Allergic To Church?

Neal Pollard

A Christian lady asked her neighbor to attend a gospel meeting with her. The neighbor said neither “yes” nor “no.” He said that he and his wife could not attend church because of her allergies! Apparently, the perfumes of those attending so bothered her that she could not go to a house of worship. He conceded the awfulness of her situation, but he was confident God would overlook their lack of attendance.

This same sister, who knows and loves that couple, had bumped into her sneezy neighbor countless times in the grocery and department stores. The couple celebrated their 50th anniversary with a party they hosted in their home. Many guests attended, most of whom presumably “attended church” somewhere. The sister attended, too, and sorrowfully reported that almost every guest wore perfume. Fortunately, the neighbor survived the party.

Few excuses will outdo getting sick from church. Yet, some of the excuses we give are equally flimsy, if more trite. Truly, God will judge each individual for only He knows the heart and the circumstances (cf. Rom. 8:33-34; Heb. 4:12). As that is so, how often is He snubbed and insulted by Christians who willfully intend to miss the assemblies? What does He think of the chronic excuser, who attempts to justify “skipping church” with horribly poor rationale?

True Christians truly seek the Kingdom of God first (Mat. 6:33). Spiritually living Christians hunger for each opportunity to worship God and fellowship with other Christians (cf. Psa. 95:6; Mat. 5:6; Acts 12:12; etc.). Cross-centered saints do not look for “reasons” to miss worship and Bible study with other saints! It is incongruous to think of a spiritual-minded person (cf. 1 Pet. 2:5) battling with the decision (?) of whether or not to attend. May each of us develop the yearning of David and say, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psa. 122:1).

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8 thoughts on “Allergic To Church?

  1. There is a lot to what you say, here. There is the opposite take on it, though. In our church we have one “attender” (non-member) who insists on wearing irrationally horrible perfume that almost arrives before she does.
    And a lover of church also attends and prefers to sit far, far from her.
    We have asked and explained to the perfumed one, more than once. She “forgets”. Grrr…

  2. Years ago, a woman who never missed a service at the congregation where I preached thanked me for not wearing cologne as she shook my hand while leaving. I had stopped wearing it because I had had a reaction to it. She did not let perfume and cologne keep her from attending, but was grateful when it was not a problem.

  3. I enjoyed this. I look for things to repost on Sundays concerning reasons why we should be in God’s house. I hope you don’t mind if I share this on my blog.

  4. Pingback: Allergic To Church? – Truth in Palmyra

  5. We had an issue with this in the congregation I used to attend. We had 3 people who were allergic to perfumes/colognes. 1 of them would attend faithfully and would only leave if the smell grew overpowering.

    The other 2, well, one would walk in and immediately walk out, the other just took to sitting in the cry room. I admired the first for her fortitude and for not being rude about it. The other two were quite offensive in their behavior. I often wondered how they functioned in the workplace, grocery stores, movie theatres etcetera.

    It’s a real problem—the allergy—but as you say, the person with the issue should do their best to come anyway, and gently mention it to someone in charge so they can notify the church that “someone” is allergic and please refrain from perfumes.

    I get frustrated with perpetual excuses for avoiding church.

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