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When Is A Church No Longer A Church?

April 28, 2016
Greetings,
                     “God sets the lonely in families….”  Psalm 68: 6
 “..for we are members of His Body.”  Ephesians 5: 30
 “…for the sake of His Body, which is the church.”  Colossians 1: 24
                     Today’s blog post is going to be very short.  The Lord gave me these words one night and then told me not to add or subtract anything.  So here it is…..
                     The church becomes an institution instead of the living Body of Christ when it runs like a business instead of a family, when some members are elevated with titles, offices or positions, when someone starts making money by “serving” it, and when it desires tax exempt status from the state.  The Institutional “church” system is wrong and perhaps at times even evil.  When one follows traditions instead of the Spirit’s leading things go all to hell very quickly.
                    Love and….
                    Kirk Out !
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14 Comments
  1. Once again I apologize for the formatting of this blog post. WordPress would not allow me to publish it with proper paragraph breaks. I tried to make it easier to read with extreme indentations. Not sure that helped much though.

  2. Rich Chamberlin permalink

    Yes, the path is narrow. We are told that few ever find the kingdom life. Few will pay the price to be light, and shine for the world, with the Spirit driven passion to complete the mission. God bless your efforts.

    • Rich, thank you for your witness, confirmation and encouragement. It is a path we walk and not a paved highway. Each step is important. I choose the narrow natural organic path rather than the institutional heavy duty machinery concrete pavement.

  3. Sue Heumann permalink

    I see the importance more and more, Cap’n…..thanks for being a lamppost along my path….succinct and to the point….paths have all kinds of snags and roughness, but personality, shafts of light, and surprises, too! God is so good.

    • Yes Sue God is good and He is our personal guide on the pathway as we blaze a new trail together into God’s wonderful garden again.

  4. Dan permalink

    Truth

  5. Dan Jackson permalink

    Titles, offices, positions – hmmm . . . Don’t I recall the New Testament church creating various offices, titles and positions? And – don’t I recall there even being some requirements listed to be considered for those offices, titles or positions? Are you then saying that the church stops becoming the church when it follows the example of the New Testament church rather than taking on some other form that is not modeled for us in scripture?
    As for the issue of “paying” someone to “serve” – Is it better to go into the the public sector and hire the average web site designer to create, host and maintain a web site for a specific group of believers to use to communicate to the masses the time, location of their gatherings as well as providing access to audio or video recordings of previous weeks exhortations – OR – is it better to find someone within the body of believers that are used to assembling together, and paying them to complete those same tasks, as well as various others?

    • "BK" permalink

      Hi, Dan. Appreciated your thoughts and feel like I would like to dialogue with you a bit on them. Christopher is correct when he says there were no ‘offices’ in the New Testament ekklesia. I found that out ‘by accident’ one day when studying. As I looked up ‘office’ as used in Timothy I was shocked to find it was not there. It is an added word (bore out by the simple use of Strongs Concordance). I think it is a mistake to view the letters Paul wrote as rules set forth in law and requirement. The new covenant is one of grace and priesthood of believers with one Head, Jesus Christ. As the early church walked together they were drawn to those they considered trust worthy enough to be elders, those looked to like an older brother or sister and he wrote his thoughts (inspired by the Holy Spirit no doubt) and cautions to Timothy. They weren’t positions, but again as Christopher wrote, a family. I find a huge difference in paying someone to design a website and paying someone who the Lord uses to shepherd or serve His people. Before I realized those giftings in Ephesians 4 are to the ‘all’, not a limited group of lifted up people, I pastored in the conventional sense. But even then I did not take any pay for my serving the people of God in that capacity. I saw it as a responsibility, not a position or title. Since then I have simply taken my place among the priesthood of believers and am happy to have the Spirit flow through my life in any way It desires at any given time. So, sure, pay your website designer….but I’m not sure about the ‘various others’ statement. Words in our culture come with ‘baggage’ and erroneous meanings than when originally written. Minister today means one who has a job giving sermons at a building called ‘church’….when the early writers wrote their letters it meant ‘servant’; the word sermon is not even found in the scriptures once; preach means a monolgue from a pulpit….when it simply means ‘to announce’ and even more often it is the word dialogue, or discussion, as when Paul ‘preached all night’….no, he dialogued, not monologued. And for that matter, ‘pulpit’ is only used one time in the Old Testement (never in the new) and 13 men stood ON it and corporately spoke a glorious message to the glory of God. I say all this simply to point out the things that have come to be taken for granted in Christiandom really are a far cry from how things looked in the early church.
      Just my thoughts and I sure welcome your thoughts in return. Love, “BK”

      • Thanks for sharing your portion of the truth in love here BK. I wholeheartedly agree!

  6. Dan, I don’t have the time or space to fully address your questions. However, I will say this…nowhere in scripture is the word “office” used in relationship to those called to serve the church. Different gifting and functions yes, but no office or positions. Jesus said to call no “man” teacher, father, leader etc or any other title because HE said we are all siblings and nothing more or greater than that. Jesus also called those who get pay for watching HIS sheep “hirelings” and Paul said that taking pay to serve the church “hinders” and discredits the Gospel. The true church has no offices, or positions to be filled and functions as a family rather than a secular business. Thanks for sharing and asking Dan. The ‘church” today for the most part is “man” led rather than Spirit led and evens views the scripture through a “man” corrupted lens rather than a Spiritually clear and pure lens. The true church is a family and NOT a business or nonprofit corporation. Jesus longs for our full return to HIM our first love and to turn away from the ways and traditons of mere “men”.

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