Monday, August 25, 2014

The Modern Local Church

There can be two different approaches to Ecclesiology; one from below, the other from above. The former is inductive and studies the phenomena of churches to decide on an answer. The latter is deductive and proceeds from principles clearly articulated in Scriptures. Here we approach ecclesiology from above.

1. The Holy Spirit will not appoint two different churches in the same location; He doesn't divide, He unites. Either one of them is from God and the other not or both of them are not from God. God is not the author of confusion.

2. Structure doesn't matter. The Temple didn't mean God was compelled to stick to it. When there is no place in the Synagogue, Tyrannus Hall is open. Sometimes, God will tell His own to Come out of them.... It also means judgment.

3. Evangelists can move from place to place and preach the Gospel. In a new place, where the church had not earlier been (i.e. where there is no believing community), a church is thus called out. Where there is already a believing community, the saved belong to that local believers' community.

4. Where the community and its leadership are not truly believing (nominal), believers can reach out to them. However, an unbeliever appointed by humans in leadership has no ecclesiastical authority from God. OT Temple priesthood was hereditary and could be interfered with by a King; however, NT Church leadership is spiritual, not organizational.

5. Denominational planting is not church planting.

6. In modern times, labels are used for registration, identity, distinguishing from others, and uniting. While such may be temporarily needed in some cases, the only name under which all believers unite is the Name of Christ. Every other attitude for uniting is Babel. Labels may be functional, but never essential, no matter what the claim.

7. The Church is not a humanly centralized organization. It is the assembly of called out believers.

8. When believers are label conscious and where label prevents believers in a place from being one or from sharing and working together, that label is functioning against the Body of Christ in such context.

9. Ministry of local church reaches out to global believing community. Paul and Barnabas were sent out by a local church. In modern times, Christian music and scholarship crosses boundaries and unites.

10. "I belong to Peter", "I belong to Paul" are signs of carnality and unspirituality; these are evidence of immaturity and are full of competition, self-promotion, and hideous pride.

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