Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is the Church?

Of course, the controversy over a certain pastor in the Chicago area has dominated the news in the last several days. As I have heard so much about the church on radio and TV in the past few days, I though it would be worthwhile to write just a short piece about what the church is and is not.

First, the church is not defined by people, whether those people are lay people or clergy. Second, the church is not a political movement. Third, the church is not a social club or civic organization.

The church is defined by Scripture. According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ present here on this earth in followers of Christ who have been purchased by his blood on the cross. In other words, the church is made up of Christians. The church may very well take part in social or civic tasks, but the primary goal of the church is not to right social wrongs. The church exists to bring glory to God and God is most glorified in the salvation of sinners.

As you follow the news, you be reminded that regardless of what any commentator or anchor has to say about any church, the Bible has already defined the church. Any local gathering that claims to be a church should be measured against the definition of the church set forth in Scripture.

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