Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who Is The Church? (Part 3)

The Para-Church Organization

Growing up in a traditional institutional church, I was constantly reminded that one of the greatest enemies of the "local church" was the so-called para-church organization. An organization that existed outside of the "authority" of the local church and that, more importantly, competed directly with the local church for precious monetary resources. The para-church organization was a parasite sucking resources that should rightly have been committed to the particular local church group, or at least that's what I had been taught.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who Is The Church? (Part 2)

The Local Church

Growing up, I cannot count the number of times the term "local church" was said from the pulpits of the churches I attended. I was in my teens before I realized that the term appears nowhere in the bible. In fact, there isn't really even a Greek word in the entire bible that can be translated "local". To be fair, the idea of a localized group of believers is found in many places, and this idea has come to be known as the "local church".

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My First Guest Blog Post

I have really been enjoying the "Identity" series over at Jennifer Luitwieler's blog. She has been inviting bloggers from around the country that she has come to know to share their own stories and thoughts about what makes our identity. Sometimes, hearing about the struggles of others helps us to put our own struggles more in perspective, and I feel this series has done exactly that for me.

Jennifer asked me to share some of my story and what God has taught me about who I really am. If you have not heard my story go over and check it out, and if you have, this may give you a new perspective on what God is doing with me.

Click here to read my post  "More than a Biker".

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Who Is The Church(Part 1)

How do we define "Church"?

I have been doing some study recently on what the bible teaches about the Church as part of my journey away from the Institutional Church. I started of course with my Strong's and looked at the possible definitions of the Greek word ekklesia, the word that is translated "church" in our modern Bible. Strong's gives the following definitions of the word when used in the "Christian sense":

1) an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting
2) a company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order's sake
3) those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body
4) the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth
5) the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven