Tag Archives: ecclesiology

The “C – Word”…

churchfish

So far I have more or less stayed away from this topic. I used to write about it all the time actually, back before I started learning about the various globalist machinations at work in my country and around the globe. Maybe I just got a little “burned out” on it, or maybe I just figured it was for the most part somewhat of a lost cause, especially once I started appreciating the true magnitude of difficulty inherent to coming to a place where one is finally open to the agendas going on around us which are so very evil. It’s still a fairly challenging issue for me to try and break down to someone, be they a Christian or not, as to why there is so much to be reticent about when it comes to institutional religion. But, since this topic has for whatever reason been coming up lately in several discussions I’ve been having with both devout Christians and devout atheists, I suppose it’s as good a time as any to dive into it with a post of my own…

Instead of beating around the bush I’ll just get right to the point. The vast majority of what is referred to as “church” today, is really a very significant departure from what it meant to the first followers of Jesus in the days of Acts.

Of course, not many people would argue with this in itself, but where the complexities begin to arise is in the question of whether or not all (or even much) that has arisen in the name of “doing church” over the centuries since Jesus walked the earth has been according to a Biblically-defensible guideline, or rather veered quite foolishly from it.

There are a good many rabbit-trails I could go down when considering the whole topic of “ecclesiology”, such as debating matters of hierarchical leadership, or the ways which institutional religious entities become reliant upon the regular financial support of it’s congregants (thus often blurring the lines between “ministry” and business), and I would no doubt have plenty of admittedly controversial opinions about them, but lately I have been finding myself focused on another issue above all these others, when it comes to the question of “church attendance” and being someone who has now spent a good many years living outside the “institutional box” as a Christian.

Imagine for a moment, a group of Christians living in the First Century AD, gathering together in their homes to pray and teach one another, in some city of the Roman Empire. Now, try and imagine that this little congregation, living in the heart of the Roman world, has virtually no comprehension that they are living in a pagan culture, with a pagan, “god-king” for an emperor…(!) Imagine that these people turned to Christ, and then somehow, suddenly believed that everything around them, all the pagan temples and Roman legions and coliseums where the gladiators fought, was all “redeemed” into having some sort of “Judeo-Christian value”.

So far this is the best analogy I’ve been able to come up with to describe how I feel so much of the time, living in a modern-day “Christian nation”, as it alleged by so many to be.

Oddly enough, my hypothetical example of the oblivious first-century “ekklesia” goes from being a bizarre analogy to being an echo of what would eventually transpire, when we step back a little farther and consider how the Roman empire became the “Holy” Roman Empire under Constantine. I’m not going to bother tracing the entire history of the papacy, or the nexus between the church and nations of Europe, or the uncomfortable relationship between European colonialism and Catholic expansion. etc. We all pretty much know how the flow of religious history trickled down to today.

But for me, the question is now just one of measuring the ability by which I might be able to walk into any given institutional Christian church, and just, well, start talking about any of the topics/questions I typically bring up right here on this blog. Right now, I find this to be a very significant measure indeed. Forget all the “typical” questions of whether churches are too “corporate” or not, too “liberal” or not, too “traditional” or not. Can I walk into a church and start talking about false flag terrorism? Would I not be regarded as some kind of quack, as people started wondering who the new guy is who is talking about the globalist agenda of the wars being fought in the Middle East? Could I dare even speculate on things such as George W. and his daddy not actually being Christians at all, but in fact something quite the inverse…? What if I asked people why there is an American Flag standing at the front of the “worship center”, does this mean we are to worship the Flag too?

Perhaps there are some church institutions where such a thing would be tolerated, but not many. Maybe in the context of a “small group”, where it wasn’t being heard in any larger setting, and the appointed leader could try to appropriately “moderate” the conversation, (I always found myself being “moderated” in such a way, even back from BEFORE I learned about all these crazy “conspiratorial” things!)

“But those aren’t appropriate things to discuss in church!” (I imagine a typical response to what I just said might be…) “We come together to worship God, and learn about His Word, not let anyone come in and rant about their hair-brained theories!”

Again, I would refer back to the analogy of the first-century church. Can you imagine these folks getting together and deciding that it was inappropriate to talk about the historical context they were living in? Could they have ignored the magicians and fortune-tellers who filled the marketplaces, or the Roman military campaigns which constantly brought in slaves from newly-acquired sections of the empire? Could they have pretended that there were no demon-possessed people, tormented and talking to themselves in alleyways or the outskirts of town?

Could they have ignored the “spirit of anti-Christ” which was at work in the world around them, driving the bloodlust of martyr-burning emperors such as Nero, or the infiltration of Gnostic false-teaching into the Gospel itself?

I know a good many churches, and pastors, and congregations today, are aware that we are seeing the Signs of the Times, and rapidly approaching the Last Days as prophesied in the Bible. I know a good many of them do believe that the anti-Christ is possibly alive and walking the earth right this minute even. But what I don’t see or hear many of them openly saying, is that our own, “Christian nation”, is very much at the center of bringing this unholy kingdom upon the earth, and has been for some time now. It’s common enough to hear pastors or prophecy teachers talk about the ever-encroaching Muslims, or the “cup of trembling” coming upon Israel, or Ezekiel this and Isaiah that, or decry the woes of Obama socialism, etc. But will they stop and look at what their own “New Atlantis” has all truly contributed towards the construction and propagation of a one-world system? Are they willing to examine the true nature of this economic/military juggernaut with which they have indeed incorporated themselves with by filing as a 501c3 organization?

As such, it is really not all that surprising that within these government-affiliated (and tax-exempt) organizations there isn’t a very open climate to criticizing whatever nefarious aspects of the State, or the global “Super-State” being erected as the sovereignty of our own nation is increasingly left to die like a terminal patient pulled off of life-support. Though these developments might certainly be inevitable, what should not be inevitable is the decision to continue along the path of accepting the carrot-on-a-stick scenario that is the ubiquitous practice of 501c3 affiliation. While it might be true that foregoing this corporate status could make things like buying church buildings or paying pastor’s salaries a lot more difficult, I remain fully convinced by the example of Scripture itself that these things are indeed not nearly as requisite for the Body to gather together and edify each other as we have long been led to believe.

We are not yet in the New Jerusalem. We are in Rome. We are in Babylon. And the time to wake up, and come out, is descending upon us.

Truth over Tradition…

biblicalchurch_coverI just finished listening to an interview by one of my faves, Derek Gilbert, with a man named Beresford Job, an elder in the Chigwell Christian Fellowship in Essex (that’s in the U.K., for us Americans), has spent most of the last 40 years in full-time itinerant teaching and pastoral ministry. Beresford has pioneered biblical house church life and experience in England, and he explains how human traditions have supplanted the teachings given first to Moses and then to the disciples of Jesus. (text from vftb.net)

It has been about eight years or so since I myself came to understand these truths about the model of “doing church” that is actually outlined in the Bible, but I have to say that this presentation by Mr. Job is perhaps the best done treatise on the subject I have ever heard.  If anyone is in the place where they are finding themselves wondering where all the traditions of modern churchianity come from, and why there is such a reliance on the whole Pastoral hierarchy, liturgies, rituals, etc., then listening to Beresford would probably help explain a LOT about where these things came from.  He speaks in a very measured and grace-filled manner about seeking what the scriptures themselves have to say about what it means to gather as the Body of Christ…

Beresford also has a five-part audio series on house-church.org which traces how the oral traditions of the Jewish elders eventually ended up being the same mistake made the “Early-church fathers” of the first few centuries of the Christian church.