Eric Davis offers a few reasons why trying to do church away from church isn’t really church.
Here’s one of his thoughts:
Worship of God is not a self-determined endeavor.
Much of the Bible begins with God laying out what it means, and does not mean, to worship him. One take-away from Exodus and Leviticus is, “Wow. This glorious God does not leave the details of worship up to us.” That’s because one of the great problems with humanity is that depravity renders us unable and unwilling to worship him correctly. We have manufactured 10,000 ways of worship. And every one of them is profane and idolatrous.
Not once in the history of humanity has a person or people devised the correct way to worship the true God. That’s why we need the Bible. Whenever man takes the self-determined approach to worshiping God, he makes an idol. In his grace, God prescribes worship to sinful man for good reason.
“You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes” (Lev. 18:3).
“And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them” (Lev. 20:23).
Consider those Old Testament times. With all of those blood sacrifices, couldn’t someone just offer up a sacrifice at home? Wouldn’t that be good enough as long as they meant well and thought about God? Those who offered a sacrifice away from the tabernacle were to be killed (Lev. 17:8-9).
The point is that proper worship of God is not a self-determined endeavor. God has not left it up to me to decide what defines obediently gathering as the church for corporate worship.
Read more here.
Now there are some who feel the Old Testament isn’t relevant in this matter.
Even those folk have to contend with the situation that God is so clear and precise about gathering in the Old Covenant, while their position is that there are no corporate obligations in the New Covenant.
God doesn’t leave our corporate responsibilities up to how we feel.