Thursday, August 6, 2009


I find it interesting that the word “church” is never used in the Bible as a place to go or something to do? Yet, folks frequently refer to the building that they walk into on Sunday Mornings, as well as the meeting that is held there, as “church”.

I’m often asked, “What church do you go to?” I realize this is a reasonably acceptable question for most of us. Yet, it troubles me. The question, in and of itself, develops an environment of division. I “go” here, but you “go” there. Just in the knowing of where we go, assumptions are made and separation is established. In fact, most of us condemn the person whose response is, “I don’t go to church,” for “sinfully” forsaking the assembly of God [Hebrews 10:24]

Paul wasn’t talking to a building when he said to the Church in Corinth, “You are the body of Christ.” Nor was he referring to something that they were to do at a certain time or place. Instead, he was talking to a group of people about what they are.

The Church is not only a living organism;
it is the eyes, mouth, arms and legs
of Jesus’ Body!

[1 Cor. 12:12-31].

What does this organism look like? How does it function?

Frank Viola, the author of Pagan Christianityand Reimagining Church says,

“By ‘organic church,’ I mean a non-traditional church that is born out of spiritual life instead of constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs. Organic church life is a grass roots experience that is marked by face-to-face community, every-member functioning, open-participatory meetings (opposed to pastor-to-pew services), non-hierarchical leadership, and the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ as the functional Leader and Head of the gathering.”

“Whenever we sin-scarred mortals try to create a church the same way we would start a business corporation, we are defying the organic principle of church life. An organic church is one that is naturally produced when a group of people have encountered Jesus Christ in reality (external ecclesiastical props being unnecessary) and the DNA of the church is free to work without hindrance. In short,

‘organic church’
describes a kind of church life
that embodies the biblical teaching
that the church is a spiritual organism
and not an institutional organization.”

Yes, the exhortation made in Hebrews 10:25 still stands today. However, its intention is to remind us, especially when under persecution, that we must continue to gather in fellowship for the purpose of encouraging and edifying one another and to not revert back to or continue in the institutional system as the Jewish Christians were tempted to do.

Unless, of course, we desire to conceal our Christian faith through institutionalism like the fearful Jews, I doubt that membership of an institutionalized organization is of much concern to those who recognize and function as members of the Body of Christ through persecution.


The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc. Each of us is accountable to God weigh everything according to His Word.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. We must remember we live in the kingdom of God, not the church. The church is in the kingdom. The kingdom relationships God our Father gives us by making us His children and heirs and giving us the inheritance are glorious. Our Father enables us to relate is such harmony, with His Son and with one another, that our very lives bring glory to Him to all ages forever (Eph 3:21). Kingdom relationships fulfill our deepest longings to be useful and productive in the noble things of eternal importance on this earth today. At the culmination of God's plan, He will make a new heaven and a new earth and live with us and we will live in this glorious kingdom that is to come in our glorified bodies and we will relate in the harmony of heaven on earth (Rev 21& 22).