I took today's post straight from a Facebook conversation with a friend of mine. He had posted a link to an article with this quote in his post Looking for a perfect church? "If you find a perfect church and join it, be assured that it won't be perfect anymore."--David Platt
To which I replied: But what if what we call church is a counterfeit, all the way around?
He asked me to elaborate. I did. Here is my elaboration. Moral of the story? Don't ask me to respond on FB unless you are really ready for it. LOL
I am sure he was.
I start from this premise: Jesus said he came to establish a kingdom not built with hands. He describes a living, organic, organism with not visible earthly head. His very life modeled a dependency on God that would eschew budgets, or permanent homes for this congregation. The men who were most deeply effected by His teaching, set out to build something that did not own real estate, except possibly when the lived in communal circumstances and sold their possessions and had everything in common. Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."
He was indicating that this kingdom could not be located. Unless we are to believe that somehow, the kingdom, and the "congregation" ( I am beginning to hate the word 'church') are two completely separate entity, then I say that there is no way that what we have built and called church is in no way related to the teachings of Jesus.
Couple this with the fact that so many "christians" are blood thirsty and greedy and idolatrous, not just in the secrecy of their own hearts, but they openly support political ideals that build these things into the very fabric of our society, and there is one clear test. …16"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17"So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18…A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.…
If this is true of the individual life, it must needs be true of the communal life, or institution as well. Look at the fruit of the teachings that have made up the "church". They are not concerned with justice, mercy, or humility, which are the three keys required to please God. They do not live a life of faith in the creator that shuns dependence on man-made structures and institutions, and they have not been a preserving salt, or a mercifully exposing light in society."You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
At what point do we cut down the tree and toss out the salt and start over? I think we passed it several generations ago, maybe not even in recent history. Once that "organism" became more concerned with its own preservation than it was with the preservation of its own members, or sacrificially loving the society around it, it ceased to resemble those believers who were first called christians by outsiders because of their extreme sacrificial love for each other. Imagine that. A group of Jesus' followers, who so exemplified the life of Christ that it caused the world around them to give them a name that was not a derogatory one.