May I attend two different churches?

Silhouette of a man in a business suit giving a shrug with a question mark
Silhouette of a man in a business suit giving a shrug with a question mark

Would it be wrong to go to two different churches to worship with the mind-set that you study the same and get the same message?

One of the suppositions of this question is that there are many different churches.  When we turn to Matthew 16:18, Jesus told Peter, “Upon this rock, I will build my church.”  What did Jesus have in mind when He said this?  One passage that may help us understand this better is John 10:16.  Jesus said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”  It was Jesus’ intentions that there be one church, one fold, with one shepherd, namely, Jesus Himself.  Paul reiterated this in Ephesians 4:4-6 when he said, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Now, if we are to be the one church that Jesus desires, then we need to have unity on these most fundamental things.  Jesus prayed for us to have unity in John 17:20-23:

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

What kind of unity does God want us to have?  The same is as between the Father and the Son.  We can have unity with the Son if we will listen to Him and obey His words.  We find those words in the New Testament.  When we study the Bible we can come to the same conclusions if we will let the Bible speak.  Now when we let the Bible speak, we can be the people that God wants us to be.  A people who are saying with Jesus, “Not my will, but thine be done.”  When two congregations are doing that, then they have unity.  If two congregations are not going that, then they cannot have unity.

If a person seeks to attend two different congregations that seeks two different sets of teachings, then that person is not being loyal to what Christ desires, which is unity.  Which set of teaching is the teaching that the Bible teaches?  Be loyal to that.  Listen to what Paul told the church at Corinth about divided loyalties:

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

We must be faithful to Christ and His church, not to any other person or church.  If the Holy Spirit would not let such divisions stand in Corinth, do you think that the Holy Spirit would let such divisions stand today?  Having said that, if there are two churches that teach the same thing, as the Holy Spirit says we must, then an individual may attend either congregation and worship God acceptably.  However, if the individual attends at two different churches that teach differently, then we are not promoting the unity of the church. Attend the congregation that is teaching the truth, and let that be where you worship and serve.