MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Who Builds the Body?

August 13th, 2008 Visited 1686 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series The Health of the Body of Christ

Church Aisle

Ask any member of your local church who put them in that church, and I bet you1 that they’ll say that they chose to join the church.  They’ll probably even take it a step further and give you a list of reasons that they chose the specific church.

The problem is that scripture tells us in First Corinthians that it is God who adds members to a local body as it pleases Him2.

God chooses who to put in your body of believers with a purpose.  If God’s the one that put them there, who should be the one to take them out?

God is not adding to your church accidentally.  There is a reason that He knows, and by joining a body of believers the believer is saying that they are part of the body.  That whole thing about when one part hurts they all hurt?  God means it.

To me, this means that there are only two ways to get off the church roles—God taking you off and placing you somewhere else and church discipline((This has not always been my belief.  I was part of a Constitution Committee to help create a new Church Constitution and I put in there a notification clause after a number of services missed because I thought that having people on the roles that no longer attended was wrong.  So, this is something I’m growing in as well.)).

Let me take it a step further—I now believe that if a person isn’t regularly attending your church, it is your duty to go find that person and to, in love, encourage them to come back to the church.

You see, I think that we’ve taken church discipline and made it into a worse thing than it was intended.  We take it and only apply it to sexual sins—or other “big sins”.  That wasn’t supposed to be the case.  It was supposed to be a tool a person and a church could use to help bring Christians back into a proper relationship with God.

In any case, you need to be accountable to a body of believers, and God has a place for you in that body to strengthen and encourage it.  God builds His body to match the assignment He has for it.  You are an important part of that assignment!

Series Navigation<< A Right Relationship With God

  1. That is, if I were a betting man! []
  2. 1 Corinthians 12:7, 18 []

Comments

6 Comments

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  • Rachel says on: August 14, 2008 at 8:36 pm

     

    This is really good. I was under the impression church discipline was only for “the biggies” as well.

    I think the word “discipline” gives it a harsh feel in our happy-go-lucky society, but it’s exactly what it is. When we stray from God, He disciplines us in order to bring us into a right relationship with Him.

    Rachels last blog post..Leading Others Out

  • MInTheGap says on: August 15, 2008 at 8:22 am

     

    @Rachel: Actually, if you look into church discipline you find that it’s for whatever sin (or offense) is present. It’s there to help us keep unity with the brethren. We’re not supposed to carry wrath until the Sun goes down. We’re to go to a brother that we are offended by, or that we know is offended by us. The Bible places getting right with a brother as more important than worship!

    But I don’t think it’s that we never do church discipline– it’s just that we’ve labeled church discipline as the last of a three part step. The first two are done almost in private. Even then, however, we sometimes let this go and let bitterness grow up between us.

    Man, do I have a long way to go!

  • ChristianPF says on: August 15, 2008 at 9:55 am

     

    Awesome!! I love it! I know way too many people who are against the local church, basically because they have been offended… I love that you wrote this, because this is one area that the body needs to understand better!

  • MInTheGap says on: August 15, 2008 at 1:23 pm

     

    @ChristianPF: that’s the problem with a body that doesn’t deal with things biblically and that let offenses pile up. The Bible’s clear about keeping short accounts– both with God and with our brothers. If there’s an offense, both parties should get it right– and when the Bible says, “If you remember you have ought with a brother, leave your offering and go back to your brother” God’s saying it’s more important to get right with a brother than to have a worship service.

    Definitely different than how a lot of churches seem to operate.

  • Arthur Eiss says on: August 17, 2008 at 11:36 pm

     

    Interesting… I wouldn’t disagree I would just share a somewhat different viewpoint:

    Perhaps it’s not MORE important to reconcile with your brother than to worship God, but it’s an integral part of that worship. Afterall, worship means putting above yourself, and if God has told you to love each other as He has loved you… I guess you have to be reconciled to do that right? So what is a sacrifice of praise if you do not also obey the greatest commandments?

    Remember what Isaiah says about fasting. (no reference) lol.

    Arthur Eisss last blog post..The Liberty Dollar

  • MInTheGap says on: August 18, 2008 at 9:21 am

     

    @Arthur Eiss: Interesting thoughts in and of itself. I John tells us that if we say we love God and love not our brother we’re a liar. The Epistles tell us that if we have a disagreement with a spouse or sin in our life, God cannot hear our prayer– or they will be ineffectual. But the Gospels are pretty clear that if I come to worship and have ought with a brother, I need to get that right before worship.

    I think you’ve hit on a good point– the Bible is consistent here, with many different views of the same command.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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