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Church - revisted

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Loyal
Church... it's gotten to be a sore subject.
Some don't want to be affiliated with any "denomination". Other's say they don't want to follow
a specific "religion". It's almost as if these have become dirty words. So many just have solitary
fellowship, other's do the television church thing. I've even met a few that consider TalkJesus their
church of choice.

As many on here have said... a church isn't a building. This is true, but a church isn't a single
believer standing alone either. Other's have said going into a church doesn't make you a Christian
anymore than going into a garage makes you a car. This is also true. Yet I notice virtually all cars
don't make it through their life without going into a few garages every now and then.

Heb 10:24-25; says... "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some..."
We should be encouraing one another. We should be assembling together.

2 Pet 1:20; 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

The problem with being a lone ranger is that you tend to interpret everything based on your own situations
and experiences. Almost any verse can be twisted to say what we think it should say. When we are in a group
of people, this become more difficult. (in fact this has been common here on TJ, where someone interprets
a verse a certain way, and then many others will step in and say "whoa...")

We were never meant to walk this walk alone.
Gen 2:18; is talking about a husband and wife... but even in this context... we aren't supposed to do it "alone".

Eccl 4:9-12; says two are better than one. If one falls the other can lift him up. It's much harder to pick
ourselves up when we are down. It goes on to say if two lie down together they can keep warm, but who can be
warm alone? One who is alone can be overpowered, but two can resist the enemy. A cord of three strands is
not easily broken.

The point of that passage is to say, there is strength in numbers.

The Bible warns about wolves that come in to prey on the flock (Acts 20:29; Matt 7:15; etc... )
The thing about wolves is that they like to isolate the weaker members of the flock and separate them
from the main herd. Then once they are separated, it's easier to go in for the kill.

So whether you meet in a "building" or not isn't that important. But whether you are a member of
a church you can interact with is important.

We can not love one another, pray for one another, encourage one another, bear each other's burdens,
lift up one another, confess to one another, be accountable to one another, forgive one another...
if we are the only member in our church.

If you're watching television church, maybe that's better than nothing. But who is praying for you?
Who are you praying for? Who's burdens are you bearing besides your own? Who are you being accountable to?

The Mormon church was started by Joseph Smith who supposedly went off into the woods alone, to meet with the angel Moroni. It's amazing the doctrines people come up with when they have been off on their own for some time.

1 Cor 12 talks about the "body" of Christ. The church. The body of believers, and how each part of the body
has a specific purpose. The eye, the ear, the hand, and the foot all have a specific purpose ( 1 Cor 12:14-18; )
The body is not person, but many people ( 1 Cor 12:14; )

Some people vehemently oppose going to church. They say I don't need church to be a Christian.
Perhaps not, but if the fruit we are supposed to bear is love, joy, kindness, goodness, etc... to one another,
is very difficult to bear fruit if there is no one around to do these things with. I would go so far as to say,
if you're not a member of a church, you're not part of the body of Christ.
 
Active

RJ

There are, I am sure, many valid reasons for not currently attending a church but, I feel that should be temporary. Church is essential for fellowship with other Christians but, I also feel that it could be as simple as forming one in your own home.
I am currently not involved in a church. I attended one for over 30 years but recently left because they are now a church that changed their definition of marriage....no longer solely between a man and a woman but now any consenting adult, can have gay pastors and do gay marriages. I am one of very few who left the church....my wife of 47 years decided to stay. They say you should love and accept everyone. I say, love the sinner but hate the sin. There is no way that I can accept a sinner who refuses to repent and willfully sins.
I am 100% for a struggling homosexual, who hates their sin and wants to change.
But back to your Post, Church is very important but not at the expense of sound Biblical principles!
 
Loyal
Matthew 18:20 ESV / 17 helpful votes
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Says it all right there for me, plus I really enjoy going, I dont care for the music, but I love the message
 
Active
I would go so far as to say,
if you're not a member of a church, you're not part of the body of Christ.
Yes, this is true.
But the Church, the body of Christ, is a spiritual fellowship.
And I would go as far to say that if you are not in a true Pentecost fellowship with the true Biblical evidence of being infilled with the Holy Spirit,
then you are not in the body of Christ and not in THE Church.
You may well belong to A church of believers, but is such measurable against what is written in Acts and the Epistles?
The Word is the true measurement by which we should compare our faith and doctrine against, lest we end up similar to Joseph Smith and others.
 
