Monday, November 08, 2010


What Is The Church?

Milt Stanley links to Jared Wilson on "Your Church Might Not be a Church If . . .." Some highlights:
You never hear the word "sin" there.

You hear the word "sin," but only briefly or redefined as "mistakes."

Church membership just appears to be a recruiting system for volunteers.
There is a low light:
On patriotic holiday weekends, the message is about how great America is.
And a wonderful conclusion:
If your church meets one or more of these, it might be a spiritual pep rally, a religious performance center, a Christian social club, or something else entirely, but it is probably not, biblically speaking, a gathering of the biblical church.
Wilson has a heck of a point, much of which passes for church these days is anything but throwing in that comment about celebrating our nation seems to be making a political point when he is trying to argue that the church should be apolitical. He is, I believe, guilty of the sin he is trying to argue against. But then I am not sure it is a sin.

The church is not a cheerleader for a nation or a party - but we should pray for the nation, which includes PRAISE for the much this nation has done right. Many, many nations have worked actively to suppress our faith and it is good that we live in a nation that at least governmentally, if not socially, has stayed out of the way of the church.

Wilson does not say what a church should be. It is a gathering of the faithful for worship and the mutual building up of one another. Note what I did not say - mission. The church makes people (the mutual building up of one another) that do mission, and such people may use the church as an instrument in that mission from time-to-time, but the church is not about mission any more than it is about some of the other stuff Wilson derides.

It is also noteworthy that building up one another will involve a lot of things that might seem peripheral. Take sports for example - they build a sense of camaraderie that can be helpful in the pursuit of deeper things, problems arise only if they go no deeper.

Perhaps the biggest problem we have in the church today is trying to draw hard lines when there should be soft ones.

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