It is hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them. Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does because we have become used to seeing it that way through a particular set of lenses. Today, however, we need new lenses. And we need to throw the old ones away.–Kenich Ohmae
Does God Care How We Do Church? “Does it matter to God how we serve Church, or are we free to do Church as we see fit?” “Are there boundaries or limits that we dare not violate by the way we do Church?”, “How serious an offense is it if we ignore or set aside the teachings of scripture which instructs us as to how we serve church? The Holy Spirit is awaking the Church to place Christ as head of the Church and restore authentic New Testament practices and principles.
The Greek word for “Repentance” is metanoia, and means “change of mind.” I have been pondering about this on the subject of biblical community and have come to the conclusion that most of us have adopted a world philosophy of community life. We need to change our thinking, to recover what it means to gather together and not as individual consumers. The Church is a “holy nation,” a community redeemed by the blood of Christ who come together in mutual submission to Jesus as Lord. Unlike other religions, Christ calls us into a relationship with Him and others that he has “called out.” Within this community we begin to nurture our life together, forming authentic community that looks more like Christ and not like the world. Spiritual growth is impossible to do alone and the assumption of the New Testament is that we are walking out our faith with others or discipleship apart from the Church.
The “one another’s” of the New Testament describe what the Church should look like when believers gather in authentic community.
Romans 12:5, “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Hey guys …..I have come across abook called,”Authentic Community”. This really dives into the one anothers of the scripture and speaks to the heart of community life in the Church.
When most folks are out looking for a Church you here things like, “I like the music,” or “the preaching,” and another would be “they have a good childrens program.” In other words does it meet my needs. We do the same thing when going to Woods Supermarket we like a certain aspect of the store its location, meat section, produce section or something that attracts us. But here lies a deceptive problem with our habits of thinking and patterns of practice. We have become the consumer and consumers seek commodities. So this becomes the problem do we view God and Church as a commodity, if so then we have lost relationship because everything becomes about “me”. We would never say this but its the truth. We talk of building the Church, but are we really looking to attract folks who share our same tastes and interests. We have made Churches into one stop malls today to meet every “I,me and mine need”. Many Churches today spend millions of dollars on buildings to promote the selfish desires of this consumer mentality, yet never touch the lonely, hurting and stressed everyday lifes of regular people.
Philippians 2:3-8 states,”Do nothing our of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness . And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled and became obedient to death even death on a cross!” What a marvelous conception of authentic Church and the demonstration of Christ like character to the world. God calls us into relationship with Him and with one another in order to change our desires. He desires us to alter our thinking and act about ourselves and others. This requires us to live in community, holiness only comes out of relationship with God and others to be practiced.
Its sad but true, that we are forming selfishness, not godliness within our churches today and we don’t realize this until a conflict or crisis arises.
James 4:1-2, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within You? Let us repent and move back to authentic relationships and church.
Recently I have been pondering on the topic of community. It seems to me that every Church will say yes we have community. But is it New Testament Community or just another Worldly display of community life in the Church. Biblical Community is about being genuine with yourself and others, knowing that you are excepted and can admit weakness and doubt without being judged by others. Where unconditional love, trust and fellowship with God and others can grow up in Christ. The question arises are we/I living an authentic life of community in Christ and with a group of believers.