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09 May 2009

The Biblical Church

Lately I've been looking hard at the Church and how it goes about its mission, with the key question, "Is it Biblical?" The specific mission may be seen slightly differently from fellowship to fellowship, but it's probably going to fall in one of these areas:

1 - "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."

2 - "All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had,"

3 - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind." and "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Can we take on any of these missions with hope of success if we modify or even ignore the essential building blocks of our belief (I use "belief" as an action verb, not as a substitute for "what we passively think about") in Christ?

  • What if we give expecting a return on our "investment," either in funds or in programs we "offer" to various age and interest groups? (Luke 6:35)
  • What if we make sure that we have a good, safe, fall-back plan if our current activity for Christ isn't a smashing success? (Matthew 10:8-10, Philippians 4:19)
  • What if we make our primary preparations out of good, solid, proven strategies at the expense of asking for this boldness to come from God? (Acts 4:29-31)
  • What if we set up guidelines and expectations for our people that are based upon our opinions of holiness while failing to build on or live out the reasons behind them? (Matthew 23:4)
I don't offer the references above as "proof texts" that I have some line of thinking that is above reproach. Though some can stand alone, it's rarely possible or adviseable to grab a single verse and make it a foundational statement. I offer the questions and Scripture references above to encourage you and me as members of the Church to examine ourselves; not to indict.

Restating the main question, can we take on our mission with hope of success if we ignore the essential building blocks of our belief in Christ? And my secondary question is, ARE we trying to take on our mission in this way?


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