Tuesday, November 12, 2019

"Cultural-ishtianity" ~ What the Church Is NOT

The last article introduced this series of articles that I have called “Cultural-ishtianity.”  As I explained, it is not the Church that has been influencing and changing the culture.  Rather, it is the culture that has been, and is, changing and influencing the Church.  That influence includes what is taught and believed about:  Jesus and His claims regarding who He is and what He’s done; when human life actually begins; homosexuality and transgender lifestyles; marriage and divorce; the role of women in the Church; interpretation of the Bible, and other topics.

Before we look at those specific topics, it would be good to define what the Church is and is not.  Let’s start with what the Church is not.

The true Church of Jesus Christ is not any of the following:
A building or a structure
A social club
A dating pool
A political party
A democracy
A theatrical production
A performance hall or concert
A coffee bar
A Bingo parlor
A business run by a CEO
A denomination
A place to come to in order to “feel good” about yourself or your life choices
A pastor or worship leader
A specific nationality or heritage
A group of identically thinking people
A gathering of perfect people
And, perhaps, most importantly, the Church is not Israel

Is that list of what the church is not surprising?  Nowhere in Scripture will you find the Church of Jesus Christ described or defined by those things.

Whenever a church, of any sort, is founded or built upon any of these things, it is not representative of Jesus’ Church.  The following quote from Dale Partridge sums up what that type of church really is, “In other words, watered-down, oversized, uncommitted, spectator churches are much like a pasture filled with Astroturf—to [the] sheep it looks amazing, but in reality, there’s not much to eat.”

As a result, the sheep are starving.  They hunger for spiritual meat and all they find is milk (or less), therefore, they cannot “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  So they roam from one pasture to another desperately searching for the spiritual food that will nourish their souls.  Sadly, there are not many pastures/churches around where the Word of God is clearly taught with clarity, relevance and applicability.  There are some, but they are very difficult to find.

What, then, is the Church of Jesus Christ if it is not any of the things listed above?

Glad you asked!  I will talk all about that in the next article, so be sure to keep checking back.

May the Lord bless you as you seek to serve Him by serving His Church.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D.