"True Church"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by tinytim, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. tinytim

    tinytim
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    What is your definition of a true church?

    What must be included?

    What must be excluded?

    What things can be OK, or not OK?
     
  2. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    To me the question is not so much what is a True Church, but what is True doctrine, and is that church preaching it, because if they are they are going to be the Church God wants them to be.
     
  3. PASTOR MHG

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    The 7 churches in Asia that were addressed in Revelation were all over the place in practice and sincerity and doctrine, yet Jesus still called them churches. I think we speak out of pride (our church is doing it right) sometimes when we begin to judge what is and isn't a church. We may be able to identify the health of a church by judging practice, sincerity, and doctrine, but the trueness or realness of a church is up to the one who owns it...God!

    I have really struggled with this on the issue of "baptism." Coming from the group that I do as an IFB, I have a number of collegues that only accept "baptism" from another IFB church. That is what I was taught in school. However, when faced with it in the ministry, and being driven to the Scriptures, I had to ask myself... If our church is a Philadelphia church, can I accept the baptism of a Laodecia church? Jesus said it was a church, and who am I to argue with him?

    Many of my preacher friends would disagree because of tradition (though they would call it Scriptural principle) but the truth is right in the book. As for me (an IFB) I would accept the your ABC baptism bro. Tim. Why? Because though we may differ in practice a little, you are still a church... in my judgement.

    I hope that practical illustration adds to the OP.

    Max
     
  4. tinytim

    tinytim
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    The funny thing is, I was baptized into an IFB church... stayed in IFB churches until I met my Wife, joined her church (ABC) by letter from the IFB church...and have been there since...

    Now would a IFB church accept this?
     
  5. PASTOR MHG

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    Some IFB churches that I know of would not have sent the letter if you requested it. More silly tradition that doesn't line up with scripture I guess. I personally would send the letter. The reason is... I am not the one to determine whether a church is truly a church...that is God's business. The only real opposition that I think is warranted from scripture is the denial of the fundamentals (deity, blood, book, Blessed Hope, etc.)or teaching doctrinal heresy(sacramentalism, consubstaniation, etc.). However, I would say that as a Baptist, I consider immersion baptism with the right motive, as one of the fundamentals.

    Max
     
  6. abcgrad94

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    TT, are you asking for a definition of the local church or universal body of Christ?
     
  7. npetreley

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    Rc Sproul wrote this in Essential Truths of the Christian Faith:

    1. The true church has visible marks that distinguish it from a false or apostate church.
    2. The preaching of the gospel is necessary for a church to be legitimate.
    3. The proper administration of the sacraments, without profanation, is a mark of the true church.
    4. Discipline against heresy and gross sin is a necessary task of the church.
    5. The church is always in need of being reformed in accordance with the Word of God.
     
  8. tinytim

    tinytim
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    No, I was reading somewhere in another thread, and someone kept refering to "true churches" as opposed to false churches...

    So I just thought it would make an interesting discussion...and just try to find out what people around here consider a "true church"


    Or maybe I should have asked what a false church looks like.
     
  9. npetreley

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    I tried to find pictures of Robert Tilton or Benny Hinn's churches for you, but they don't seem to have church pictures on their websites.
     
  10. Dale-c

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    Tim, I think that the many Baptist pastors who met in London in 1689 might have some insight on this matter.
    Here it is:

     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    I have always wondered about that myself when somebody says "the church". My hair stands on end when someone uses that expression, as if there were one exceptionable church after that one personally headed by Christ Himself during His presence on earth.

    I tend to agree with the 1689 LCoF.

    The only true church in as far as originality is concerned is the one founded by Christ and recorded in Scriptures, even to the exception of the Revelation churches, and the Paulinian churches.

    The only one church with rightful claim to the word "true" is the one founded and headed personally by Christ.

    After that church went home to heaven, all other churches are but mere imperfect copies.
     
  12. charles_creech78

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    I believe the Church is the body of Christ.
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    Another, for want of a better word, abstraction.
    Where is this body of Christ, who is this body of Christ, how do you know they are indeed the body of Christ.

    Is this body local, universal, visible, invisible ?

    Rather hard to define on specific terms.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    1. Here's something else to consider:

    a. Would the Emergent Communities be considered part of the body of Christ?

    b. Would churches where women are pastors/elders be considered part of the body of Christ?

    c. Would churches that no longer practice water baptism be considered part of the body of Christ?

    2. I am reminded of the words of our Lord, "Not everyone who says, 'Lord, Lord.'"
     

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