What’s Ch-ur-ch? (FAQ Part 1)
We’re continuing the series we did on the novel, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore.
I’ll cover 2 of the 15 FAQ in the Appendix. [Full Article]
Where do you go to church?
I have never liked this question, even when I was able to answer it with a specific organization. I know what it means culturally, but it is based on a false premise–that church is something you can go to as in a specific event, location or organized group. I think Jesus looks at the church quite differently. He didn’t talk about it as a place to go to, but a way of living in relationship to him and to other followers of his.
Asking me where I go to church is like asking me where I go to Jacobsen. How do I answer that? I am a Jacobsen and where I go a Jacobsen is. ‘Church’ is that kind of word. It doesn’t identify a location or an institution. It describes a people and how they relate to each other. If we lose sight of that, our understanding of the church will be distorted and we’ll miss out on much of its joy.
To defragment the author’s answer, I searched the web seeking for the etymology for “church”. I’ll save you time and give you my cliff notes but if you so desire to do an independent study use these keywords: Greek, Ekklesia, Kurikon and Church.
Ok, drum roll please….
Church is not a building with smells and bells.
The Church is 2 or 3 “called out” believers who assemble in Jesus’ Name worshiping God in spirit and truth (Mat 18:20 & John 4:20-26).
Look at it from this angle. What is missing in CH_ _CH? Answer is U & R. ‘You are’ missing and you have a special place in the body of Christ.
Question #2 will also shed more light on this.
Are you just trying to avoid the question?
I know it may only sound like quibbling over words, but words are important. When we only ascribe the term ‘church’ to weekend gatherings or institutions that have organized themselves as ‘churches’ we miss out on what it means to live as Christ’s body. It will give us a false sense of security to think that by attending a meeting once a week we are participating in God’s church. Conversely I hear people talk about ‘leaving the church’ when they stop attending a specific congregation.
But if the church is something we are, not someplace we go, how can we leave it unless we abandon Christ himself? And if I think only of a specific congregation as my part of the church, haven’t I separated myself from a host of other brothers and sisters that do not attend the same one I do?
The idea that those who gather on Sunday mornings to watch a praise concert and listen to a teaching are part of the church and those who do not, are not, would be foreign to Jesus. The issue is not where we are at a given time during the weekend, but how we are living in him and with other believers all week long.
When we try to make sense of the true meaning of “church”, it’s like this mind puzzle. We say we go to ‘church’ but we also know we are the ‘Church’.
We’ll tackle the next questions on fellowship in the following posts….Stay tuned and stay ‘hangry’ for the truth!
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