the weblog of Alan Knox

The genuine church…

Posted by on Nov 15, 2007 in blog links, definition | 3 comments

I did not plan to publish a blog post tonight. However, when I read the latest from “Aussie John” at his blog “Caesura“, I had to comment on his post.

In the short time that I have had known Aussie John, I have been greatly blessed, encouraged, and challenged by his blog posts and his comments. His latest post, which is called “Deceiving Ourselves“, is no exception. He writes:

The best expressions of church life do not form in models imposed on people by those, who by training, study, etc.think they know what is best.

The best expressions of church life rise out of Christian brethren, and those with whom their lives have daily contact, and who become attracted by, and interested in, the love and other differences they perceive in the relationships amongst Christians.

In other words the church is not something we build by our efforts, by zealously doing things according to a formula developed from some formula, theology or creed.

The genuine church is that which arises amongst those who have a common Father, born anew by His Spirit, and learning to live, loving each other, and sharing that love with others around them. They love because He loves(1Jn.4:19),with no other agenda.

It is hard for some folks to see that, since they have the idea that if we can just embrace the most godly, the most orthodox,the most historical system, we’ll see the church rise in glory.

The fact is the church is not a system, or an organization, or any other appellation, at all. God never designed it that way.

I think Aussie John has explained the church beautifully! The church is not an organization nor is it a system nor is it a structure nor is it an institution. It does not begin with a methodology, or a creed, or a formula. It does not even begin with leadership.

Instead, the church is a group of followers of Jesus Christ who God has brought together so that they can walk through life with one another. Thank you, Aussie John, for another excellent blog post!


3 Comments

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  1. 11-16-2007

    I would agree, except as I see it there are instructions in the word on church structure. As I see it are called to obedience to God’s word and not our imagining of what God wants. I have heard people say we are free to do what we want as long as we love each other. The difficulty there is we are supposed to love God with all and that includes being obedient to His word.

    For example the times when Paul praises the churches for following the “traditions” (practices) that he taught them.

    If we are to be obedient to His word then we are praisworthy if we follow the practices. As I see it.

    I have said before that I wrote a post on my own blog http://godsgems.blogspot.com/2007/11/biblical-church-irreducible-minimum.html

    addressing this very issue. However, I am affraid I did not put in the full scriptural support as this was meant to be a taster. For a fuller read on the background http://www.house-church.org/

    And http://www.ntrf.org/

    I am not like the evolutionists or Dawkinsites that get steam coming out of my ears when someone disagrees with them. I have hemmed myself into a tight corner over this. If you can show me from scripture why I shouldn’t follow a scriptural pattern for church then please do!

    As I see it though, the truth about church structure has been hidden for so long, and the institutional pattern isn’t working that we are clutching at straws rather than going to scripture.

  2. 11-16-2007

    Richard,

    I agree with you. In fact, when I talk about church organizations, structures, etc. I’m talking about the “institutional patterns” that you mention. I agree that the biblical pattern of the church has been hidden or lost when those institutional patterns.

    -Alan

  3. 11-16-2007

    Thanks Alan, for clearing that up! Reading it in that light I can see what you are saying in conclusion.

    Richard