loved and pointed to Jesus. Leading a church that has seen 100 or more first time salvation’s a year for 5 years and retained close to half of those salvation’s moving them to becoming mature disciples of Christ I have learned somethings. 1. Once i reach a certain point in my maturity I stop going to be fed and I start feeding. In a church reaching the lost the pulpit feeds mostly milk. The older ones do not need to be hand held to get “deeper” or the structure of the church needs to be reviewed. If believers give away to the young ones what they have learned they gain deeper understanding. The church needs to facilitate this.
        2. I get it wrong, a lot. I beg Jesus to forgive me and teach me. I think its more the art of getting out of Jesus’ way to win souls than “how do I win souls”. I have more than once had to ask for forgiveness from my people publicly and people individually. I model giving grace and they give me grace when I need it. Giving grace is key (especially to leadership) or you will isolate yourself and the devil will come through the doorway of arrogance and make himself at home in your life. How do I know? I did just that in my younger days and paid the price.
        I would suggest you find a church that’s making disciples and in all humility contribute in love what Jesus has given you. If needed lovingly set your boundaries and gently stand on them. I learned to say “Sorry brother, I’m doing “this” and i not taking any more on.” Let them judge you, you are more mature than to be caught up in what they think.

        Pastor Joe- Sorry this was such a long response and off the subject.
        In Christ

    • So wait, the first part of this post is Hebrews 10:25, which you cant seem to follow, yet you’re not challenged enough? Kinda sounds like a guy sitting on the couch because all the marathons are too easy. Sure thing Chief. ??

  8. Some people like me struggled to get anything out of the sermon and did not go too often when the choice became mine. Growing up going to church, albeit small, every Sunday I never heard a sermon that was age appropriate. Some of us heard conflicting statements because what was said in Sunday school did not sound like what was said in the sermon. Even attending a Christian university and attending chapel, I never heard a speaker say anything too useful. Why is there such a fear of saying something that someone could understand and put to use?

    • Mark, a personal testimony here. There was a time when I was out of fellowship with the Lord. During those sad days and nights, I was critical of every preacher and negative toward other church members. But when I got my heart right with God, instantly I began loving those people, seeing them as fellow strugglers trying to do their best for the Savior, and no longer critical of them. Please give this some thought.

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  11. Thank you Joe. As a broken and flawed shepherd leading a broken and flawed flock, I find the constant list of excuses frustrating. Recently a very gifted woman who did not get her way told me that she’s now a “done” as in done with church. She just fine with Jesus and she doesn’t need what the church has to offer. Of course the church is imperfect. But I find the longer I stay (28 years pastoring this church so far), the more I am amazed at stories of grace, growth, guts and gratitude that come from this complex and flawed gathering we call the church. Thanks for being one of my encouragers!

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  13. So tragically true…like some replies I don’t believe church membership or attendance has much to do with salvation, which is ALL about a relationship with Jesus, but I have a hard time understanding why some so called “believers” refuse to be a part of an entity that Jesus is the head of, chief cornerstone of, and foundation of.
    I grew up as a preacher’s kid and was in church every time the doors were opened but when I went out on my own I left the church behind thinking I did not need it. When I was born again I couldn’t get back to church quick enough. It was in and through the church I began to grow and mature in Christ with the help of godly men and women who loved Jesus and His church.
    Is the church perfect, not at all, but I would rather stand before God after struggling to serve Him through the church than to stand before Him after refusing to be s part of His church.

  14. A shallow understanding of the Word will often lead some to think they don’t need the church. Those who tired of hypocrisy among leadership often leave. Others were members where church and particular political parties/beliefs became so intertwined that they felt ostracized. These aren’t good reasons, but they do occur. Some of these actions have led to hurt feelings. Yet it simply seems to me that despite being saved, Christians–even church leaders–are still flawed. Part of that flaw can be leaving a church and not uniting somewhere else. Unfortunately, some leaders are in their positions because of political clout and not spiritual maturity–perhaps they too are not even saved, using a similar set of evidence. I could’ve left certain churches any number of times, but prayer and sensitivity to the Spirit led me another way, and I continue to attend and serve where needed.

    The situation of church non-attendance is certainly more complex than you explored here, yet, as you said, you are talking about most and not all. Exploring all reasons was not your purpose. Few people would be brave enough to be so blunt, though I don’t think it could hurt to re-emphasize that there are some who are indeed saved and not in church for whatever reason, albeit not the thing to do.

    I appreciate the time and thought you always put into your articles.

  15. Good reasons to not attend a local church:
    1. Shallow preaching
    2. Money grubbing
    3. Hypocrites
    4. Too much expectations of me
    5. I don’t need church to love Jesus
    6. I get nothing in return
    7. The clincher… I am a self centered, arrogant believer, or a deceived unbeliever, either of which is not a positive thing.

