Just is what is this Identity called the CHURCH?

According to Scripture, all Believers are a part of the Church which Jesus established, of which He is the only Head. (I Cor.12:13, Eph.4:4-6). 

This Church is not an organization concocted by man as a way to find God, it is an organism established by Christ to communicate His grace and love by working with Him as He works through Believers. (John 14:12-14).

This Church is known by the designation of “called out ones” a group of like-hearted people based on relationship with Christ, not by denominational assembling of like-minded people based on doctrinal beliefs.

The True Church is a spiritual entity of designated “called out people,” comprised of a diversity of individuals who are the building blocks jointly fitted together, who are gifted and placed in spiritual relationship with one another by the Spirit of Father God (I Cor.12:11-12, Phil.2:1). It is not a creation of  man's attempt of denominational like faith based on doctrinal differences which promotes segregation of the “body of Christ”.

There is a local “Church” of the universal body of Christ in every locality wherein “two or more” people have come to faith in Christ and assemble for mutual edification and cooperative expression of the Church expressed in daily living (Matt.18:20). All the believers in a given locality are the united local expression of Jesus Christ to the part of the world they live in. No divisions are to be upheld among them such as is evident in the religious denominational world. 

Since Paul addressed his letters to all the Believers in a given location (Rom.1:7, Phil.1:1, Col.1:2), it is a fair inference that the various smaller clusters in the city practiced unity and shared life and resources with each other born out by the sharing of Paul’s letters among themselves and their coming together for the shared love feast.

Individual congregating of believers that define their identities, commitments and ministries in isolation from the other congregations in the same locality are falling into the sectarian mentality, decried by Paul, of saying “I am of...” and “I am of...” (I Cor.1:12). They have forsaken the spiritual definition of the Body for an ‘institutional model’ of the church, in which ‘membership’ has little to do with being a limb spiritually attached by the Spirit to the rest of the Body, but is defined in terms of signed “membership’ papers that mandates rule keeping and a ‘covenanted commitment’ to a denomination, this concept is not found in Holy Writ.

Commitment to a group of Believers in one congregation in a way that pre-empts commitment to others members of the Church outside that congregation is wrongheaded and is described by Paul as infantile and carnal (I Cor. 3:2-4). Yet, the religious denominational world develop, promote and practice such an malformation and identify it as the "church" this is an absurdity.

Relationships among Believers locally and globally are spiritual in nature. Church is not defined in terms of ‘belonging’ to one’s denominational distinctions, as in a club or a religious organization. They are defined in terms of ‘organic,’ God-ordained, real-life interaction that takes place (mostly) outside the weekly scheduled “event-driven meetings.” This deduction is concluded from the fact that several of the ‘gifts,’ like giving, helps, encouragement, forgiving people, showing compassion, mercy, marriage etc. …Rom. 12:6-8, I Cor. 7:7; 12:28…can hardly be thought to find their primary expression in the ‘event-driven-meeting,’ but rather in day-to-day interaction, whether by assembling of believers or by across-our path-encounters with people in being the Church in daily living. In fact, the congregational “event-driven-meeting” has little to do with relationships per se, since people gather there who have no real-life interaction or fellowship.

 The one mandate of a Believer is to love God and love people with a pure heart (John 13:34, II Tim.2:22), and not judging one another by extra biblical criteria (John 7:24). Out of that love relationship flows all other aspects of ministry with God.

The unity prayer of Christ for His Church is seriously hindered and compromised when denominational doctrinal theology and organizational linking…not love…is treated as "normative  for the Believer's fellowship.”

It is gross judgemental action and unloving to impose a single culturally-defined model of ‘normative church life’ upon believers who, apart from that religious model, are walking in love with God and with people, living in victory over sin, living in service to people, living in humility, and an abundance of sociable fellowship, simply because they define their ‘Church’ affiliation by some other standard than the extra biblical standard most current in the given religious culture.

The frequency or location of formal meetings or assemblies is never prescribed in scripture. No one reading the gospels can get the impression that Jesus’ focus was the establishing of  mandatory Sunday or mid-week “meetings” for His disciples in order to evangelize and win the lost! He never said a word about such. He talked about and practised real-life relationship and little else. Even in Acts, there is no mention of weekly event-meetings.  I Cor. 16:2 and Acts 20:7 do not mention weekly gatherings for services, though some have read such into these passages. However, Acts 2:46-47; 5:42; 6:1 and 19:9 speak specifically of daily interaction between believers as they in turn interacted with non-believers.

The the name tag over the door of a building, the day or frequency of meeting, and the protocol for assembling are not dictated by scripture. Therefore, a great deal of extra biblical leeway must be taken for various present “church” organizational ‘norms’ by which various groups and associations of believers define themselves (Rom. 14:4-6). To insist that one particular set of extra biblical norms be imposed as non-negotiable points upon other believers is to be sectarian, carnal and controlling and usurping the authority of Christ.

The fruit of love, compassion, and the spiritual growth and service should be the biblical standard for recognizing believers as the Church, however non-institutionalized they may be. Any other standard of definition or judgement exchanges the spiritual model of the body of Christ for an institutional model of which Christ had nothing to do with establishing and is in direct contradiction to the teachings of scripture regarding the Church.

Authority’ and ‘accountability’ are spiritual dynamics inherent in Godly relationships and are not dictated by organizational hierarchy structures that is prevalent in the church environment today.

This is evidently true by what the Bible teaches. A man may hold an office of ‘authority’ in a ‘church’ without even being born fro above! Such a man has no actual authority in any spiritual sense over the life of believers. On the other hand, a man holding no organizational office may, by virtue of actual gifting and relationship, possess real authority to speak into the lives of believers (Acts 18:26).

Institutions (man-made organizations) can only guarantee such ‘rulership’ as the “rulers of the gentiles” possess, of which Jesus said “It shall not be so among you!” (Matthew 20:25-26). How religious institutions can defy this clear teaching of scripture by their denominated, denominational denominations is a clear disregard for and disobedience to what Jesus said.

The Holy Spirit is the person who confers spiritual authority and accountability in the real-life relationship Church (I Cor. 4:15, II Cor. 3:1-2).

Accountability of one man to another man or institution is nowhere spoken of in the Bible, nor is the one-man-pipeline for information from God to His people. The head of every man is Christ. Every man is directly accountable to God (Matt. 12:36, Luke 16:2, Rom. 14:12, I Cor. 11:3, II Cor. 5:9-10, Heb. 4:13; 13:17, I Pet. 3:21; 4:5). Because of this, none may judge another as to extra biblical areas of conduct (Rom. 14:4,10).

We must give account to God for maintaining the integrity of our own individual conscience toward God (Acts 23:1; 24:16/I Tim. 1:5, 19; 3:9).

The testimony of a man’s conscience is the tribunal of final appeal (II Cor.1:12, II Tim.1:3, Heb.13:18), because, if the conscience is overruled (seared, impure), then nothing (including membership in an organized church or submission to organizational rulers) can put a man in right relationship to God (I Tim.4:2, Tit.1:15).

This is why Paul’s appeal for credibility was not on the basis of his ‘position of authority,’ nor his “authorization” by other men (he emphatically denies such authorization in Galatians 1) but to “every man’s conscience” (II Cor.4:2).



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