My best friend and I are currently debating why I’m going to a house church. It’s interesting how easily that leads into arguing over the purpose of the church and man’s role within the body of Christ. As a kid, I learned most of the Westminster Shorter Catechism by heart. The first question, right off the bat is “What is the chief end of man?”. Any schoolchild who went to PCCS could answer: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever”.
Now, to me, that seems pretty simple. Not easy, but simple. As Christians, we are called to pursue a relationship with God through Christ and share that relationship with others. Salvation is an invitation. It is not a demand. Like Frank Viola’s book “From Eternity To Here” explains, Rebekah was not forced to move to Jerusalem and marry Isaac. She chose to go. God is the same way.
When the early church began, new Christians did not have the structured setup we in America have come to realize. Today, here, the goal of church on Sunday is to be educated and guided toward correct doctrine and theology before moving on to apply to our daily living. While I agree that doctrine is important, I believe the modern church has moved away from the vision of Christ’s early disciples.
To quote the tired phrase, “Don’t go to church; Be the Church” It is not about about a building or a given structure, but rather about the fellowships and relationships that come from meeting as believers and seeking Christ.
Initially, the church was body of believers coming together to share what God had done and to celebrate a new relationship with a personal God. Worship was meaningful and corporate, there was no strict liturgy and pastors were just like everyone else.
Like everything else in life, Christianity is about a relationship. It’s closeness and intimacy with the one person who can love you more than anyone else. The doctrine and theology are important, but without the relationship, without love, we have nothing.
More to follow…………..