What! No Church?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by OldRegular, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. OldRegular

    OldRegular
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    In response to a post by Archangel DHK made the following statement:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=62737&page=6

    I thought this a strange statement for a Christian to make so I responded as follows:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=62737&page=9

    To which DHK immediately responded:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=62737&page=9

    Always respectful of my elders I am starting a new thread: What! No Church?

    Can it be true that my God and Savior, Jesus Christ, was mistaken when He said:

    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.


    I may not understand ecclesiology properly but I believe I can understand the above quotations from Jesus Christ and His revelation to the Apostle Paul.
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    If we're going to get anywhere in this discussion, we must define our terms.

    So, here's mine. By far, the majority of references to "the church" in the New Testament are to local congregations--which assemble. There are a few which refer to the church in a generic or institutional sense. But any institutional reference must take a concrete form, which is a local assembly.

    When we refer to the family institutionally or generically, as in "the breakdown of the family," we can have an actual breakdown only in a real live family. If we refer to the jury system, it can take concrete expression in a real live jury.

    Otherwise, the New Testament knows only local congregations. Any definition of "the church" as all the saved is a mislabeling of what is actually the kingdom.

    Old Regular quoted Acts 20:28
    This is a direct reference to the congregation at Ephesus. Read Chapter 20. Paul, from Miletus, calls the elders of the Ephesian church to him to say farewell. He charges them to feed the church over which they are overseers--the congregation at Ephesus. This same congregation, Paul says, was purchased by the blood of Jesus.

    In the same way Jesus purchased the congregation which I serve.

    That's enough for the moment. Old Regular and DHK can define their terms and then we'll be off and running.
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Tom

    Paul did call the congregation at Ephesus the church did he not?
     
  4. Johnv

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    The comment by DHK lacks its original context. Here is what DHK said:

    "You would have a hard time convincing me of your theology since I don't believe in "the church" The word "ecclesia" translated "church" simply means "assembly". It is impossible to have an unassembled assembly or an assembly that never meets, cannot assemble, is impossible to assemble. It is a contradiction of terms..."
     
  5. OldRegular

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    I responded to the above statement! To which DHK responded:
    Which seems strange to me given the statement of Jesus Christ!
     
  6. OldRegular

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    Spurgeon on "The Church"

    'Reflect first that a Church exists. What a wonder this is! It is perhaps the greatest miracle of all ages that God has a Church in the world.... Always a Church! When the full force of the Pagan Emperors came like a thundering avalanche upon her, she shook off the stupendous load as a man shaketh the flakes of snow from his garment, and she lived on uninjured. When [the persecutors] poured out [the martyr's] blood in rivers, and dyed the snow with crimson, she lived still, and never was in a healthier state than when she was immersed in her own gore.

    When after a partial reformation in this country, the pretenders to religion determined that the truly spiritual should be harried out of the land, God's Church did not sleep or suspend her career of life or service. Let the covenant signed in blood witness to the vigour of the persecuted saints.

    Hearken to her psalm amidst the brown heath-clad hills of Scotland, and her prayer in the secret conventicles of England. Hear ye the voice of Cargil and Cameron thundering among the mountains against a false king and an apostate people; hear ye the testimony of Bunyan and his compeers who would sooner rot in dungeons than bow the knee to Baal. Ask me "Where is the Church?" and can find her at any and every period from the day when first 1 the upper room the Holy Ghost came down even until now.

    In one unbroken line our apostolic succession runs; not through the Church of Rome; not from the superstitious hands of priest-made popes, or king-created bishops (what a varnished lie is the apostolic succession of those who boast so proudly of it!), but through the blood of good men and true, who never forsook the testimony of Jesus; through the loins of true pastors, laborious evangelists, faithful martyrs, and honourable men of God, we trace our pedigree up to the fishermen of Galilee and glory that we perpetuate by God's grace that true and faithful Church of the living God, in whom Christ did abide and will abide until the world's crash.

    'The chief wonder is that she abides perfect. Not one of God's elect has gone back; not one of the blood-bought has denied the faith. Not one single soul which ever was effectually called can be made to deny Christ, even though his flesh should be pulled from his boneby hot pincers, or his tormented body flung to the jaws of wild beasts. All that the enemy has done has been of no avail against the Church.

    The old rock has been washed, and washed, and washed again by stormy waves, and submerged a thousand times in the floods of tempest but even her angles and corners abide unaltered and unalterable. We may say of the Lord's tabernacle, not one of the stakes thereof has been removed, nor one of her cords been broken. The house of the Lord from foundation to pinnacle is perfect still: "The rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house and it fell not"; nay, nor a single stone of it, "for it was founded upon a rock".'

    http://liamgarvie.blogspot.com/2007/10/spurgeon-on-church.html
     
  7. DHK

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    Read again what Tom said, and get presuppositions out of your head. Quit believing mistranslations by politically correct and biased Anglicans who didn't know better than to translate ekklesia as assembly. If they had translated ekklesia as "assembly" there would much less confusion in the doctrine of ecclesiology today.

    The verse that you are concerned with:

    Matthew 16:18 And *I* also, I say unto thee that *thou* art Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and hades' gates shall not prevail against it. (Darby's)
    --A much better translation. Now the question is: what assembly was he speaking about, or how is the word "assembly" being used?
    I prefer to think that
    #1. Jesus had his assembly right there with his apostles.
    #2. Jesus was speaking of every assembly that would be built using the word "assembly" in a generic sense.

