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I’m not sure what God is doing…besides challenging almost everything I believe 🙂

I never listen to sermons or seek out radio stations with sermons, or search for transcriptions of sermons…I’m a worship guy. I spend most of my time listening to music. Recently, I was asked to take the Wednesday Bible study for a few weeks at my church. I thought about going safe and delved back into my Bible study files from when I was a youth minister. I looked at my sermonettes about worship. I even looked at a Sunday School lesson I compiled about worship…I’m comfortable talking about the theology of worship.

But at every turn, God kept pushing me toward “Wake Up!” Glenn Beck uses that phrase…”Wake Up America!”. David Platt also uses it in his book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.” I also listened to a Paul Washer sermon entitled “10 Indictments Against the Church.” I found myself flipping through the XM channels and finding, on way too many occasions, listening to sermons…that all dealt with who are we? Who have we become? Who is the church supposed to be? etc…you get the picture.

So…who is the church? Dictionary.com defines “church” as:
1. place of Christian worship
2. religious service
3. Christian denomination (religious body)

As you know, when words have multiple definitions or uses, dictionaries tend to put them in order of their most popular uses…so we most often use “church” as a place, a building. Second to that, we use “church” as a meeting, a service (as in worship service). And last in usage, an assembly of believers, a body of believers.

The English word “church” derives from the Greek kuriakos (belonging to the Lord), but it stands for another Greek word, ekklesia (an assembly). So literally…an assembly of those belonging to the Lord.

Jesus used the word twice…Mt. 16:18 (“upon this rock I will build my church”) and 18:17 (“tell it the church” – referring to church discipline issues). In both instances, it is used in a way as to describe something future, something not yet here. In Acts, the usage changes since at Pentecost, the church is born via the Holy Spirit’s dwelling within believers. “Church” begins to be used as a group of believers…both local house “churches” or gatherings, and as the worldwide church (all believers as the Body of Christ).

History shows us that, though the church is “one people”, it tends to have disagreements on the finer points of practicing that faith in Christ. Paul and Peter disagreed about whether the gospel was for the Gentiles (Peter finally came around). A multitude of disagreements throughout history have led us to be who we are today…but is that a biblical representation of the church? Is it the “American Dream with a little Jesus on top?”

God is challenging me to look at this in a new light. I will try to share what I learn. I covet your prayers in this journey.

Side note…it looks as if David Platt’s book, mentioned above, may be a helpful guide on this journey. May be a good read for you too.


2 Responses

  1. Paul Washer is pretty intense no? Check out Mark Cahill on youtube sometime…look for “lukewarm no more”…very challenging. Keep up the good work for the Lord!

  2. Paul Washers “10 indictments” has changed the way that I view church in general. Through the Way of The Master and Mark Cahill I’ve been able to sharpened my ministry down to a needle point to pierce the flesh of the unregenerent heart. My prayer for you is that with the help of God through the Holy Spirit, lost people within the walls of our church, will lay down their pride which goes before destruction and submitt themselves to Jesus Christ even though they think they already have. Not just accept Him, but let Him be Lord over them also. They will be known by their fruit. I hope that your messege will reviel how empty their basket really is and how He can overflow it with types we have never even dreamed of. God bless you Bobby.

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