Local Church position?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Turpius, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Turpius

    Turpius
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    OK, I am not currently a member of any local Church, Baptist or otherwise. My previous membership was in a Bible Church that shut down awhile back due to lack of people (long story short!). My question is, I guess, I'm still not quite understanding this concept most Baptists seem to have regarding local church only, no universal church. It seems to me, like I'm being told that if I'm not a member of a local church body of believers (regardless of affiliation)that I'm not in the Body of Christ or something.
    I visit several different churches in my area, I just haven't found one that the Lord has called me to formally join yet.
     
  2. DHK

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    Not all Baptist churches believe the same concerning the doctrine of the local church. What you expressed is among the minority. Most Baptists that I have encountered do believe in the universal church. I am one that doesn't, so I believe I can explain it to you.
    First, the Greek word for church, "ekklesia, always means assembly, or congregation. Thus a universal assembly is impossible on this world. It can only be universal in Heaven when we all assemble together in one place. An unassembled assembly doesn't make sense. Where in the world can all believers everywhere meet together as one assmebly. Therefore there is no such thing as a universal church or assembly. The very definition of the word church (assembly) does not permit this definition to stand.

    Secondly, In the Bible we find churches, not a church. Paul went on three different missionary journeys and established about 100 churches. Paul wrote 3 different letters to pastors (the pastoral epistles), giving them instructions on how to have order in the local church. Almost all the other books with the excepton of the gospels, and the Book of Acts were written to churches. Even in the Book of Revelation Jesus writes 7 specific letter to 7 pastors of 7 specific churches.
    There is no denomination found in the Bible. Every church is independent of each other. There is no hierarchy in the Bible. The church at Rome, or at Jerusalem did not have control over any of the other churches. Each one had its own pastors, and were responsible to their pastor, and the pastor to God. At the same time each believer had a responsibility to God, directly. No person had to go through a priest, but himself was a priest before God.
    In 1Cor. 12 Paul gives a beautiful example who a local church is compared to the body. Each member of the body has its own special function. Each member of the local church has its own special function. We cannot do one without the other. This illustration can only be applicable in a local church setting. For example, when one member suffers, then all the members suffer with it. In the "universal church concept" how do we know when the believers in Africa, Argentina, Brazil, India, etc., suffer? How are their sufferings going to affect us? They won't. But if my pastor's wife gets sick, then all the members will pray for her. If the deacon breaks his leg, then all the members pray for him. We all suffer with this individual, as a local body of Christ. The description of the body in 1Cor.12 can only fit a local church.
    That is the basic concept behind the local Baptist Church concept, and why some churches don't believe in the Universal church concept. I hope that helps some.
    DHK
     
  3. Turpius

    Turpius
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    Helps some thanks, but I heard that "ecclesia" also means "called-out ones" like we as Christians are called out of the world to Christ, that would be OK in the Universal church understanding.
     
  4. DHK

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    It does, but only as the word is broken down into its parts. In other words, the derivative of the word does not necessarily give the meaning of the word. A few examples from one of the threads dealing with Christmas should suffice.

    Sunday = day of the sun.
    Monday = day of the moon.
    Thursday = day of Thor.
    Saturday = day of Saturn.

    I am sure that on those days you don't thimk of those object or those gods. They were gods to the people who originally named them that way.

    Thus ekklesia = ek + kalew = out of + to call.
    In other words: "to call out" That is the actual derivation of the word, but that is not the meaning, in as much as most of us don't usually think of Christmas as "mass of Christ" a strictly Roman Catholic term, from the special mass held on the eve of Christmass at midnight.

    We don't use derivations. The meaning of the word is, and always has been, assembly. Even in the secular world it is assemlbly. Take this Scripture for example:

    Acts 19:39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
    Acts 19:41 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

    Here the same word, "ekklesia" is used, but is translated properly. There was an assembly gathered in the theatre, But the mayor said the matter should be determined in a "lawful assembly." The assembly that had gathered in the theatre that day, was not according to law, but at the instigation of Demetrius and his friends, for they thought that their trade was in danger because of the preaching of Paul.
    DHK
     
  5. Matt Black

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    Turpius, you may be interested to know that us Baptists have been thrashing this one out here ; as you're not it seems a Baptist, you can't post there but nevertheless, particularly if you suffer from insomnia, you might want to plough your way through our collective 'wisdom' :D

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  6. tamborine lady

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    [​IMG]

    Turpius. The bible says we are to "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together".

    So we are supposed to get together for fellowship, studying of the word, and to build each other up. This can be done in a church building, or at someones home, or in the park; where ever people get together to honor the Lord.

    There are two meanings for church. One is the building, the other is each individual that believes. The last one is what Jesus calls the church. It is made up of some of EACH denomination.

    It's all those who believe that Jesus is the son of God and that He died for us!!

    Working for Jesus.

    Tam
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I am so glad that you point inverted commas around "wisdom" Matt ;) .
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I think Turpius should just move to Naas and become a Baptist ;) .
     
  9. Turpius

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    Matt, regarding my posting here, while I did accidently post a few time amongst the Baptist threads, (back when I didn't quite realize what was going on here)since I'm not currently a Baptist (never say never)I felt with a little guidance from Roger that it was more prudent to put this here for now.

    Thanks all for your in-put.
     
  10. Turpius

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    Sorry Roger, I can become a Baptist just fine on this side of the pond. Maybe after I work thru a few other theological conundrums. :D
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Ahh, Turp - you ruin all the fun. We would have great "craic" over here.

    I do think that "association" with local church is important. It provides so much if what is discussed in the epistles.
     
  12. DHK

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    There are not two meanings for ekklesia, the word translated church in the Bible. There is only one. The Greek word for building (or church building) is kuriokos. Church buildings, that is buildings set aside exclusively for the meetings of the assemblies of believers did not come into existence for at least 250 years after the death of the Apostles. We are not dealing with English definitions here, but Biblical definitions of the word "church" all of which come from the word, "ekklesia," meaning "assembly" or "congregation."

    A church is a body of regenerated baptized believers who have voluntarily assembled themselves together for the purpose of obeying the Great Commission, and carrying out the ordinances of Christ (baptism and the Lord's Supper).
    DHK
     

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