CHRISTIANITY or CHURCHANITY?
That is the question!!!
by Dr. Chris Lewis
…On this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
This is truly the age of churchanity. Much these days, too much, is said about churching, having church, going to church, doing church, the corporate church, church organization, church authority, officers of the church, the work of the church, church treasuries, church buildings, church life, church planting, church attendance, church joining, church membership, church giving, church worship, church fellowship, church singing, church this, and church that, none of which can be found in the Bible. It has come to the point where “it” is the church denomination that is being promoted instead of the Christ.
In many places, Jesus plays second fiddle behind local church differences.
The church of the Bible is the called out of God. It has nothing to do with denominated religious organizations. They are but schismatic representations of brotherhood divisions. Paul was not and never intended to be, a church planter as some would claim. In fact, he emphatically denied having had any part in the birth of schisms at Corinth. Every denominated religious organization that calls itself a church is a schism. It exists, primarily, for the purpose of distinguishing itself from other denominated religious organizations. In fact, Paul was grateful that he preached only Christ and Him crucified. Paul was a “Christ” planter, but it is not recorded once that he ever went anywhere for the purpose of planting a church.
The church of God does not exist in the organizational, hierarchal sense that men perceive it. There are no positions of authority in the true kingdom. Matthew 20:26. It exists only to the extent that Christ dwells in the hearts of born again men and women. If we are going to use the term, “church”, we should use it in the correct sense. It is a people word. The church our Lord is building does not have entity separate and apart from the people who constitute it. The denominated religious organizations of our day do have such entity. They are, every one, man-made and man ruled institutions. The true church is one. It is not parceled out among over three hundred (300) denominated (separate) man-made organizations.
Christians in a given locality were referred to as the church in that region. The term had nothing to do with an organizational entity. It can be established that most Christians in localized areas assembled in the name of Jesus, but they did not assemble as the corporate representation of an organization. They were simply Christians meeting together out of a common love for Jesus and one another, and that’s what should motivate us to assemble. The assemblies of the early Christians were participatory. They allowed for every participant to engage in building up one another to love and good works. Their assemblies were not spectator events where performances were observed. Their promotion was Christ and Him crucified and so should ours be. They did not promote denominated religious organizations.
For some, If you can do “it”, join “it”, be kicked out of “it”, go to “it”, give to “it”, work for “it”, we pay for “it”, carpet “it”, sit down in “it”, or be a member of “it”, you won’t find “it” in the Bible. The Bible speaks of Christ membership in the spiritual body sense of the word, but never speaks of physical “church” membership. The building blocks it speaks of are not platforms that constitute a corporate entity, but rather, they are people–called out saints, born-again believers, living stones in a Spiritual building of which Christ is the Cornerstone.
What are you promoting? Your Church? Or are you promoting Christ, Him crucified, and Resurrected?
Jesus Christ was Paul’s only promotion and so should He be with us. Instead of promoting the church of our choice let us all together promote the Christ of the church. Jesus said, “….On this Rock I will build my Church” (Matthew 16:18). Not the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Charismatic, or Non-Denominational schisms; but His Church of saved, sanctified persons not places…
Living Cross-eyed in a Cock-eyed World….Shalom!!
Copyright 2011 – Dr. Chris Lewis. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.