Summary: Something I said in the last letter has had me thinking. “If we’re all bricks in the same building, stretching back over thousands of years and covering the whole earth, then I have trouble with the idea of my ‘church’ and your ‘church.’”
“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” (Romans 14:10-13)
Something I said in the last letter has had me thinking. “If we’re all bricks in the same building, stretching back over thousands of years and covering the whole earth, then I have trouble with the idea of my ‘church’ and your ‘church.’”
There are a lot of fellow ‘bricks’ who kinda creep me out. If there’s no my church or your church, only His church, and if you and I are the church, I’d better get used to the idea that you and I are joined together forever, fellow bricks in the building that is God’s temple.
But what if I don’t like you? What if I think you’re way wrong about a lot of things pertaining to Him? What if I think you’ve missed the boat on some pretty important theological points?
What if you think the same thing about me?
Why can’t I just have my church and you have your church, and then we’ll let God sort things out in eternity?
See how easy it is to slip back into that “church is a building/ officialdom/ organization/ profession” thing again? Remember the church is us. You and me and all of those whom Christ has “called out.” It’s made up of all of us … even those who creep us out.
“Whoa Steve, you’re treading on thin ice here.” (What else is new?) “Surely you don’t mean just bunching us all up together!” “There are doctrinal issues at stake!” “Are you asking us to compromise the doctrines that make us different?”
No, not at all. That is, unless your doctrine is wrong. Then go ahead and change it.
“You’re not talking about Ecumenism are you?”
For those of you who don’t stake your lives on man’s theological constructs and their definitions, “ecumenism” is the idea of moving toward ‘universal Christian unity.’ A catholic church.
Not the Catholic Church. “Catholic” means “universal” and pertains to the idea of a single, undivided “church” … the way the first church was back in the first century. The way it will be when Christ returns to claim His church.
Something else I said in an earlier letter is relevant to this week’s topic.
“Any time you get a bunch of humans together (Christians fall into this class too) they have a tendency to muck things up.” (Purpose Weekly Vol. 2, Issue 22)
I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day about the early church. We were pretty amazed at stories in the book of Acts about all the believers sharing meals and having everything in common and how a person who had something went out and sold and shared the proceeds with everyone so that no one had too much and no one went without.
Halfway kidding I said, “Communism isn’t a failed ideology; we’re a failed species.” Then I thought about it a little. Then I wasn’t kidding so much.