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WWJC?

Posted by on 2 October, 2012 in Church, Church History | 12 Comments

Where Would Jesus go to Church?

  • Maybe He would settle with the Pentecostals as Jesus was heavily into performing miracles and providing words of prophecy?
  • Maybe He would align with the Catholics, as they are the most populous and global denomination?
  • Maybe He would identify with the Baptists as he was baptized by immersion and refused to follow religious hierarchy?
  • Maybe He would go with the Anglicans or Lutherans as they reformed their doctrine in response to errors throughout church history.
  • Maybe He would attend a Street Church as Jesus was a homeless man and mixed with those who were down and out.
  • Maybe He would not go to a church service at all?
  • Maybe this is the wrong question?

But we do often contemplate such ideas.

The church is the bride of Christ.   It is an organism, not an organization.  You are the church.  I love the way the Bible describes it.   Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.   Your bible study group, your Christian family members, they are all valid and legitimate expressions of church.

It is not wrong to have a church organization or to be a member of a denomination, but let’s keep it in Scriptural perspective.    Organisational structures can be helpful to meet legal requirements for owning assets, etc.   However, those entities are human structures to help facilitate our gatherings; they are not the church.

Once we grasp the pervasive nature of the Kingdom of God, we are truly liberated as God intended us to be.   It allows for encouragement and accountability that includes but also goes beyond those who we sit next to on Sunday.  It helps us move beyond the abuses that occur in individual organisational structures, because we realise that no pastor or denominational chief, has a monopoly on God’s church.   It helps us to see that God’s Kingdom is not defined by a membership roll or bums on seats.   Hell will not prevail against God’s Kingdom, because God’s Kingdom is His People – where ever they gather, where ever they live and whatever age they lived in.

 

Blessings

- JC

About Jeremy Crooks

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Jeremy grew up in Sydney and currently lives with his wife and four children on the NSW Central Coast. He has tertiary qualifications in business, training, and Bible. With experience in both church ministry and corporate human resources, Jeremy has a strong interest in how faith is demonstrated in our homes and workplaces. You can contact Jeremy at jeremy@teaminfocus.com.au.

Comments (12)

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  • avatar

    Greg

    Really good post! Although I would personally take it further still and say if you are part of a denomination you are supporting something which is quite against the will of God.

    http://skepticchristian.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/are-denominations-biblical/

  • avatar

    Jeremy Crooks

    Why do you say that denominations are against the will of God?

    I have no problem in saying they are extra-Biblical and in some cases they act against the will of God, but are they intrinsically wrong?

  • avatar

    Greg

    I would say that if they act against the will of god, which is a united church, then yes…they are….

  • avatar

    Elizabeth

    Great post Jeremy.

    I like this:

    “It allows for encouragement and accountability that includes but also goes beyond those who we sit next to on Sunday. It helps us move beyond the abuses that occur in individual organisational structures, because we realise that no pastor or denominational chief, has a monopoly on God’s church. It helps us to see that God’s Kingdom is not defined by a membership roll or bums on seats.”

    Wow. I spent the past week being reminded of the above.

    If only those caught up in certain ‘movements’ *coughcough* could realise this, and seek to serve believers from other gospel preaching churches around town. (and they do exist, if people would open their eyes)

    TBH – I don’t think Jesus would waste his time Jeremy.

    I imagine Jesus would spend his Sundays trying to win the lost outside the pubs/clubs etc…

    whilst his professing people get their religion fix at the club (that would be ‘church).

  • avatar

    JIM

    “You are the church.”

    Wow. That’s shocking ecclesiology even by infocus standards. For a “theological think tank” this is glaringly devoid of both theology and thought.

    And FWIW the kingdom and the church are not the same…

  • avatar

    Jeremy

    Enlighten us Jim.

    You have just implied that redeemed followers of Christ are not the church, that is a pretty big and serious suggestion.

  • avatar

    Daniel Kriss

    Well I always appreciate someone like “Jim” who makes such rash comments and then never follows up on them….!!!

  • avatar

    Kezia Dennison

    Daniel…I suppose we were just supposed to take JIM’s word on it… Lol, silly us…we should have known that asking for some kind of explanation or requesting biblical proof is the mark of the rebel nowadays… =P

  • avatar

    Jason Harris

    I’m curious Jeremy. Do you believe in the local church (additional to the Universal Church, i.e. all believers)?

    • avatar

      Jeremy Crooks

      Jason. It it a good question but the answer is often colored by our western denominational view of churches.

      In the NT we see Paul and John (and by extension God) acknowledging churches by location – such as the church at Jerusalem or the church at Ephesus. It seems the greatest distinction in ‘local churches’ was geographical or their doxology, but not administration. How we got from there to a modern doctrine of the ‘local church’ is interesting.

      So to answer your question, yes I believe that a local church is a valid expression of Gods church, however I believe that from a pragmatic necessity standpoint rather than from a Biblically mandated standpoint.

      BTW: I am a signed up member to a ‘local baptist church’ … if you consider a building 15kms away from my home ‘local’. Membership may be one way of representing a commitment to regular church attendance, but in itself it has no spiritual value. My regular meeting with believers who encourage me and keep me accountable has great spiritual value – and that can happen whether I am a member or not.

  • avatar

    Jason Harris

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I suspect the normal response to this might be that there was just one local church in each geographical community, hence, all of the references to Corinth (for instance) refer to the one, local “Corinth Baptist Church.” I use that name tongue in cheek of course (but yes, I’ve actually heard it referred to in that way!!). There seems to be biblical merit to the view considering that Paul instructed the church at Corinth to exercise Church Discipline (which seems to assume a structure and leadership) and that there was a definable church to be “put out” of (again, implying structure and membership).

    I’ve considered the opposite position—Local Church Onlyism—in depth, and tend to wonder if this an “opposite extreme.”

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