Redefining Church?

(I’m writing today in the context of the Christian Church) Tradition is tradition because a method, belief, or practice has been tested… tried… and found true.  In every generation there are some who decide to challenge tradition… change the way church is done.  Currently there seems to be a movement who are challenging the church structure God set in place.

A good representative of what I’m talking about is what is called the “Meta-Church” (Beyond Church).  In this new concept of how to do church, there area a number of “new” stratagies being called for.  Consider a few of them that may sound good, but upon further examination… well… I’ll comment afterward.  The subtitle of the article is: 21 Steps to transit from being a barren church to a millionaire of souls. (Emphasis in blue is mine)

1st Step: Rewrite the job description of professional clergy from a pulpit orator, sacrament dispenser and tithe gatherer to a shepherd who feeds his flock to be healthy and reproducing by encouraging them to practice priesthood of all believers with authority to baptize, break bread and equip fishers of men. Note: I believe it is written in the 1 Timothy to “Preach the Word…”

2nd Step: Move from meeting in temples to gathering in ‘houses of peace.’  ‘God does not dwell in temples made by human hands’; rather He dwells in human hearts. For we are the mobile walking and talking temples of the living God, with a maximum of organism and a minimum of organization. Note: I believe it is written in Titus that Elders were to be set up to guide the church.  And it is written in Hebrews to “obey your leaders.”

3rd Step: Phase out programmed Sunday ‘services’ while implementing informal, small gatherings. The Bride of Christ must have intimacy with her Lord every day, not only for a couple of hours a week, lest she become unfaithful.  Note: The pattern of both OT and NT is for believers to gather in a central place… not to remain in seperate small houses.

5th Step: Dispense with wafer-and-sip Holy Communion services, and promote breaking of bread with simple Agape meals (love feasts) from house to house that believers take together with glad hearts, so the Lord can add to His numbers daily.  Note: Is he saying that God CAN’T grow the church in the present setting but it must be changed “so” the Lord can…?  I would strongly disagree.

7th Step: Shift from spectator-oriented church to ‘metastasizing’ interactive, participatory, prophetic church. Empower men, women and youth, to get the dragon off the driver’s seat.  Note: It seems he calls for the unders-shepherd (Pastor) to be done away with… in a negative way mind you.

17th Step: Substitute seminary training by sharing the whole wisdom of God from house to house.  Sound doctrine is the ability to convince those who oppose.  Note: To be consistent I guess he would agree that there’s no need for formal medical or legal training for doctors (He is a physician himself) or lawyers.  Personally, I WANT my doctor to have formal training from those more knowledgable than himself.  His suggestion is not wise.

20th Step: Re-set your priorities to preach Christ where He has not been named. For this you do not have to go to church from Sunday to Sunday nor work from paycheck to paycheck.  Note: He is asserting that going to church (Believers assembling themselves together) is no longer needed… which is contrary to Scripture.

Change is not always good, proper, or right.  In my view this man is manifesting a rebellious spirit that is contrary to Scripture and the pattern of Scripture.  Not only that, it is quite possible that he is reacting out of hurt or anger he’s experienced in a church setting.  I just have a problem anytime people come up with something new and fresh that does not seem to be born of humility and brokenness.  Enough said…