    There is not a gnat’s eyebrow’s worth of evidence in the Bible of Christianity apart from commitment to and involvement in a local body of believers. Every reason I have read above shows evidence of spiritual arrogance and a self serving attitude, neither of which are evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. Trusting our own wisdom in matters such as this does nothing but reveal our foolishness.

  16. I don’t go to church because the last two pastors I’ve had were fake. One was a sexual molesting predator, and the very next was a fame seeking arrogant man who probably did not know Jesus himself. How can I trust the men in leadership? I love Jesus and know He is genuine, but how do you go to a church and look at the man preaching and know for sure that He is a man that loves the Lord?

    This article although it brings up a point could be offensive to those wounded by the church.

    So people who are commenting should be more careful on bringing judgement on those that don’t go to church, sure some might not be Christians as the article says, but others have been woefully let down by so-called godly men and it is a hard thing to get over.

  17. I read your opinion. CHURCH IS NOT ABOUT ALL THAT THINGS THATS HAPPENING in present times. There are many other ways to fellowship than attending Sunday Churches where there is one man show. Currently no apostles are there in Churches. Moreover the church culture is more important than ways of Jesus. Only Sunday operating Churches are even weird. There are many ways to learn about GOD other than churches, leaders and bible as well. There are Bible colleges, online fellowships and much more to learn, train, equip and grow. These days agencies and organization in Christian entity is found every where to help in areas of fellowship. Church is community not a bunch of Christian members. There are Gods historical aspects which lacks coverage in Bible. Its only limited to Apostle times and there letters, and beyond that it doesn’t go further. Making Church building attendence and membership compulsion is adding another brick of human tradition. Considering church as sole medium for fellowship is faulty play. There are many ways fellowships are done. Just some one doesnt attend such churches does not mean they are not Christians. CHRISTIANs are A CHURCH. I dis not say Christian is a Church. I said Christians. We have to see etymology and meaning to be clear than to come with our own understanding. CHRISTIAN MEANS SMALLER CHRIST who represent Christ. They are called so because, they follow teachings of Christ and obey them. CHURCH is gathering and assembly of such Christians and believers in Christ. IT is a body and Christian is a body part. This is just allegory to make us understand how Gods kingdom work heirarchially. Membership, institutionalization, privatization, denominational difference opening border deals and open market is just spirit of capatilsm and protestantism. By the way Church and fellowship is taken as synonymously by many. CHURCH is assmbling and gathering of the body parts(Christians, Believers,) in the name of Jesus but FELLOWSHIP is encouraging for spiritual, physical and every aspect of believers having common beliefs, and practice for various modes of devotion and worship to God such as reading scripture, singing and music to God, Praying, interceding, correcting, understanding each other, sharing each other, not just listening to one man show every Sunday. Home fellowship and under ground fellowship too are sadly mistaken for institutional Church as well. Let say institutuianl Church is one of the medium where fellwoship is carried among the members, but not necessarily the only one. There is another kind of Church (gathering, assembly, congregation) that can take place any where, say a restaurant, prision cell, forest, in a room, in an open field, grounds, streets, stadiums, banquet venues, swimming pool, boat ship, bus, planes etc in the name of Christ for common Kindgom sake, agenda and sentiments. A church is not a building and not a place as well, but the gathering and assembly of believers and Christians in those meeting areas.

  18. Why no revival

    Heb 10:24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 
    Heb 10:25  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. 

    Bible is dealing with 5 things in this passage.

    1. Consider one another

    2. Provoke each other in church to love

    3. Provoke each other in church to good works

    4. Not forsaking church

    5.Exhorting one another

    4 of these things have to do with fellowship. I do not understand how you can read this passage of scripture and miss the importance of fellowship

    In this article this guy says “In this respect a church may fill much of the same function, in a way, as an Elks Club, American Legion or lodge. Or even—for some people, I have heard—the friends at the pub.”

    I think its clear whoever wrote this article does not understand the passage of scripture he is quoting from.

    He says in this article, “A solid Christian loves the fellowship of a church, but even when he/she cannot find it in a church they visit, that’s not a deal-breaker. They are there for Jesus’ sake, not their own.”

    According to Hebrews 10:24, and the part of Hebrews 10:25 he cut out of this lesson, if a christian can not find fellowship in church it should be a deal breaker and they should go somewhere else. If you are a missionary, or you are a church planter, then things are a bit different, but for every other christian in the world Hebrews 10:24 applies to hebrews 10:25. This is not what I say, it is what the Bible says.

    I can not believe people are reposting this shallow stuff. No wonder our churches are dying. Lets cut out a passage of scripture, ignore the context and preach whatever we want. You like 1 in 5 things in two verses so you cut out 4 of them and hammer on the one you like. It reminds me of what the pharasees did with the sabbath. We are great at keeping the sabbath so we are going to focus on that to the exclusion of everything else.

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