Universal church - or whatever you want to call it.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Apr 10, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    IN another thread
    Actually, I disagree with that statement.
    I have often met with groups - that in themselves are not a "local church" - we do have services - and we do teach!
     
  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    454
    Why would you not call these groups a church?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    Because we represent different local churches - but in a sense - "where two or three are gathered in my name......"
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    266
    Your opening post made me think of our little chapel in Iraq. It was (unfortunately) temporary, served a revolving "congregation" of US military and contractors, and foreign nationals, all of disparate traditions. There was no membership, confessional statement, or other things one would normally see in a standard, American brick and mortar church. But I reckon we were still a church in every sense of the word.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    Usually in a military chapel - they do use the Apostles Creed.

    Also, I wanted to mention that I was a member of Baptist churches located off post - when I was stationed in Germany. Same situation - you have a virtual turnover of members every 3-4 years. Of course, unaccompanied personnel and shorttimes may only spend 12-24 months.....

    One other thing - we have had people attend our churches - but did not want to join, as they were members of Stateside churches. If you are going to be in Germany from anywhere to 18-48 months - really how often are you going to visit your Stateside church. Yes, I believe in the LOCAL church.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Rolfe

    Rolfe
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    5,304
    Likes Received:
    394
    I do not see the problem if it is a temporary relocation, and the plan is to return to the Home Church. Was not for me.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,215
    Likes Received:
    1,318
    I pastored in San Diego, a military town if there ever was one, for about 27 years. Our church constitution and by laws forbade dual membership unless you were a college student or active duty military. In those two cases we allowed membership in our church and the person's home church simultaneously. Worked well and never had a problem. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,361
    Likes Received:
    790
    Saying we are the church has nothing to do with whether membership is important or not. His/her reasoning is wrong because there is no actual relationship between the two from the beginning.

    Saying "we are the church" is simply making a distinction between the body of Christ that He died for and the building in which we go to worship, and the act of worship which should be occurring there.
     
  9. Rolfe

    Rolfe
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    5,304
    Likes Received:
    394
    It is said that there is always a story behind every rule. Your Church must have been a tough crowd at offering time before this one was implemented. *laugh*

    (Could not let that one pass. :))
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  10. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    266
    Hmm, I might need to bring this up. Being on the backside of Ft. Bragg, we have a pretty high turnover rate ourselves.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,215
    Likes Received:
    1,318
    Thanks for picking up on that. It slipped past my proof read. That is the problem with spell check. It was a real word, just the wrong word. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Rolfe

    Rolfe
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    5,304
    Likes Received:
    394
    I have similar problems, though mine seem to mostly be when I get the right word but wrong language. Been better lately, though. *laugh*
     
  13. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    371
    The quote “where two or three gather in my name” is, IMHO, much too often taken out of context. The passage in Matthew 18 is speaking of dealing with sin in the church and church discipline. It is not speaking in the context of two or three individuals constituting a local church.

    The reason I bring this up is that the local church is not a few Christians gathering to worship and fellowship. It is that, but it is more. It is a community of believers functioning as the “Body of Christ” as active participants in the ministry of reconciliation. It is a congregation being shepherded by a pastor/elder/overseer, equipping the saints (each other), learning and growing. Christianity is a relationship and a religion (it is a personal relationship that entails a corporate response).
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    THIS!
     
  15. The American Dream

    The American Dream
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    16
    The Universal Church has no useful function on earth. The work of the Lord is carried out by local New Testament churches. The UC never held a worship service, preached a sermon, took up an offering, prayed, studied the Bible, sent out a missionary, helped the poor and sick, went on visitation or any other useful function. The UC if for eternity. The idea of hierarchies in Protestant denominations is nothing more than lingering influence of the RCC, as is infant baptism, because it is not in Scripture. Presbyteries, synods, General Assembles are a waste of time, money and effort and do nothing towards telling others about Jesus. The money spent on this nonsense could be used to support missionaries. We were told to go and tell about Jesus. We do not need man made nonsense to stand in the way like the UC, hierarchies, and infant baptism, man made creeds plus countless other things we do that have nothing to do with telling others about Christ.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    The universal Church (the Church Invisible) is the corporate body of believers in Jesus Christ that will only meet once and never stop meeting afterwards. We will meet at the end of the age, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Even at Pentecost the universal Church hadn't met.

