Universal church

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Open for discussion
     
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    No such animal exists except in the imagination of Catholics and Reformed Catholics (Protestants).
     
  3. Rippon

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    Okay, Tom Butler, it's your cue.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    These are false doctrines that pervert the Biblical doctrines of (1) regeneration and (2) the institutional house of God.

    Regeneration (quickening) is the exact opposite to spiritual death which is SPIRITUAL SEPARATION from God and thus quickening is SPIRITUAL UNION with God through Christ. There is no salvation OUTSIDE of Christ at any time for anyone and the baptism in the Spirit is TIME FIXED (Acts 1:4-5) and cannot possibly be interpreted to effect spiritual union with Christ or "in Christ" mystically/spiritually without demanding that all pre-Pentecost saints were OUTSIDE OF CHRIST, still in SPIRITUAL SEPARATION and thus never His by any definition of salvation possible.

    The phrase "house of God" is found only 87 times in Scripture and 1 Tim. 3:15 is the 85th occurrence. In every solitary single previous passage it is found in the context of a QUALIFIED and PUBLIC house of worship with QUALIFIED and PUBLIC ordained ministers who offer QUALIFIED and PUBLIC ordinances and that is precisely how it is found in the context of 1 Tim. 3:1-4:5.

    The singular definite "the church" and "the body" are institutional expressions.

    The idea of a "universal" church was conceived by Augustine and his abusive interpretation of the parable of the "tares" in the field, which "field" Jesus defined as "the world" but Augustine interpreted "world" as "the church universal."

    The idea of a "universal invisible" church was conceived by Luther who simply modified Augustine's flawed interpretation of Matthew 13 and "the world" to be "the church" but in addition to "universal" it was "invisible" so that the Papal bulls of exclusion could be ignored.

    Prior to the Reformation there cannot be found any doctrine of a "universal Invisible" church. The only thing even similar that can be found is the FUTURE concept of the church in heaven, which again, is visible and localized but containing all the saints. But no PRESENT universal invisible concept can be found prior to the Reformation.
     
    #4 The Biblicist, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2014
  5. TCassidy

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    In the bible the word "church" refers to the local, visible assembly of of baptized believers.

    What some call "the church" is what the bible calls the "Family of God" or the "Kingdom of God."

    It is obvious there is no such thing as a "universal church" simply because the word "church" is translated from the Greek word εκκλησια meaning "assembly" in the sense of "assembled in one place." Where, exactly, does this "universal assembly assemble all in one place?"
     
  6. Sapper Woody

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    I do not agree with a Universal Church. But I will admit I am confused about the passage where Jesus told Peter, "On this rock will I build my church". Obviously he didn't build a local assembly.
     
  7. Bro. Curtis

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    Christ never said he was building his church upon Peter. He's building it on Peter's confession of who Christ is. Peter's name, Petros, means "rock man", while petra, the word Jesus used, means only rock.

    There is enough evidence in the New Testament that Christ is the foundation of the church, not Peter, that we need not add confusion over Peter's role in the early church.
     
  8. Salty

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    IMHO, the Sapper was not talking about Peter being the pope.
    Rather he asked which local church did Christ build? Was it the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem?
     
  9. JonC

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    I believe there is a "universal Church" in terms of there being a people (one people) of God who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. They are brothers in Christ (even though they may not be aware of one another). What is interesting to me is that Scripture itself treats this group as a single entity...as "children of God," God's "elect," etc. (I don't think the "Bride" is only one local congregation). So...with clarification....I'd be open to discussing the Church as opposed to local congregations or denominations.
     
  10. Bro. Curtis

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    Perhaps, but this is open for discussion, correct ?

    Of course it was. :laugh:

    Remember, he walked 45 miles to be immersed in water by a Baptist.
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    There clearly is a universal Church in Scripture insofar as it means the body of believers from all history past and future. It is an eschatological institution only existing at the point of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb after the Millennium.

    There is, however, no singular institution that should be recognized, within Creation, as the authorized holders of this moniker. Instead, the universal Church is the Church invisible that permeates all days and exists only after the days have past.

    Salty, please don't do this kind of OP anymore. If you wish to discuss a topic, bring your view to bear and we'll discuss. This is not helpful. Thanks
     
  12. Sapper Woody

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    Salty got it right. I was asking what church Jesus built. I am open to opinions on that.
     
  13. Salty

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    Must be a GI Brother thing.....
     
  14. DHK

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    It is easier to answer that question when the word "church" is used as it should be translated, "assembly" which is what "ekklesia" means.

    Christ and the eleven (Judas wasn't saved) made up the first "assembly." Everywhere they went they assembled together and Christ taught them. They were his disciples. He was their head, the Chief Shepherd.

    By the time He ascended into heaven more than 500 people had witnessed him, but there were 120 praying in the Upper Room. The assembly had grown to 120.
    On the Day of Pentecost 3,000 "received [FONT=&quot]his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto...(the assembly).

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the assembly daily such as should be saved.[/FONT]

    From this one assembly grew many assemblies (local churches) not one ("unassembled assembly") or Universal Church.
     
  15. JonC

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  16. DHK

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    [FONT=&quot]Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.[/FONT]

    When considering this verse one must ask:
    "the husband" Which husband? Tom, Hank, John?
    "the wife" Which wife? Jane, Sally, Mary?
    "the church" Which assembly? Ephesus, Jerusalem, Thessalonian?

    All three terms are used in a generic sense.
    The husband is used in the singular to represent all husbands.
    The wife is used in the singular to represent all wives.
    The church or assembly is used in the singular to represent all local churches.

    Christ is the head of the local church. The body is the body of believers within the local church for which Christ died.

    [FONT=&quot]Acts 20:17 But from Miletus having sent to Ephesus, he called over [to him] the elders of the assembly.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own.[/FONT]
    --Christ or God purchased with His own blood the church or assembly at Ephesus. This is the same teaching given in Ephesians five.

    As Christ shed his blood for the believers in the assembly at Ephesus, so he shed his blood for every Bible-believing assembly of which he alone is the Head.
    In this day and age God has ordained the local church to do His work, not para-church organizations as sincere as they may be, not folks working outside of the bounds of the local church, but local churches themselves. It is a God-ordained institution.
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    I'm coming late to this discussion, and find that DHK and others have done a good job articulating the view that I hold, so I don't need to contribute much more.

    There is an institutional sense in which the term church (ecclesia) is used. In the same way that we use such terms as "family" and "marriage." Such terms are meaningless until they take expression in individual, real, concrete families and marriages. There are no universal marriages or universal families, just as there is no universal church.

    What some describe as the universal church more accurately describes the kingdom--the realm of the King. We should not confuse the two.
     
  18. Sapper Woody

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    I am hesitant to point out my view, as I am afraid I cannot fully explain it in a way it will be understood. If I am understanding Tom Butler correctly, it's the same view.

    I do not believe in a universal church. But I believe we (born again believers) are all a part of Christ's Church. If I mean His Kingdom, then I apologize for my inadequate explanation. Perhaps I mean his body, or bride.

    I hope this helps explaining where I stand.
     
  19. convicted1

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    Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



    bἐκκλησία "ekklēsia"


    I. a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly
    A. an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating

    B. the assembly of the Israelites

    C. any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously

    D. in a Christian sense

    i an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting

    ii. a company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order's sake

    iii. those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body

    iv. the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth

    v. the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven


    I got the above from eliyah.com, seeing that I am far from a Greek scholar. It appears there is more than one usage for the greek word "ekklesia". Personally, I think it's usage can be used universally as well as locally....
     
  20. convicted1

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    Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;


    Did Christ die for the local church, or His sheep?
     

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