We have turned the body into an institution with a facility. To prove this, we invite a community of believers AND unbelievers to join in unequal yolk to hear a preaching from an altar and we call it “church.” We “go to” church and we worship in “church.”
Church is not the focus of the facility. We were told not to make the temple the a thing. Acts 7:48-51 and Acts 17 warns of using the temple made with hands in place of the temple NOT made with hands. Otherwise we would be called “stiff-necked” going against the Holy Spirit.
The church institution was not meant to be. It is a facade of the invisible body that is the assembly. The word in Greek is “Ekklesia,” meaning the “Called-out ones who come to their public place together.” Notice today’s model. Notice it not only has included the redeemed believers AND the unbelievers, but it has confused the meaning of the assembly, and it has falsely given security to those NOT of the body who have been told that attending a church will satisfy their requirements to God.
The word used for “ekklesia” in Matthew 16:18 has been wrongly translated to “church” giving the false connotation of a building rather than the saints (called out ones) who are in the facility. That word is from “Kirke” which comes from the physical facility of a round temple of the pagans. It has nothing to do with the gathering of the body of Jesus Christ. William Tyndale returned that institution word back to mean the people by translating ekklesia as “congregation.” Others have used “assembly” which is the same. Tyndale was crucified by both the Pope and the king of England for his attempt to make the distinction between the church institution and the body of Christ gathered. And for calling the gathering an invisible body governed by Jesus as it’s head rather than an institution with it’s clergy agents.
I have presented this to many Pastors. They cannot deny this and admit they know what I talk is truth. Yet they resist to reverse the damage as to admit they would have to surrender the whole occupation that they attain their livelyhood. Well YEAH!
And that is why they defend the current model, not because its right or correct. They will not surrender the facade of the institution that they have built and have maintained to keep people dependent. They will not give up the building up of their reputation in the community to serve an institution to be recognized by the congregates and municipalities. And they have misguided the congregates to think that by bringing in both believers AND unbelievers into the same meeting that they are providing a ministry to serve both.
One Pastor admitted that for lack of a better model, we are accustomed to this model as the example. What? Lack of a better model? What about the example of Jesus and his disciples, Paul and the early church? They were not instructed to raise up institutions or facilities but PEOPLE GATHERED AS BELIEVERS. And then to go OUT to make disciples and bring new believers up to speed. Gathered wherever, in a barn, in homes, in facilities, even on the street. But not to name a building as an institution and make the facility the church. It is the people gathered.
But the focus has been divided. The message is forced to reduce to palatable bites, and is watered-down to please the masses. Also it has caused the need to be like the world and shape it’s service around entertainment and sensationalism.
Shame on the Pastors who have been building up a name for themselves, and an institution with a mix of people, many of whom are not even saved, and considering it “church.” A meeting that isn’t even meant for a community of unbelievers. Then again, “church” in a pagan sense can involve the community of unbelievers. Because it is not the true meaning of the “ekklesia”, which is for the believers. And today’s ‘”church” isn’t the true example of the gathering of saints. So carry on with your false gathering.
Until we reform to right focus, I’m afraid we will continue to decline and exist as the counterfeit it has become.