Active

RJ

I would go so far as to say,
if you're not a member of a church, you're not part of the body of Christ.
I believe that decision would be up to God, not man.....I love a church with it's members, but the the Church of Christ is all true Christians, with God in them, whether in a "church" or not.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
is very difficult to bear fruit if there is no one around to do these things with. I would go so far as to say,
if you're not a member of a church, you're not part of the body of Christ.
I would have to disagree with this brother. As our Brother @RJ has stated "...that decision would be up to God, not man.." You should clarify/expand what you are saying here. Is the Body of Christ made up of both Believer & Unbeliever?

For my own experience here lately, for I have had many other experiences in churches. The only attendance at church I go to is for Bible Study. Regular Sunday attendance for me is physically painful (ears). The music is concert driven and most times painful for my ears. Sermons, and what I can hear of them are solid, but difficult to process when I'm only catching half of what is being said. When you look for solid doctrine to be taught and you only hear bits and pieces. It is easy to misconstrue what is being said. So, would this be enough or have I been kicked out of the Body of Christ? ;)

For Brother @Waggles, the church I go to is Pentecostal, but sadly I feel the Holy Spirits' presence there less as the years pass. Originally it was such that you could feel His movement throughout the congregation during all facets of the service. Such sweetness and power of His presence! Alleluia! A switch to more Contemplative Spirituality occurred, which I attempted to address. Sadly, no one was listening. When I first became a member of this church I told myself I would not leave it, which is why I stay. Even still, the change they have made is such that I no longer feel the power of His presence when I am in attendance. They as a church do good works, and minister to many, but when has works ever been enough?

So @B-A-C - can one tie together or must we separate a designation of "church" as one that both believer & nonbeliever attend on Saturdays, Sundays or choose your day? Is structure or field acceptable?

Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. John 4:20-24

I will say that you have posed good questions and should be ones that each believer should address. However, I just would not place it on not being in church as the cause. Many attend church and still do not function actively within its confines. While others do not attend church and are active fruit bearers.

As always a joy reading your words which provide much food for thought dear Brother.
With the Love of our Lord Jesus.
YBIC
C4E
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Active
When I first became a member of this church I told myself I would not leave it, which is why I stay. Even still, the change they have made is such that I no longer feel the power of His presence when I am in attendance.
Time to move on to a more Biblically disciplined Pentecost Fellowship.
In Australia we are truly blessed with the Revival Fellowship (also available in the USA The Revival Fellowship North America ). We are the most scriptural driven Church not only
giving obedience to ALL the scriptures - John 3 - Mark 16:15-20 - Act 2, especially Acts 2:37-39 - Acts 10 & Acts 19:1-7 - but also Romans 6 & 8 - along with
1Corinthians 12 and 1Corinthians 14.
We conduct our Church service every Sunday in full accordance with the template set out in 1Corinthians 14:26-33.

Sadly much of what passes for Pentecostalism these days has degenerated into praise and worship, and/or bizarre antics performed by the congregation.
Get back to the scriptures. Get back to the epistles written for the edification and correction of the Spirit-filled Church: the body of Christ.

In the operation of the voice gifts after communion God (both as Jesus and our Father) speaks to His children through the Holy Spirit.
Our obedience to the scriptures and our discipline to the example of the first Church is spoken of with much approval.
Jesus reminds us of the need to pray to him in the spiritual language that He has given to all who are truly born again by the Holy Spirit; because this
spiritual language serves a very special purpose in communicating with Him and our Father. Praying in tongues never contains any fault or corruption,
and is designed for the most intimate expression of our needs and concerns from our very souls without restraint.
When we pray in tongues there is no censorship or holding back on any part of the truth concerning ourselves.
 
Loyal
I would have to disagree with this brother. As our Brother @RJ has stated "...that decision would be up to God, not man.." You should clarify/expand what you are saying here. Is the Body of Christ made up of both Believer & Unbeliever?
It is indeed up to God, but God gives us guidelines. The Bible itself is the yardstick we can measure by.

So @B-A-C - can one tie together or must we separate a designation of "church" as one that both believer & nonbeliever attend on Saturdays, Sundays or choose your day? Is structure or field acceptable?
No, definitely not. It is of course your prerogative to disagree. But a church is definitely not one believer surrounded by many unbelievers.
In 1 Cor 12 when it says the body is made up of many members. It means many "believers". Two or more unbelievers do not make up the
body of Christ. Nor does one believer and many unbelievers.

