Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Church

I've been having some good talks with a Presbyterian. On top of that, there is an excellent post at Pyromaniacs which has me thinking...

Presbyterians really "get" church as community. They excel at integrating the family into the church. That can be a real problem for Baptists, who tend to be more individualistic.

Of course, Frank nails it in one:
"The way this approach to 'church' works is to see what God has done for 'me' as the starting point of Christian life and then maybe one tries to extend what God has done for 'me' to include what God has done for 'you' on a provisional basis. When I think God hasn’t done it for you anymore, I can therefore not care about you anymore – at least in the church sense."
And immediately gives the right thinking:
"But the way we are taught to reason by the Bible about our faith is that Christ has died for us, and that Christ sees his bride as an assembly, and that God has a whole people who are purchased as his own possession." (emphasis in original)
The Church is not a building, or an institution. It is first and foremost all the elect throughout time. Individual "called out ones" gather into little, local bodies as a symbol of this time and space spanning body.

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