Reviews

About the author

avatar

Jason Harris

Jason loves to communicate God's word both in the local church and at conferences and retreats. Jason has been involved with Worship Music since 1996 and InFocus since 2005. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research and is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer in the College of Business, Law, and Governance at James Cook University, Cairns. Jason is also a pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@teaminfocus.com.au.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    Belinda Ezzy

    Thanks Jason,
    Your reflections have given me something to think about. I struggle with wanting to return to the “local church”, feeling somewhat disillusioned with my own experiences.

    Reply
  2. avatar

    LW.

    Hey Jason, Great post.

    I’ve read through your post and have some thoughts.

    Firstly, when we think of a church we imagine a building, religious club or religious meetings. We never use the word church to refer simply to believers of Jesus who live in a particular locality.

    Acts 14:27 says, “And when they were come, and had gathered the ekklesia (church) together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”

    You wrote that, “The local church simply means the believers, gathered”.

    I politely disagree and believe that Acts 14:27 suggests that the Ekklesia (church) isn’t gathered by definition, but quite simply is simply a reference to the Body of Christ (the believers) who live in a particular locality. (you disagree with this view in your post).

    Please consider Acts 14:27 if the Ekklesia (church) is by your definition, a gathering…

    “And when they were come, they gathered the already gathered believers together”.

    Jason, the verse makes no sense if the Ekklesia IS a gathering of believers (for meeting purposes).

    You do not need to gather together that which is already gathered.

    I would also like you to consider Acts 2:46-47:

    “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the Ekklesia (church) daily such as should be saved.”

    Some thoughts: Their daily meetings in the temple is not called ‘church’.
    They (the Ekklesia, who are the believers) met from ‘house to house’. Their meetings are not Ekklesia, THEY (the people) are.

    It was the LORD who ADDED to the Ekklesia (the body, singular) those saved individuals.

    So what exactly is the Lord adding to?

    The house to house gatherings or the temple gatherings?

    No where in the above text are we told that the Lord added to the ‘gathering’ (or assembly in one particular place).

    The Lord added believers (living stones) to his singular body.

    How many bodies does the Lord have? One? Or one million?

    I believe there is an assumption that this word Ekklesia (church) must have a visible local presence in order to exist. I honestly don’t see this in Scripture.

    You mention the plurality of the word ‘churches’ toward the end of your post.

    Consider the word multitude and multitudes.

    Is it possible that the Ekklesia (in plural form) is simply a reference to the multitudes (plural-churches in English bibles) within a particular city and not a reference to a plurality of religious meeting places/clubhouses (how we define church today?).

    I’d also like to point out a passage which has the word Ekklesia and in English bibles the word has been translated as Assembly:

    Acts 19:32.

    “Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. 33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.”

    The word Assembly in Acts 19:32 is the same Greek word which everywhere else has been translated as Church, yet here we see no such religious gathering of believers. We see Jews here in the Ekklesia ‘assembly’.

    Again, consider the word multitude. The word multitude fits here in this context perfectly.

    If we substitute the word Assembly in Acts 19:32 for church then the context makes absolutely no sense.

    I believe the Ekklesia (translated church) is simply a reference to the members of the Body of Christ within a particular location (which you disagree with in your post). You said you believe it’s a gathering of believers.

    Yes, I agree that the Ekklesia DOES gather (for fellowship, exhortation etc) but I do not believe that the Ekklesia is by definition, gathered.

    When we are talking about the church (ekklesia) we’re talking about PEOPLE, not religious meetings, clubs or organisations run by some guy calling himself ‘The Pastor’.

    Jesus’ body is not only his body when all together in one room.

    The Scripture is clear Jesus only has ONE BODY made of many members.

    These religious clubs we call ‘churches’ (in my opinion) are not Ekklesia (which Jesus said HE would BUILD) but are something else entirely (a scary thought).

    And when we look at so called ‘church history’ which for the most part traces back to Rome… we start to question all of the traditions like ‘church’ buildings, pews, sermons, salaried religious leaders who love to have the pre-eminence (Diotrephes) and so on it all goes.

    Is it at all possible that Christianity has gone completely rogue and these things we call ‘churches’ are not Ekklesia at all?

    Have you ever considered that this thing we call ‘Church’ is not what Jesus is building but is the handiwork of someone else?

