Sunday, June 14, 2015
We Went To Church!??
WHAT? The writer that advocates seeking God outside of the walls of a church building found himself in church the other evening?
-No, it was not a relatives wedding, baptism, children's program, fund raiser, Church Drama, food drive, Ordination Service, Revival Service, Prophecy/ Healing/ Miracle Crusade, Bible Study, Men's Meeting, Staff Meeting, Easter Service, Pastor Appreciation Month, or even the normal routine Sunday meeting.
There were no Big Names, Special Speakers, Doctor of Divinity, mega-church pastors with an entourage, no Italian-suited Apostles, Bishops, Prophets, Purpose Driven Promoter or other titled potentates of Celebrity Christendom. No robed choir and no "worship team" was seen.
There was no parking lot, vestibule, no Starbucks in the lobby, no lobby, no pastors office, no display cabinets, nothing was for sale although we did have a chicken dinner, no CD's/DVD's or even a lowly cassette around.
There was no pulpit, stage, tele-monitors, microphones, deacons, offering collectors, Special Singers, and not even a pew! There were no ushers, tithe envelopes, no suited orators, no program, no Bulletins, no Classes, no Staff meeting, no song books, no choreographed order of "service". No "special speaker" was flown in and put up in a hotel.
It was unscheduled. There was no one man in charge dominating the gathering.
How in the Name of Denominational Covering can you have church without all that stuff? A REAL church ought to at least have a storefront building you say? If you don't have that "stuff" and at least a titled Chief Ruler, it's not really a church?
Where were we and what went on that we dare call it .....church?
First let me explain what "church" is. Church is from the Greek word "ekklesia" . What in the world does that mean? Although it was incorrectly translated as "church", it literally means "assembly, congregation, the CALLED OUT ones". Hence, nobody in God's Word "went to church". (http://www.biblepages.net/ega061.htm
Jesus spoke in terms of those whom He called out of apostate Judaism.The folks we gathered with were all ex-"church" goers who had "come out from among them" from various sects of Christianity. No one even gave it a thought that we were conducting a "church" meeting, somehow that small formality was even omitted.
There were 11 people there. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Jesus was among us.
There were two people confirmed healed and afflicting pain in several of them ceased. At one point it appeared a pet dog would not quit barking and we rebuked it and the dog immediately became quiet..
We had a meal together, testified, taught, edified one anothers' faith, prayed for one another, and shared the Word of God. 1Cor 14:26 What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
We were in agreement and like-minded even though we barely knew each other and came from very different backrounds.Phil 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind..
Oh yes, we met in a house.
Acts 5:42 ... and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus ChristActs 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.Rom 16: 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
No one announced we would have a "church" meeting, "go to church", or "meet at the church". As we drove home it dawned on us, we were "the church" tonite !!! We were together most of the day, from 3pm to after 11. It was not until later that we realized we had been to "church" because NONE of the typical "stuff" of a traditional church were evident!
The simplicity of it all points out to us how far the modern American church has strayed from the simple gatherings of the disciples as in the book of Acts.
Yes friends, it was true and what we experienced was a picture of what "church" is going to look like for millions of Christians who "come out from among them", i.e. the fallen, competitive, sectarian, self-serving apostate kingdoms and religions of Christianity.
No one was "puffed up", but all were "built up".
It was the best "church service" we have been to and completely devoid of what we now recognize as completely unnecessary clutter, tradition, and ridiculous formality orchestrated every Sunday.
I can't wait for it to happen again.