On this site you will find a post from 2/9/11 entitled ‘Proper Authority in the NT Church’ where I deal mainly with the misuse of power in the Church. But in order to put things into proper perspective I must now deal with the other end of the problem and that is those Christians who condemn the organized Church and denominations.
I will pick no bones about it and get right to the heart of the matter. I have read, listened, and watched countless presentations of how people try their best to justify biblically how Jesus is their leader and where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name there He is and that is all that is needed.
It is true that the Church is not a building, but it is sure nice to be protected when there is harsh weather outside. It is also sure nice to know that when the storms of life hit your family that the assembly of prayer warriors you worship with will be at your side.
I will make a bold statement and say that at the heart of the matter with those Christians that are against the organized church is that they have a disdain for authority in their lives. Laced throughout the NT and especially in the Book of Acts is the setting up of authority in the Church. Acts 14:23 clearly says,”So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” 2 Peter 2:10 associates those that despise authority with walking in the flesh.
The organized Church is not perfect just like it was not perfect in the first century. Paul addressed all kinds of abuses in his epistles. Responsibility comes down to the believer to test everything. We have organized churches that are full of abuses to this very day, but there are also churches in every area that are spirit-filled dynamic churches. No organized church is perfect, but the Lord works through the organized church.
There are many wounded sheep out there, but throwing away the baby with the dirty bath water is not the solution. We are warned that offenses will come, even from fellow Christians. We are instructed in both Matthew 5:39 and Matthew 18:15-22 on how to handle it. For those that have abandoned the organized church and try to justify that getting together with a few Christian friends constitutes having ‘Church’, the Lord has other to say about it within Matthew 18:16-17. Jesus clearly makes a distinction between two or three gathered together and the organized church.
One of the highlights of the organized Church is Proverbs 24:6 which says, “In the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” 1 Peter 5:8 goes on to warn,”Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Please don’t be a statistic!
I agree that rebellion against authority is one reason people do not attend church, personally, I think the root cause of that is pride. I also think many people have been badly hurt by churches and do not have a pride problem. However, I do think people just have to push thru their hurt and keep meeting. An assembly of 2 or 3 people does not normally have all the gifts in it, God spreads his gifts throughout the church and we need to be exposed to all of them. Jesus Wins is right, we should not forsake the assembly of ourselves together.
True talk. They seems to have forgotten Hebrews 10:25 as well! Paul hit the nail on the head in I Corinthians- We are members of Christ’s body and not solo rangers!