10 Facts about the church
- The church can be defined as God’s effort to reach out to restore man to His image. It is about all that God is doing to rebuild a relationship with man. It is not a place, or an entity. In the practical context, it is the community of believers. The Church comprises CHRIST + HIS BODY When the Apostle Paul noted that the church is the body of Christ, he was not saying that the BODY is the church, but that the body belongs to Christ.
- A person automatically becomes part of the church, when he/she is baptized into Christ. People are baptized into the church, not into an organization.
- The church is not a denomination. Seventh-day Adventist is not a church. It is a denomination – a church based organization.
- The church is not an organization. The first fundamental principle about the church is that it must be distinguished from organization. The denomination is the organization.
The organization serves to facilitate the church – as its administrative arm. It is not easy to equate the church and organization. The two are mutually exclusive. This is not a criticism of organization.
- The church cuts across denominations. i.e. the church comprises or constitutes people in all denominations. There will never be a day when all Christians will become Seventh-day Adventists.
Everything in the church must be done ‘decently and in order.’
God provided ‘Gospel Order’ to serve as the basis for achieving order in His church. Gospel order is the use of the principles of the Bible in managing the business of the church.
It is incorrect to say that the Early Sabbatarians opposed organization. They noted that if the church is organized ‘by man’s invention, it becomes Babylon…” Babylon in this context means confusion. What do we call the existence of so many denominations calling themselves the right church?
- The church is not a corporate entity. The church is a community (aggregation) of believers. It has no hierarchy.
- Christ is the head of the Church. We all are answerable to Him. The Holy Spirit is the leader of the Church. Moses was not a leader, but took his instructions from God, and relayed it to the people. We are all ‘servants’ in the church. And it is not true that we are all ‘bosses’ in the SDA organization.
- The people who are trying to equate the church and organization are trying to take a position in the church that interposes between Christ and His people. One of these days the church will take organization to the divorce court.
- Christ does not hurt His people. When we are hurt in the body of Christ we must be clear about the fact that we are immersed in a context of ‘spiritual wickedness in high places.’ Christ loves us and longs to build a relationship with us. Having a correct definition of the Church is about correctly understanding the nature of the one we serve.
By Claudius ‘peto’ Francis