Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Unity Series: The Body, part 2

I received this question,

There are two statements I don’t understand: 1) “At present the church at large is a dismembered body”, and 2) “We see all of this in the church today.” How do you substantiate these? Where is the evidence? Is “the church at large” and “the church today” made up of believing churches only, or does it include unbelieving (apostate) churches as well?

I am not sure who invented the term “the invisible church”, but I am glad it is not a biblical term. The church and its members should be very visible.

Local assemblies that deny, add to, or ignore the Gospel of Jesus Christ as found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 are apostate or unbelieving churches. They are not dismembered parts of the body. They are not members of the body of Christ at all and should not be considered Christians. We are not to be in unity with someone who does not belong to Christ. There may be real Christians in the apostate churches. They are not functioning with other believers, but should be.

The church at large is made up of all Christians everywhere:

To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 1 Corinthians 1:2 (NIV)

These believers should be meeting in local assemblies. However, the local assemblies may be quarreling within them and between them.

The different parts of the body are to be immediately obedient to the Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. In many cases, the believers are obedient to the pastor or the rules of the “church” assuming that it is the same as being obedient to Christ.

If one hand represents one denomination and the other hand represents another denomination, and the head says to the hands “clap your hands,” and the hands immediately swing toward each other and miss each other, either one or both hands have paid more attention to the arms or wrists than to the head. They are disobedient.

The body of Christ may not be dismembered, but it is disobedient and spastic. If our own bodies functioned like the body of Christ, we would all be in hospitals.

(Taken from Day & Night: Unity Series, 2003)

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