Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Body of Christ, a living organism
Worshipping in Spirit and Truth

Did you read that book by Josh Harris, Stop Dating the Church? It's a good read. I believe that if more Christians were committed to a local body of believers that the body of Christ as a whole could have a greater impact on the world we live in. If we want to stick with the "body" word picture of Christ, you have Christ as the Head (I would say He would need to be the heart as well), we have the skeleton which could be your local churches, then you have missionaries who do travel but usually stay in one place for a period of time, and hopefully those put muscles on the bones, then their are people like us, you might say that we are like the blood circulating through the body and since we don't reach every part I am sure there are others out there traveling about and spending brief periods of time within other parts of the body.
I hope we bring the needed oxygen and help flush out the wastes to the parts of the body of Christ that we visit for a time and of course, that would be a result of the Holy Spirit working through us. So, our commitment is to the Body of Christ as a whole and for now we do not belong to a local church but are grateful to those local bodies who welcome us in and love us as if we are going to stay.
We have been to home churches, loud ones, traditional ones (and yes, I take my mother to Roman Catholic mass when she visits). One of the things that we have found a little disturbing about a number of Modern-American Christian Churches is that the purpose of Sunday morning worship is not primarily for the worship of our Lord but instead used for the purpose of evangelism. (Now before you try to stick me in a box: wait a minute, people don't belong in boxes anyway. Boxes are for things. I know this will be my 12th time packing to move in 4 years.) As Christian we are to evangelize: some like to call it the Great Commission and there are times when local churches as well as big ministries hold crusades, tent meetings and revivals, this is where evangelism ought to be taking place regularly along with one on one relationship evangelism. However, we are coming to believe through the Word of God that the main purpose of the Church is to come together to be edified, challenged, lifted up and of course, worshipping the Lord together in spirit and in truth.

Encouragement (edification) and Challenge (spur one another)
Hebrews 10
22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Prayer (lifting up)
James 5
Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
Hebrews 12
You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."[e] 27The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29for our "God is a consuming fire."[f]

It seems abundantly clear that it is not our job to bring the unbeliever to church: God is the one building His Church (the body of Christ, the kingdom of God, His Family) but our job is to bring them to the foot of the Cross, point them to Jesus, not programs and steeples. When I became a believer the last place I wanted to go was to a church. I was afraid this new relationship with Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit would not be permitted because it was not acquired through the rites of "the church" but by the power of God. He invaded my life without my permission and I have never been the same.

Well folks, I really don't have anything figured out nor do I expect to in this life looking through the glass dimly as it may seem. However, I will continue to pursue the Truth for as long as I live by God's grace.



1 comment:

Daniel M. said...

Thank you ?Catherine for the post. I enjoyed it very much. I am in full agreement!