    "Man is a sinner." Which man? John? Dick? Bob? Fred? Which one? Which man is a sinner? The answer is obvious. Mankind or all men are sinners, not just one. The word "man" though a singular noun, is used in a generic sense to include all men (and women).
    There are many nouns that are used in the same way. "Church" or "assembly" in this case is just one of many.

    Two chapters later Jesus uses the same word "ekklesia" again:

    Matthew 18:17 But if he will not listen to them, tell it to the assembly; and if also he will not listen to the assembly, let him be to thee as one of the nations and a tax-gatherer.
    --But what is the context here? It is a local church exercising discipline--local church discipline on an erring brother. That is the only meaning this passage can have. Jesus is not speaking of "the church." He is speaking of a local assembly.

    Go through the Scriptures. There is not one place where "ekklesia" cannot refer to a local assembly.
    Then ask yourself who the author is writing to? If Paul is writing to the Ephesians what were the Ephesians thinking of? There certainly was no concept to a universal church back then. There was no concept of a church in the sense of the Roman Catholic Church (denominational) back then. There was no concept of any invisible church (assembly) back then. It is impossible to have an unassembled assembly. To the assembly at Corinth.
    Every epistle was written to either a local church or the pastor of a local church.
     
  8. annsni

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    In these verses, there is a sense of the church as the body of Christ and not just the local assembly:

    1 Corinthians 10:32 "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:"

    1 Corinthians 15:9 "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."

    Galatians 1:13 "For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:"

    Ephesians 1:22-23 "And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

    Ephesians 3:21 "Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

    Ephesians 5:23-32 "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.
    Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.
    Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
    So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
    For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
    This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
     
  9. OldRegular

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    Thanks Ann! Excellent post. There are also other passages which picture the Church as the Bride of Jesus Christ. Writing to the Church at Corinth the Apostle Paul says:

    2 Corinthians 11:2. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

    Then in Revelations we see again the Bride of Jesus Christ:

    Revelation 21:2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    Although the following has no meaning for those who are not Southern Baptists it is worthwhile to note the following:

    The Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, Georgia on June 14, 2000 writes of the Church in Section VI as follows: The New Testament speaks also of the Church as the Body of Christ which includes all the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
     
  10. OldRegular

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    DHK

    Please Note:

    Matthew 16:18, KJV 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.

    Matthew 16:18, Geneva Bible, 1599 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 overcome it.

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

    Matthew 16:18, GLT And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against her.

    Matthew 16:18, NASB “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.

    Matthew 16:18, NKJV “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

    Matthew 16:18, NIV And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

    Those Anglicans get around don't they!
     
  11. Amy.G

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    I think OR and Ann are right. The church is the body of Christ and consists of all believers of all time on earth and in heaven.

    I also noticed that the only translation that uses the word "assembly" in Matt. 16:18 is the Darby. All others use the word church, so I don't think you can blame politically correct Anglicans for translating it wrong.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    Thanks AmyG!:love2:
     
  13. annsni

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    OR - We're right!! We're right!!! <jumping up and down> Amy said we're right!!!

    Of course we know that I'm ALWAYS right. ;)
     
  14. Amy.G

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    You guys are funny! :wavey:

    But everyone knows that I'm always right! :laugh:
     
  15. DHK

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    --This was written to the local assembly at Corinth which was an assembly made up of both Gentiles and Jews. Give no offense not to the Gentile, not to the Jews, nor to the believers that are in the assembly at Corinth. Be sure to take into consideration the context.
    --The only assembly present at the time of Paul's conversion was "The First Baptist Church at Jerusalem." :laugh: That is the only "church" he persecuted.
    Yep, that same Baptist church of Jerusalem.
    "head over all to the assembly, which is his body," This is a good example of the word "assembly" being used in a generic sense. Gill points out that the Vulgate translates this phrase as "head over 'every church'", indicating all assemblies, as Christ is the head of every church.
    What did the assembly at Ephesus think when Paul wrote this? It was written to them--the assembly by Christ Jesus throughout all ages."

    Ephesians 3:21 to him be glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of ages. Amen).
    --What assembly was Christ speaking of? The one at Ephesus? Yes he was, and he was speaking of every Bible-believing church that Ephesus was representative of.
    Good example. How many husbands and wives are there in the world today? I suppose there are as many husbands and wives as there are churches. :rolleyes:
    Of course not. Just as the words "husbands" and "wives" are used generically, so also is "church"
     
  16. DHK

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    An age old adage: Monkey see; monkey do.
    I guess that is why so many people still believe in Calvinism. :laugh:
     
  17. Amy.G

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    When a person dies, and goes to be with the Lord, do they cease to be a part of the church?
     
  18. DHK

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    To many it is a matter of semantics, or correct terminology.
    The underlying word for church is ekklesia is assembly and can only be used in a local sense or in a sense where we can gather in one place. Of course in heaven we will be gathered together in one assembly.

    As believers we are all part of one family--the family of God. It is the nature of the new birth that we become the children of God (John 1:12,13).

    When the rapture takes place all believers will be raptured, as the bride of Christ. Christ will come for his bride. We all make up the bride.

    But that word ekklesia can only be translated "assembly" and with that translation one runs into theological problems. One cannot have an unassembled assembly; an assembly that never gathers, an assembly without organization; an assembly with no pastor, no deacons, no function of any kind. The very definition of universal church or unassembled assembly is a contradiction of terms.
     
  19. Amy.G

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    ἐκκλησία
    ekklēsia
    ek-klay-see'-ah
    From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): - assembly, church.


    I think it probably depends on the context in which the word church is used. It could mean a specific assembly or the whole of the church both on earth and in heaven.
     
  20. OldRegular

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    I agree!:thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     

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