Thursday, May 25, 2006

“Do’s and don’t for finding a church” is the headline for an article in the Peoria Journal Star on 5/6/06, page D7.  The article was in the “Faith and Values” section of the paper.  The article was written by Paul Isom, “a minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).” (5/6/06, page D7)  This is the same Paul Isom who wrote an earlier column expressing his belief that eventually all will be saved.  The article discusses 8 things one should not do in finding a church and 9 things that one should do in finding a church.

Unfortunately, the content of the article is wrong, wrong, wrong!
Eight times wrong.  Nine times wrong.  A Christian does not find a church!!!!!!!  When an individual becomes a Christian, he becomes part of the church.  The church is those individuals who have put on Christ—the called out.  

The church is not ice cream that comes in 57 different flavors.  You do not select the flavor that you like best.  You do not pick and choose that which is most pleasing to you.  You do not decide what is and what is not the church.

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all; who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4: 3-5)  How many bodies are there?  Are there 57 bodies?  No!!!  There is only one body!!!  What is that body?  The body is the church!!!  

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (Ephesians 5:22-23)  “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1: 24)  Who is the head of the body?  CHRIST!!!  Who is the head of the church?  CHRIST!!!  How many bodies does CHRIST have?  One!!!  What is the body of CHRIST?  The church!!!  CHRIST = the head.  The church = the body of CHRIST.  CHRIST = the head of the body and the body = the church.  There is only one church!!!

The Bible does not ever make reference to different denominations that are following GOD’S will.  The Bible does make reference to false teachers, false prophets, and false teachings and doctrines.  If it is false, it is not part of the church.  There is only one church which is the body of CHRIST and CHRIST is the head of that body.

How do you know that you are worshiping with the body of CHRIST—the church?  Do they teach the Word of GOD to each other?  Do they teach and preach the Word of GOD to those people who are outside of the body?  Do they obey the Word of GOD?  Do they live the Word of GOD?  If they are of the body, if CHRIST is the head of that body, if they are teaching, preaching, obeying, and living the Word of GOD as given through the Bible; then you are where you should be if you are a Christian.  If not, you are in the wrong place if you are a Christian.

There is only one church!!!  That church is the body of CHRIST!!!  If you are not in the body of CHRIST, you are not in the church.  You can’t pick and choose the “right” church for you.  There is only one church!!!            


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