WHAT IS THE CHURCH TO YOU? WHAT IS THE CHURCH TO GOD?
The disconnect has caused the division we see in the world today.
I believe we cling to hard to what we believe is church. We fight for what we hold church is, not what Christ had intended. Church is not bricks, mortar, stones or wood of glorious buildings. Church is God’s people living out the one another commands. Church was never intended to be a fortress on a hill that needed defending. It was never meant to define theology, traditions and rituals. Sadly, men and women have fought one another to take ownership and control of what they can never create or control.
Whenever one Christian embraces another Christian in fellowship, church happens – nothing more, nothing less defines church. Membership is never to be defined by men but by Christ alone.
It was over three hundred years after Peter, John, and the other Apostles began reaching out to fellow believers before a “Church Building” was constructed by a Roman aristocrat. Jewish heritage brought hierarchy into the early church and Romans brought authority and power into the church. Soon buildings needed money to be built and to be maintained. People needed to be hired to serve as leaders and maintain the “CHURCH” – rules, regulations and rituals quickly followed. Dissension among the leaders caused division and denominations; even more CHURCHES were then built and each CHURCH then struggled to justify itself as being founded by the truth which became their RELIGION, supposedly with God’s blessing. Is that the “church” that Jesus discussed with Peter on the Judean plains? The Greek word from which church comes is Ekklesia and it merely means the calling out of believers to connect with one another; not a building or the organization.
Why have we traveled so far from what was the intent of church (ekklesia)? We clearly are by no means “one body, one spirit, one baptism, one Lord” anymore. Sadly, the oneness idea has been stepped upon by the selfishness of the members fighting daily for the control of their church and their desire to define what is right in their eyes. (Judges 21:25)
Just speaking out loud the sadness I have in my heart for how divided the “body of Christ” has become.