Thursday, July 30, 2015

Unavoidable: A Family/Community of the Redeemed

Definitions are important.

How we define the church says a great deal about what we believe the church should be and do. When we look in the bible we see unavoidably that the church is a family. It is also a community. This family/community is composed of the redeemed. While the church we see in the bible certainly had its share of problems (see Corinth for example), it always described a group of saved people.

The book of Acts shows us a people that lived far differently from the world. They stood out both because of their holy living and their care for others. Simply put, they looked totally different from the surrounding culture. They were odd (in the good sense). When we read both Jesus' teachings in the gospels and the NT epistles, we see calls to radically different living.

As we turn our gaze to the American church we see something else. Sadly, what we see is something that looks a lot like our culture at large. Churches are comfortable. Churches are insulated. Churches are self-focused. Churches go with the latest fads. Many within the church (as defined as those whose names are on church membership roles) live as sinfully as the world does.

Is the church composed of the redeemed or is it not?

According to scripture, it unavoidably is.


Blog Editor: said...

And... "Churches" are segregated by denominations and independent congregations built on different doctrines and traditions - mostly concocted by man. They gather together on Sunday, and even when they gather outside the building for "Christian" fellowship they mostly tend to stick to their own "religious" kind.

The Ekklesia in America is nothing but divisions.

Paul said,"There should be no divisions among you."

Steve Scott said...

My problem with using the term "family" to describe the church is that it is useless unless the church is actually like a family. For example, when my family meets for dinner, and one member is absent, the whole entire family knows it and realizes how different dinner is without that member. Whether I'm working swing shift, or my wife has an appointment in the evening, or one of the kids is at camp or having a sleepover at his cousins' house, it affects our meal.

At any church I've ever attended this is so far from the case that I resent the term "family" used to describe it. People can go missing for years and nobody notices or tries to find out what happened to a "member of one's own family." Sickening.