Still you are right in the fact that we can certainly show fruit to unbelievers. But unbelievers can not show fruit to us.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
No, definitely not. It is of course your prerogative to disagree. But a church is definitely not one believer surrounded by many unbelievers.
In 1 Cor 12 when it says the body is made up of many members. It means many "believers". Two or more unbelievers do not make up the
body of Christ. Nor does one believer and many unbelievers.

Still you are right in the fact that we can certainly show fruit to unbelievers. But unbelievers can not show fruit to us.
The Body of Christ is without number (that we can know) and it is for that reason I see this as important to ascertain exactly what is being talked about here. I have looked at scripture and have tied the Church, Body of Christ as being one and the same. It is not one that an unbeliever can be a part of. For it is tied together Spiritually through the Holy Spirit with Christ Jesus at the Head.

I asked a question of my Pastor in a Bible Study. Is there a Perfect Church? In what seems for those tied to one denomination/church it is a question that a Shepherd of that church avoids answering. He avoided it Yet no answer to me is not necessarily acceptable. In this case it left me with looking into "Church". It is something that one should be able to answer considering the resources we have available to us. Especially as one is the Holy Spirit, Scripture, and learned Brothers & Sisters in Christ Jesus to bounce things off of. :thumbsup:

I was able to find and filter what I had previously put together and have provided it below. It I hope explains why I believe as I believe concerning "Church" and the Perfect one at that. Some of it is in the "second person", but is not meant to being you my brother.

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"I have to first start defining certain words so we can see if we’re actually using the same Dictionary. It’s easy to use the same words, but as I’m coming to find out is that at times we are using different dictionaries, which might create difficulty in understanding each other. I hope you don’t mind that I tackle it in this fashion. I will attempt in every case to identify scripture or the lack of scriptural reference. Lord willing within the context of what God would have us comprehend we will find His truth."

Church

First one must define church as used in scripture. Easy to automatically provide the definition off of our current perspective of what a church must be. Many people today understand the church as a building. This is not a complete biblical understanding of church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers.

Jesus Christ Co-Creator

You can see this clearly that the church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head in the following scripture reading.

Ephesians 1:22-23 says, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Holy Spirit Co-Creator

Keep in mind as well that the Holy Spirit was co-creator of the church.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Body of Christ

The phrase “the Body of Christ” is a common New Testament metaphor for the Church (all those who are truly saved).

Romans 12:5 So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

Ephesians 4:3-6 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Marks of the Church.

Even in utilizing the “marks of the church” which is taken from Nicene Creed of 381 "Unity, Sanctity, and Apostolicity", "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church." It is crucially important to remember, though, that when the early Christians used the term “catholic,” they were not referring to any particular church, denomination, rite, or communion. They were simply referring to all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Everything being said, don’t you think when one talks about the unity of the church that it’s a matter of perspective, unless you identify the church as the body of Christ which allows for a true unity?

In Closing : Many denominations may and do lay claim to exclusivity. If you combine Church, Catholic, Body of Christ and what you have is not a building or an institution, rather an organism which is alive! As we are alive, as Christ in us is alive, as the Holy Spirit that is in us is alive.

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Dear Brother BAC
Now this is not to take away from churches being a center of service for following our Lord's commandment. It, we should be doing such. You will not get any argument from me there. Yet, it also does not take away from the one true Church in Christ Jesus as the head, of which every believer is a part of.

Many churches were established by Holy Spirit filled men & women of God. Yet, we know that this does not mean that as such a church maintains such attributes established in the spirit of doing our Fathers will, and furthering His Kingdom. It also does not necessarily mean that as such it continues to this day. Letters to the Churches in Revelation speak of this. It is easy to see that Unity, Sanctity, and Apostolicity are not assuredly carried forward so that all members from inception to dissolution are guaranteed anything if there is a falling away by those who follow.

Now you may not agree with this, but when I look at the world and meet brothers & sisters from a variety of denominations. All I have to do is say "Jesus is my Savior" pointing to my heart and the heavens. Though neither of us may speak the same language, we in the Body of Christ speak "JESUS" and in Him we are united, able to rejoice in this knowledge alone! To me that is the Body of Christ, the Church that is everlasting.

I hope I haven't been too long winded or insensitive to you in anything that I have typed. For if I have, I beg your pardon. It would have been better to have not posted than to have caused you any pain. The love I have for you Brother is more important than all these postings combined and then some.

Only with the Love of our Lord Jesus.
YBIC
C4E

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