What is the church?


I often speak of a spiritual revolution that occured in my life. In it I asked the question “What does it mean to be a Christian”. Over the past few years I think I may have found some answers. Now it seems the Lord has lead me to the next question “What is the church”.

If these questions seem obvious its because I’ve learned to abandon my assumptions when it comes to understanding God and how He works.

Like many others I question the validity of church. Not God, not the Kingdom of God, not the body of Christ, but what we commonly call church. It’s not as though church is completely futile and powerless. I must admit I see the evidence of Gods work in the lives of the people I sing with on Sunday morning. Despite that I cannot accept that what I see is a true community of faith.

In the past two weeks I’ve gone through the New Testament book by book hilighting every verse that talks about life in the Christian community. I’m somewhat interested in how they did things. Things like kind of “programs” they had. I’m much more interested when you look at the church at a deeper level. What motivated them. What concerned them. The source of their life and power. What their problems were.

Its leads me to ask some of the following questions.

  • Do you have to know Christ intimately to be considered a Christian?
  • 1John 4:12,13 “No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his Love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit”. What if we don’t love one another?
  • When we promote our church organizations do we steal the glory of God?
  • If we truly walk in the power of God why does our influence in the world fade year after year
  • When we promote moral or social conservatism do we preach a Christless gospel based on biblical ethics?
  • Why do so few in the church see miracles and why doesn’t the rest of the church care that they don’t?
  • Despite the the abundance of books, and Christian training resources, we have a narrow minded biblically illiterate church?
  • If we truly loved God wouldn’t we express it with the same tone that we express our love and enthuisiasm about other things?
  • Why do we guard our hearts more on Sunday morning than any other time of the week?
  • How can a Christian church go an entire year without talking about the Holy Spirit?
  • Why have we separated ourselves in to 10 000 different camps?
  • Why do people worship because they enjoy the way it makes them feel, instead worship as an expression of gratitude to God?
  • Why does the church seem so dull and sad in Sunday morning services?
  • Why do we continue to attend meetings that result in so little change
  • If the New Testament’s picture of church is far different from what we see today, is it safe to assume we are the church?
  • Poor doctrine does hinder faith, but is it fair to define a Christian by a certain view of scripture?
  • Why do we talk so much about being good Christians and having a successful church, but talk so little about Jesus Christ?
  • Why do so many non-believers say they would want to follow God but don’t trust the church to lead them to Him?
  • Why don’t I trust the church to lead me to Jesus Christ?
  • Why have thousands of people left formal Christianity and claim to have a vibrant relationship with the Lord?
  • Why do thousands of people in formal Christianity criticize those that left but do not claim to have a vibrant relationship with the Lord?
  • The bible speaks of many false teachers, why is it we assume that we are right and everyone that differs from us is wrong?

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