    For a local church to gather, most would note that they have to carry with them some specific distinctives that a group of two or three cannot accomplish by themselves. One of the first is meeting for worship and edification, but also exhortation and accountability. The ordinances should be exercised regularly. Service to each is a part. And, as Revelation 1 points out, they must meet as a group for the purpose of remembering Christ's sacrifice and resurrection.

    I agree with those above that note some passages have been ripped out of context, particularly Matthew 18. A local church is a distinct group of believers called to edify each other in the admonition of Christ that goes beyond the fellowship described in Matthew 18.

    Good thread!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    And that is why I added on the "or whatever you want to call it" to the title.
    I work with two association of churches -
    We do have worship services, we have prayer time, we take up offerings to help the poor. Our purpose is to present Christ to our city. There is no hierarchies involved as our group (of several area local churches) is self governing.
     
  18. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,075
    Likes Received:
    102
    My opinion is that the universal church does have a function on earth. And I disagree that the universal church is "man-made nonsense."

    The concept of the universal church has its basis in scripture or else I would not believe in it. And it is far from a "useless" concept. All believers, no matter how isolated from other churches, are encouraged by the knowledge that they all are part of the body of Christ and share in its blessings — and sufferings — no matter how removed they are from other believers.

    Evangelism is certainly a commandment, but it is not the only function of the local church or the universal church. We are to build up and comfort each other, bear each others' burdens and contend for "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." And in that, your belittled "creeds" play an important role.
     
  19. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,185
    Likes Received:
    207
    You certainly have a right to your "opinion" but not a right to your own facts. The UIC theory has no Biblical basis. Indeed, it is anti-Biblical in nature and repudiates the Biblical concept of salvation at its most basic level.

    Let me ask you a simple question, What is the most basic concept of the lost condition versus the most basic concept of the saved condition? Is the basic concept of either rooted in the day of Pentecost or in the fall of man in Genesis?

    In case you don't understand exactly what I am getting at, let me further elaborate. What is your most basic definition of "death"? Is your most basic definition of death rooted in the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 or in Genesis 2:17? What is the solution to your most basic definition of death?

    In case you still don't see what I am trying to stir up in your mind, then let me ask you a further question. Who is the source of life, light and holiness and what role does "death" play in relationship to that source?

    In case you still don't see what I am getting at, if "death" is "separation" (separaion spiritually, separation from physical substance; separation of whole man from God in Gehenna) and at its most basic level the whole concept of death originates with spiritual separation from God then what is the only solution to spiritual separation if not spiritual union? Finally, is spiritual separation being separated from God as life, light and holiness (Eph. 4:18). Can any fallen human being existing in spiritual separation from God, thus separated from the life, light and holiness of God have any kind of fellowship with God or please God? Once again is this a Genesis problem with a Pentecost solution or a Genesis problem with a Genesis solution obtained by promise? Is being "created in Christ" a Pentecost solution or a Genesis solution for all those chosen "in him" before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; Rom. 8:28-30).

    Finally, let me sum up all my questions in one simple question: Has there ever been a time or place or person where salvation has been obtained OUTSIDE of Christ before or after Pentecost?

    Your UIC theory demands that either regeneration (Eph. 2:10) or the baptism in the Spirit = is placement spiritually "in Christ" which did not occur until Pentecost. Hence, all fallen human beings prior to Pentecost were SPIRITUALLY OUTSIDE of Christ. Your modus operandi for being "in Christ" is Pentecost coming of the Spirit, either defined as regeneration or baptism (or both) by the Spirit into the mystical body of Christ is it not? That doctrine repudiates the most basic rudiments of Biblical salvation for all Pre-Pentecost people, thus preaching another gospel, another savior, another way of salvation prior to Pentecost than after Pentecost but that is not the united testimony of scripture (Jn. 14:6, Acts 4:12; 10:43; 26:22-23; heb. 4:2; etc.).
     
    #19 The Biblicist, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Hello RSR
    What you are describing sounds more like ......the Kingdom of God.....containing any saved individuals, rather than any assembly of such persons.
    Salvation spreading worldwide on a daily basis is the Kingdom coming to earth, those individuals when they assemble in local churches are then doing what God has designed in obedience to His lawful instructions.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...