57. Homework discussion assignment
by, Jun 15th 2012 at 10:00 PM (489 Views)
Part 1: I’ve always described the “church” simply as… The Body of Christ. Alright, about 89 more words to go to reach 100 . I actually expressed in a previous discussion last week that it would be great to experience a Body of Christians who “express” the love of Christ to others. In this case, even TO brethren who were weak and sinned.
So this week I read about some church bodies who “purge” themselves of their brethren who sin as we read concerning all the Anabaptist related text from the chapter. Sure, this is a form of discipline for the “church” but according to scripture, a person’s sin must be heretical in nature for a person to be booted. A sin that is about COUNTERING the Gospel, or teaching or influencing (leaven) OTHERS to ALSO sin… then, boot them out. However, if a person has a personal weakness and this leads THEM to sin and they are struggling and they sin once, then twice and they are counseled secretly and then they sin a third time and the church leadership makes the sin public for the PURPOSE of booting them out… where is Christ’s love???? This is how Christians are destroyed by “a church”. So such “a church” is NOT… “THE” church in my opinion.
Also, seems that this is the enemy working in “a” church group so that NO ONE reveals and confesses their weaknesses that is leading them to sin so that James 5:16 CAN’T be put into effect for the one in need of help. The only way James 5:16 can be put into effect is for those who sin, to confess and for those confessed to… to CONTINUE to fervently pray for the confessor. If a person knows they’ll be booted… they aren’t about to ever confess and they will keep their weakness behind a mask and this enables satan FREEDOM to continue to oppress them.
So, this gets me back to WHAT the church is… a reflection of Christ that is more than just a reflection but more like an ACTIVE BEAM of light. Actually, I really don’t like the usage of “reflection” of Christ but many do understand this analogy. The church actively SHINES Christ as a light upon others, they don’t reflect Him upon others. So in simple terms, this to me… is “the” church. For that person who was to stand up and “confess” a sin that is controlling them… IMAGINE all that LIGHT shining upon them when their brethren LOVES them and prays for them. Exposing their “secret” sin to such a Body of Christ will remove satan’s oppression. Now also imagine this “love” expressed to the LOST… the result will be that many of those who are lost… will be FOUND in Christ when they accept Him and now also receive the love from the SOURCE.
Part 2: The most captivating thought, hmmmm… for me, this begins on page 135 in the section called, “The church is constituted by the Word of God”. This is why it’s the most captivating for me. All the people in any given church DON’T constitute a church. This is what I mean… I have experienced “a” church body almost fall apart when the pastor announced to the congregation that the Lord was moving him to a new area. This announcement was made during the 3rd Sunday of my attendance to that church, I was new to the church. I wasn’t even a real “member” yet. So, a month later this Senior Pastor leaves and the following two months afterwards, about half the congregation leaves as well. Not to be with that pastor since God moved him from the Midwest all the way to a church on the West Coast.
I came to understand that while the Gospel of Jesus Christ WAS preached and Christ WAS present… half the church wasn’t there due to the Gospel and presence of Christ. They were there for that pastor. I believe God purposely moved him for the purpose to clean out that “church”.
In the scriptures we read: Matthew 18: 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” This is the heart of the truth that the church IS constituted by the Word of God… Christ is the WORD. If any gather together FOR the Word of God, they are there FOR Christ. So if any church leader leaves… there is NO reason to also leave because people are not there FOR a favorite leader, or favorite ministry, or favorite worship team, or for the bathroom (statistically, the bathroom is the #1 reason people CHOOSE a church, this makes me disturbed)!! Such a reason to go to “a” church is idolatry and God will remove that idolatry and in the experience I was able to witness… use that removal to ALSO remove the idolaters.
While on tour in Iraq, we used to gather behind my Bradley while out on extended missions. Those overnighters or however many days a mission may be… members of my Infantry platoon (I was the platoon sergeant) would gather behind my Bradley and we’d hold “church”. Not much time so we’d open in a prayer then read a Psalm and also some scripture from the NT. We’d discuss this like a Bible Study class would divide the Word of God. We’d give testimony as led, we’d pretty much speak about God in however we were led. Then close in prayer. In the 20-30 minutes of these gatherings, to this day, these are some of the most meaningful and powerful “services” I’ve experienced.
So this section of the text was the most captivating because straight up… it’s 100% true!