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12 June 2009

What is "The Church"?

There's an article I've written regarding Scripture and the Church that has been perception-changing for me, but I'm slightly hesitant to post it. I've run it by several friends and asked them to check it for Scriptural error or supposition on my part, and I've "sat on it" and reread it many times. It's toed somewhat to the theme I introduced in my post "It Isn't Just for Christians Anymore?"

A couple of those friends seemed to think it was actually tame, and even filled with no-brainer things ("Why do you think this would be controversial?"), while several saw it as directly challenging the current paradigm of the church, yet they were in agreement that it was Scripturally accurate an on the mark. Another noted that it covers many bases but misses some as well.

I'm asking God to let me know what to do with it. I don't want to use it as controversial blog material to push blog readership up. I don't want to simply start a theological debate for the sake of debate, but I know that defenses will go up as it's being read. My desire is for people to read it, go to their Bible, and ask themselves whether or not it's accurate, and if it is, how we need to adjust.

This is my thesis statement in the article: the Church should not (and in fact, cannot) be made up of non-believers or half-hearted followers of Christ.

Any initial thoughts or reactions? Think long and hard before answering, because the way we address this statement may reveal some major inconsistencies in our beliefs and ways of thinking.


Leroy said...

Dean said "the Church should not (and in fact, cannot) be made up of non-believers or half-hearted followers of Christ."

In general (I generally don't like "in general" statements), the church IS (has become) made up of non-believers and half-hearted followers of Christ. Recognizing the "obvious" isn't hard to do if we open our eyes. What do we do about it? Now that's a pot-stirrer right there.

Steve said...

The church can't be "made up" of non-believers and half-hearted followers, but it must, by its definition (of being the church), include those people. Excluding them removes an opportunity for them to worship and be converted by the spirit, which is exactly what we're all supposed to be doing. The church isn't a museum for saints; it is a hospital for sinners.

I'm not qualified to judge whether someone is a non-believer or half-hearted follower. Many people that I would consider half-hearted followers are committed in their hearts. When my grandmother died, I was surprised to learn some of the things she taught my cousin -- things I wouldn't have expected because I would have considered my grandmother half-hearted. Perhaps I was wrong.

So I guess I might like them to be more committed -- or at least better fit my definition of more committed -- but I probably ought to invite them in and love them just the same.

Preston N said...

Steve - I think what Dean is trying to get at is "what does the Bible have to say about this topic"? People tend to get "emotional" on subjects such as this. Since our emotions can not always be trusted, I tend to stick with what God's Word has to say in regards to this subject matter, rather than my emotions. Therefore, support your position from a biblical standpoint. Remember, you will not only need to show scriptures that support your position, but be ready to address those scriptures that seem to contradict or oppose your own position.

For example 2 Cor 6:14-18 or what about 1 Cor 5:11?

Dean Lusk said...

I was hoping for a little more follow-up on this one before I post a reply. It's a pretty deep subject and it affects and overlaps a lot of areas of our lives as Christ-followers.

If we get to the bottom of what we believe and how we live and conduct our church meetings, will we find that we're acting Biblically? I'm not talking about things like having carpet in the sanctuary or where we put the podium.

I'll elaborate tomorrow, I think.

Thanks for the comments! Very thought-provoking.

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