It is the well-established historical customary constant and token identifier of Baptist churches. What could possibly be wrong with that?
Well... A great deal, quite frankly. At least, when it actually gets in the way of authentic fellowship between church members.
Most churches that follow this standard seem to do so "religiously" as if it would be an automatic sin to deviate any-at-all from the prescribed set-in-concrete pattern of this injunction.
Let's use a little imagination for a moment to "break" this forbidden-to-do-otherwise pattern.
I suggest that, instead of "going to church" twice on Sunday, why don't you try going only once - and, stay all day...
Compare the iconic standard with the following scenario:
A local New Testament church meets late-morning with a call-to-worship hymn to its 'Sunday morning worship service'. After the service has ended, the church shares a meal together. And, they don't get in a hurry to "swallow it down and clean up"; rather, they take their time eating while getting to know their brothers and sisters in Christ all-the-better. After that, the church spends [even] more time in fellowship together. The adults talk while they watch the kids play, or they all participate in other family-oriented activities - whatever may be appropriate for the enjoyment of fellowship. They do things that a family would do together. Later, they reconvene for a late-afternoon Bible Study. Optionally, when the Bible Study has ended, more fellowship time is shared by all. If it seems suitable, they might even eat the evening meal together also.
And then everyone says goodbye-for-now and goes home - refreshed for the coming week.
Instead of burning twice the gasoline so that they can "go through the ritual" of a set pattern of activity that minimizes a much-needed level-and-bond of fellowship two times in the same day, the members of the church in this scenario live out the reality that they truly love each other in Christ, truly desire to have real fellowship with each other, and truly believe that this kind of fellowship is both absolutely necessary and determinately beneficial to the Christian life.
Most of you are probably aware of how an average day at a Baptist summer camp goes. Christians spend time together in worship, eating, recreation, etc. - getting to know each other while building meaningful relationships. And, everyone usually ends up deciding that it was well worth the effort to attend the summer camp. And, my question is...
"Why don't you do [something like that] every Sunday?"
Why do you not dedicate the whole day to the fellowship of the family of God?
As far as I am concerned, it is because you would rather take that afternoon nap than to benefit from a greater opportunity for better fellowship with other like-minded Christians.
This is a serious statement, to be sure; however, it is not meant to condemn. I very much know what it is like to feel that I could really use that nap! On the other hand, I have also learned that God will usually provide more-than-enough energy to get me through the day if what is in my heart toward Him and my brothers and sisters in Christ is what it ought to be.
I have heard it said that preaching can "wear you out"; and, I have no doubt that it is true. For, I myself know what it is like to be "worn out" after in-depth reading and studying of the Word. However, spending good quality time in fellowship - if it is done authentically in genuine love - can actually relieve your weariness so that you may postpone a nap or even dispense with it altogether.
Do not underestimate the "uplifting power" of good honest authentic - "sweet" - fellowship among the members of a church!
Do you have good honest authentic fellowship in your church? Do you have "sweet" fellowship among the members of your church?
How much do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? How much do you want for them to not be devoured by Satan (1 Peter 5:8)?
How much do you realize just how important it is that everyone in any group of Christians be like-minded where spiritual things are concerned?
How much do you realize that - in these last days - it is so vitally important for Christians to stand strong together in the midst of all of the evil that is in the world?
Some of you might say that it is a lot of work for the church family to plan and prepare a meal every Sunday. Does your family at home not do this every day? Why would the church family not do it every Sunday?
Would you think the same way if that is all you had ever known? What if your church family did [something like this] every Sunday when you were growing up?
In the modern day, you can even go out to eat on Sunday if you wish to pay someone else to do the cooking and the cleaning up afterward.
The point is - that the members of a local New Testament church should dedicate themselves to spending quality time with each other in fellowship - as family members. Of course, it does not have to be this exact scenario as I have depicted - it is only an example for the purpose of illustration. However, church members ought to spend time together in fellowship beyond simply being in the same room together during a regular church meeting. I am not at all against worship, singing, hearing the Word preached, or having Bible studies. These things are a most important and necessary part of a regular fellowship that should exist among church members. What I am saying is that full-and-complete fellowship requires that there be more than [just] these.
In these last days, you need to know who you can trust and rely on.
And, you need to be able to recognize the wolves among the sheep.
In these last days, you need to have a good close mutually-beneficial (benevolent, efficacious, and wholesome) relationship with as many other Christians as possible.
These things absolutely cannot be accomplished with the "obligatory 3-4 hours a week" approach to the Christian life that is common in many churches today.
In these last days, Christians need more-than-ever to diligently endeavor to get just as close to God as they possibly can - and - to form quality relationships with just as many other born-again Christians as they possibly can.
Don't be deceived by the worldly prognosticators. It is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.
The prevailing idea seems to be, that 'Twice on Sunday' gives a person "double exposure" to the Word. However, two times "just going through the motions" in a ritualistic fashion is actually worse than just once with real authenticity.
Consider the possibility that the pattern of thinking that results from the 'Twice on Sunday' concept engenders a subconscious psychological indifference to "full-and-complete" fellowship by enticing a mental substitution that favors 'quantity' over 'quality' - because it is easier to do more-of-the-same ('quantity') than to venture outside your comfort zone for the sake of obtaining a better result ('quality').
A "full-and-complete" fellowship that promotes one worship service on Sunday is far better than a "lacking-and-suffering" fellowship that promotes two worship services on Sunday.
By now, you may be thinking that I have something against "going to church" more than once a day.
If you are thinking this, perhaps you may better understand what I am saying if you ponder the following for a moment:
What if your church decided to have three worship services on Sunday? (morning, afternoon, evening)
What if your church decided to have four worship services on Sunday? (morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, evening)
What if your church decided to have five worship services on Sunday? (morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, early evening, late evening)
Do you see where I am going with this?
At some point, you would probably decide that it would actually become counter-productive to and unnecessary for a "well-rounded" fellowship - because, it would "rob you" of other necessary "areas" of fellowship.
Well - that is exactly what I am saying about [the pattern of thinking that results from] the 'Twice on Sunday' concept.
And, I believe that Satan is using it very successfully to actually bring about a decline in the 'quality' of fellowship in many churches.
When families - "at home" or "at church" - are not willing to "slow down" and spend good quality time together - their lives get lost in the fast pace of modern reality.
I am not saying that there is insufficient 'quality' in worship, singing, hearing the Word preached, or having Bible studies.
I am saying that more is required for a "well-rounded" fellowship. I am saying that there are other necessary "components" in a "full-and-complete" fellowship. And, I am saying that - if those other "areas" of fellowship suffer - then, all "areas" of fellowship will suffer along with it - including those listed in the sentence which is the previous paragraph.
"Something to think about..."