There are some things mentioned in the Scriptures which, if we were to really look into them, would blow away our manmade theology and dramatically change how we think and act. A perfect example of this is found in Matthew 18:19 and 20 where Jesus said:
“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven .
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them .”
According to these verses, it would appear that Jesus was advocating “Church” being wherever and whenever two or more are gathered in His name, for He will be there in their midst. Is not “Church” where believers in Jesus Christ gather in His name to worship, praise and glorify Him? Cannot “Church”, in reality, be any place Jesus is in the midst?
I read recently about “Cowboy Church” where simple services are held in cattle auction buildings one night each week. People come in their work clothes and the aroma is not too sweet. Who is to say that a “Church” gathering in Jesus’ name in a building where cattle abide is inferior to a “Church” gathering in an ornate cathedral?
Either “Church” is where God’s people gather together in Jesus name with Him in their midst or it is simply a name given to a building or place people go to worship. Either church is a fellowship of believers or it is a religious event.
Over the years I have been scorned, ridiculed, condemned and rejected because I do not belong to a church, attend a church or give my money to a church. I have been cast off by the majority of fellow Christians as either a heretic or a fool because I believe that “Church” is where believers gather in His name and He is in their midst instead of a building one must show up at and wait for Him to come visit.
I know multitudes of believers who attend church each weekend and are blessed because they attend a Godly church with Christ in their midst. I also know multitudes of believers who never set foot in a church building but obviously have just as deep a relationship with Christ and who “have church” with other believers many times each week.
I do not judge or condemn those who are a part of an organized “Church” and attend worship services regularly. I do not judge or condemn anyone who attends a “Church” anywhere just so long as it is in Jesus’ name and He is there. I would ask that no one condemn or judge me for choosing to "have church" here at Christian Blog each day, around the dinner table with my wife and mother-in-law or whenever friends visit or we visit them.
“Church” is not where you worship but THAT you worship our Lord Jesus Christ. “Church” is not a religious service but the fellowship of those who agree that Jesus is Lord and rejoice that He is in their midst as they gather in His name.
I have always been a part of a local church. I have been on the actual membership rolls of churches since I was 10 years old except for a transition time when we were contemplating leaving one denomination for another one and after praying about it for it was a major move, we decided to attend membership classes at our current church.
I have also had the privilege of attending "church" at the B2Y Ranch and I must say, that I have been very blessed each time I have.
Actually, a very small percentage of people at my church are actually "members" though some have been attending for years. I also know a few Christians who are not members of a local church nor do they attend one for various reasons. Of these, I find the ones who are strong are doing the very things you mention. They regularly have fellowship with other believers. They share Christ with others, by one method or another. They study and discuss the Word of God, they support other ministries and give generously as God directs them, whether it is through money, service, prayer or all of them at any given time. They also have what could be termed "accountability partners" for they are aware that it is easy to get off track and go off on your own tangent. God has led them to people who help them stay on track and they help those people stay on track as well.
Deep subject B2Y. The 'body of Christ', made up of many members for sure, with differing gifts. You done gave me inspiration for a blog too. 'Called out ones', too, I believe. Yeah, a deep subject that needs addressing, this day and time. Thanks for being here brother. Appreciate you. God Bless.
I have not been in a church building in 30yrs but I have "church" every day right here in my own home. Most of the time it's just me and God at other times it's me , God and an internet friend or two. But it is "church". Jesus did not have elaborate church buildings -why do I need them. The gathering together of one or one thousand to worship him is all the "church" I need. Whether in a living room or a barn it matters not.
Thanks for writing this blog B2Y
The term "church" is a translation from the greek word ecclesia. It literally means to congregate or conregation. This was describing the congregation of believers in the first century who gathered that all were of the heart and mindset as followers of Christ. The description in the greek makes so much more clear sense than the english translation at times because back then it was understood that the congregated ones of Christ are a living breathing entity, not a structure of made of cement, concrete, or brick. It is not the building. You are correct. It is the people. It has always been about relationship. Well written. God bless. Shalom alekheim.
Dear Fellow Believers, I would like to take this opportunity to share a little more in depth on this subject of the church. The scriptures bear out that some of what each one here has said is true, but there is more... much more. At the risk of appearing to be bossy, but without that intent, I would like to expound on this wonderful subject by listing and numbering some important truths.
We know that the church is not a building at all, but rather it is those who are called out of the world and unto God by His grace. WE are the church, and members of His body individually.
Of course, what our Lord said about Him being present whenever two or three are gathered together in His name is true; but that alone does not constitute the assembly that He designed once the New Covenant had come into being. Our Lord was teaching Old Covenant Israel that even among them, He would be there. To New Covenant believers He has promised that and so much more.
It was through the apostle Paul that the revelation was given concerning church gatherings under the New Covenant (Rom. 12, I Cor. 12, Ephesians 4:7-16). What the Holy Spirit showed Paul for us is something much more than a meeting through the internet, a cup of coffee and fellowship with a friend or anything of the sort.
Let us not try to adjust our knowledge and understanding of what church actually should be, from what we see as church today. We should go all the way back to the beginning and see what God says about it, without the influences of our own experience.
The gathering of believers according to God's design is clearly laid out in the scriptures, and it is only through such a gathering with time and experience the Spirit's leadership that God can and will make Himself known to the full.
The gathering of believers, planted together by God, is done in order to bring about the fullness of Jesus Christ. Each believer having a "measure" of Christ's gift coming together as God appoints so that there is nothing missing. In this building of truly spiritual relationships, the Spirit of the Lord is enabled to move and work in a way that mimics God's on Son, Jesus Christ.
The members of His body coming together by His design, and developing together into Christ image is much more that anything that can possibly be achieved when two or three simply gather and fellowship in His name. The latter is fine, but the former is far better - and it is what He has called us to.
in His grace,