Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ekklesia - Caveats

My last several posts have addressed - in an informal fashion - the subject of "The Church." I've tried to demonstrate what I see as the difference between the made with hands churches of our day (Most denominations, institutions, organizations, local churches, etc.) and "The Church" -- that is, the true, living, Biblical, Christ-centered "Church." The latter IS the Ekklesia of God.

I have been hard on denominations, institutions, organizations and (most unfortunately) the majority of local churches. I've called these made with hands churches for reasons I explained in earlier posts. However, I want to offer a caveat to the remarks I've made.

My condemnation -- or at the very least deep suspicion -- of these made with hands entities is not a blanket declaration. Among this majority of "organized Christendom," there are exceptions. There remains a small "remnant." This remnant, in my experience, actually does reflect the priorities of Christ. Certainly, while they are not perfect -- no body composed of humans is -- at least their understanding of God's purpose in His Body on earth stands out among other entities.

It isn't just the rare "local church" that achieves this reflection of God's intent. Quite a few "parachurch ministries" also stand out. After all, many of these ministries were created to work around the "dead weight" of do-nothing made with hands churches, denominations and the like.

I could name some of these rare exceptions -- the rare churches, parachurch ministries, etc. -- that are a reflection of Christ' will, a remnant for His witness, but I trust the leadership of the Holy Spirit to guide astute disciples to find them and work in them and with them.

A final reminder, though: "The Church" God birthed at Pentecost can come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and shades. A building with a steeple and a sign out front that says "...Church"
does NOT make it a church. "The Church" is the universal, invisible Body of Christ on earth. Unfortunately, we only catch glimpses of "The Church" God intended in the made with hands
entities of modern -- or postmodern --Christendom today.

J. Dale Weaver, M. Div.

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