Posted by: SandreS | November 17, 2009

God’s Outsiders: The Called-Out Ones (A Biblical Look at God’s Ecclesia), Part 15

“Local Church” Language

Does the so-called “local church” system make any sense you? If it doesn’t, it is because it is not scriptural – it’s all man-made.

This humanly devised “local church” is the meaning of the word “church” in all the following statements:

    “Attend the church of your choice.”
    “How many members do you have in your church?”
    “What does your church believe?”
    “Our church is at Main Street and Broadway.”
    “Where are you going to church now?”
    “We joined their church yesterday.”
    “It seems that we are always late for church.”

Now let’s think about these statements:

“Attend the church of your choice.”

This is a common statement that some groups often ridicule, but in reality it is exactly what they do! They choose which variety of “church” they want to attend. They choose one that suits their own fancy, and if there are two or more “local churches” that are of their same brand of doctrine, they’ll pick the one they like best, or in which they are most comfortable. Then after a while, when things do not go to their liking, they choose another one. Or, if they are enterprising enough, they’ll plant their very own “local church.” This assures that it will be to their own liking! – and this is all done in the name of “serving the Lord!” Yet, in reality it is self-serving and creates further division in the one Body. We end up splintering the splinters!

When will we ever wake up and see ourselves as who and what God has made us? When will we ever stop “attending church,” stop playing “church,” and simply be the church?

“How many members do you have in your church?”

The true church has members scattered to the four corners of the earth. We have no way of knowing for sure who they all are; but God does! After all, it is His church: “… The Lord knows them who are His …(II Timothy 2:19).

“What does your church believe?”

Sadly there are many creeds, confessions, articles of faith and doctrinal statements in Christendom; but the Body of Christ should believe the revelation found for us in Paul’s epistles (Romans 11:13)!

“Our church is at Main Street and Broadway.”

If that’s your “church,” then it is not God’s! His church is not brick and mortar (Acts 17:24), it is not stationary – it’s mobile! It’s everywhere! It’s at the grocery store. It’s at the gas station. It’s at work, it’s at the hospital. It’s wherever you and I or any other saints happen to be!

“Where are you going to church now?”

Well, God’s church is not some place to which you “go.” We are the church! It’s who and what we are. It’s our identity, and we shouldn’t let anyone steal it away from us.

“We joined their church yesterday.”

We have all the membership we need in Christ! Forget the other man-made numbers games. Be satisfied with who and what God has made us!

“It seems that we are always late for church.”

We couldn’t possibly be late for church! We are the church!

All the “churches” in the above statements are “local churches,” and they are all the wrong churches! Not a one in the bunch is God’s! Do these things trouble you? If they do, what are we going to do about it? Why not follow God’s command through Paul to “come out” (II Corinthians 6:17). That’s who we are – God’s ecclesia, His “called-out people!” “Come out” and enjoy being all that God has made you in Christ!

Can you see how man-made and sectarian the so-called “local church” system is? God’s church can be found in localities all across the globe – but there is no such thing as a “local church” anywhere in the Scriptures!

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2000, 2009

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