Finding the Art in Everything

26 February, 2009

The Church

A few recent things challenged my resigned separation from the church.

So yesterday, I called my friend Allen.

He recently became pastor of an unconventional church just north of San Fransisco. I called him because, even after delivering a sermon called "I hate people" (and he meant it), he still has a place in and for a church.

I asked, "How can you love the church after what the institution and its people have done to you?" How can you love something that's so broken?"

He is doing a 5 week series on The Church, the Bride of Christ. He said, "I love the Church because of what it really--biblically--is, not because of the Western modern traditions that now govern it. "

"And what is that, exactly? What makes a real church?"

He replied:

"The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the great commandment and the great commission as missionaries to the world for God's glory and their joy.

The marks of the church are:

1) Regenerated church membership - you met Jesus and you've changed. (ACTS 2:38-41)

2) Qualified Leadership (ACTS 2:42, 6:1-6, 8:14, 14:23)

3) Gather for preaching and worship (ACTS 2:42, 47)

4) Sacraments rightly administered (ACTS 2:42)

5) Unified by the spirit - we agree on what we will and will not fight over. (ACTS 2:44, 1 Cor 1:10)

6) Disciplined for holiness (Matt 18:15-17, Gal 6:1, 1 Cor 5:1-13, Titus 3:10-11, 2 Thess. 3:14-16)

7) Obey great commandment (ACTS 2:45)

8) Obey great commission (ACTS 2:47)

How can we not love what this is?"

1 comment:

epicrant said...

Preach it sister....