    A long post… my apologies (not really :D )

    I’d appreciate your thoughts on those passages I posted.

    I LOVE the ‘local church’ (the Ekklesia who are the PEOPLE of God in my town).

    I haven’t set foot in a religious building for over 4 years and yet I love all those who call on the name of Christ who live in my town. I will happily fellowship with anyone who names Jesus as their Lord and Saviour but I certainly don’t believe I need to set foot in a dedicated building in order to exhort and encourage others within Christ’s body.

    And I’m fairly confident Scripture is on my side.

    LW.

    Reply
  3. avatar

    A. Amos Love

    LW

    Your comments are excellent about “His Ekklesia.”
    His Called Out Ones. His Body. His Church.

    “When we are talking about the church (ekklesia) we’re talking about PEOPLE, not religious meetings, clubs or organisations run by some guy calling himself ‘The Pastor’.”

    Yes, The Ekklesia of God, are His PEOPLE…
    His Redeemed, His Ambassadors, His Sheep, His Disciples.
    The House of God. The Temple of the Holy Spirit.
    The sons of God. Led by “The Spirit.”
    NOT led by Mere Fallible Humans.

    And, In the Bible…
    NOT one of of **His Disciples** called themself ‘The Pastor’?
    Or lead pastor. Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

    NOT one of of **His Disciples** was called ‘The Pastor’?
    Or lead pastor. Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.
    ——-

    “These religious clubs we call ‘churches’ (in my opinion) are not Ekklesia (which Jesus said HE would BUILD) but are something else entirely (a scary thought).”
    ——-

    “Is it at all possible that Christianity has gone completely rogue and these things we call ‘churches’ are not Ekklesia at all?”
    ——-

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Reply
  4. avatar

    A. Amos Love

    Jason

    Thanks for asking for “insights and counterpoints”
    To your comments. — I have a few counterpoints. :-)

    I’m-a-thinkn, “the local church” has caused much damage. Created many “Tradtions,” that are NOT in the Bible. And those “Tradtions,” “Make Void,” “Nullify,” the Word of God. Mark 7:13. You ask in the post, “Is “the local church” really biblical?” The asnswer is NO, beause the term “local church,” is NOT in the Bible.”

    When Today’s “local church” promotes their church…
    And the Bible talks about His Ekklesia, His Body…
    His Called Out Ones, His Church…
    It just ain’t the sam ting…

    Seems, When you promote terms NOT in the Bible…
    You wind up promoting lots of other… errr… stuff…
    NOT in the Bible. Oy Vey!!! :-(
    ——-

    What does this word “church” really mean?
    Makes an interesting study. And challenge.
    Print out all verses with “church” in it…
    Read all verses with “church” in it…
    Over and over, again and again…
    And ask yourself… Ask Jesus…

    In the Bible?
    Did any of **”His Disciples?”**
    Ever?

    1 – *Go to* Church?
    2 – *Join* a Church?
    3 – *Lead* a Church?
    4 – *Plant* a Church?
    5 – *Pastor* a Church?
    6 – *Attend* a Church?
    7 – *Tithe* to a Church?
    9 – *Rebrand* a Church?
    8 – *Look for* a Church?
    9 – *Teach* Go to Church?
    10 – *Bring their friends* to Church?
    11 – *Become Members* of a Church?
    12 – *Apply for Membership* in a Church?
    13 – *Call themselves, Pastor,* in a Church?
    14 – *Call themselves, Leader,* in a Church?
    15 – *Call themselves, Reverend,* in a Church?
    16 – *Give Silver, or Gold, or Money* to a Church?
    17 – *Build a building with a Cross* and call it Church?

    18 – *Were any of **His Disciples,** ever Hired?
    As a Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit?
    Preaching, to People in Pews?
    Weak after Weak?
    In a church?
    ——-

    NOPE…

    These things are taught, and exist, in Today’s “local church.”

    But, NONE of these things exist in the Bible…
    For one of **His Disciples.**

    If, In the Bible…
    Jesus did NOT teach **His Disciples** to do these things?
    And, **His Disciples** did NOT do these things?

    Why do WE? His Sheep? His Body? His Servants?
    Think it’s okay? To do these things?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2005-2016 by InFocus. Powered by WordPress. Effective News theme by Themelions Team.