This is from Dave Black’s blog (yesterday, June 3, 2010 at 8:05 p.m.):
La totalitÃ© de l’Ã©glise c’est pour saint Paul le fait primaire, sa localisation en est seulement un corallarie. [My translation: “The whole church is for St. Paul the primary thing, its locality is only a corollary.”]
This is still exactly how I feel and think about the church today! For Paul, every local church is nothing more than the representation of the one universal church. This is why I do not think of “my” church as Bethel Hill Baptist Church only. “My” church is also your church, and the church in Ethiopia, and the church in China. Thus if one church suffers, I must suffer with it; I have no choice because Christ does not have “bodies,” He has one Body. In the words of Reicke (from the same essay):
En effet, Paul est enclin Ã regarder chaque Ã©glise locale, non seulement comme une copie de lÃ©glise universelle, mais comme Ã©tant l’Ã©glise univiverselle elle-mÃªme, rÃ©alisÃ©e dans ce monde. [My translation: “Indeed, Paul was inclined to lood at each local church not only as a copy of the universal church, but as the universal church itself realized in this world.”]
I’ve often wondered, is the “universal” and “local” distinction in the church a man-made distinction?