Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ekklesia as God Intended

Whenever we engage in dialog about New Testament forms of church it is inevitable that someone will say, "The New Testament really doesn't give us any guidelines for what church is supposed to look like."

This is exactly why I have spent the last 2 years working on a book about God's design for His Church. If we really are open to what we might find I believe it is possible for us to read the New Testament and discern what God's exact intention and design for His Church, His Body, His Bride actually was.

At face value, I think we should agree that it seems absolutely preposterous that God should have no opinion or intention about how His Church should operate or function.

Did God remain aloof when it came to the design of the Tabernacle? Was He indifferent to how the Temple was to be constructed? Of course not. In fact, God was meticulously specific about what He intended. Why should we assume that He suddenly has no intention or specific design for His New Testament Church?

Furthermore, isn't it a little odd to have this entire New Testament document about the birth and formation of something called "The Church" and then claim that the same New Testament doesn't reveal anything to us about what that Church looks like, how it should operate, or what form it should take?

Of course, these are not my opinions. These are clearly revealed facts documented by the New Testament. My speaking out about these ideas has not gone unnoticed. In fact, there are several in the Body who have ostracized me because I attempt to point out these facts.

Of course, I can understand if there are those who disagree. However, I must contend that those who disagree have no quarrel with me, but with the very words of the New Testament.

I only ask that everyone who claims to follow Christ take seriously the very specific statements that God has made about His Church in the New Testament, and especially what Jesus says about His Body. To me, these are very, very important issues that the Body of Christ must get right.

Thankfully, God is at work even now refining the Body. He is opening eyes and revealing His design for His ekklesia to old and young alike. It gives me great joy to see a genuine move of the Holy Spirit within the Bride - awakening her to her true identity and empowering her to operate as He intended.


Peace to you!

1 comment:

Marc said...

In such discussions it easy to spend 99% of the time discussing what we do for an hour on Sunday and who sits where, speaks when and dresses how.

As a whole the Western Church has followed those patterns which appear in the NT which are easy to follow at the expense of the hard (sometimes subtle) ones.

For example, we read in Isa 42 that the Messiah will come to establish justice for the poor and oppressed. Then, we call ourselves the Church, the body, the incarnate Christ and don't get the idea that social justice is the key issue we should be working on.

If Jesus is saving the world and we aren't then we are not in any sense "in Him" and shouldn't defame his name by saying we're his body.

So what if Paul forbade women to teach - who cares? Jesus would have called this a "gnat" if anything and would ask us what we are doing about Justice and Mercy and how our Faithfulness is getting on.