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A clear verse teaching a universal understanding of the word "church".

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
12 minutes ago, (Omega) said:

I would say that the word church is a local assembly of Christians, and is a temporary, flexible small organization of some individuals within THE Church who, largely for geographical reasons, meet together for mutual encouragement and growth through the ministry of the Word of God -- at least that is the Bible's position:  Local assemblies are only as valuable as their dedication to carrying out their purpose; it also means that there is no justification for enshrining them with special buildings, special esoteric theologies (many of them which are false) -- all of which things contribute to a studied disinterest in the truth which is a hallmark of MOST denominations. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! :6_smile:

God Bless,

Daniel

This not just a discussion on what people think about church - it is a bible verse examination.

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5 minutes ago, DaveW said:

This not just a discussion on what people think about church - it is a bible verse examination.

Davew,

The topic of this thread is called "A clear verse teaching a universal understanding of the word "church" I gave my explanation of what the bible says in its understanding of the word "church". I don't see how I was off topic.

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These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14,15)

The absence of definite articles in other bible translation here (for "house", "church", "pillar" and "ground" -- all of which refer to the local church) is of critical importance and has been missed by almost every major translation.  But notice that "the truth", the purpose behind having a local assembly in the first place, is indeed "definite"

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That verse is in no way teaching a universal understanding of the word "church",

I don't even know where to start with a rebuttal because it is so obvuously not universal......

As far as the previous post..... a clear VERSE....... is how it is off topic.

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48 minutes ago, DaveW said:

That verse is in no way teaching a universal understanding of the word "church",

I don't even know where to start with a rebuttal because it is so obvuously not universal......

As far as the previous post..... a clear VERSE....... is how it is off topic.

Well hello DaveW,

Many posters on this thread have ALREADY posted clear verses with regards to your topic as some of the Pastor's and others here have already done. I am FREE to make a comment on what a local church is as opposed to THE church, and I don't think you have the right to say otherwise. It almost seems as if most of your posts come off as someone who is indignant when someone disagrees with you. But I can't really tell because I can't hear your voice inflections, but your word choices appear as if you are aggravated. Anyway, I will be praying for you.

God Bless,

Daniel

Edited by (Omega)
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The whole point of this thread, as is laid out in the first post, is BIBLICAL support for your position - of which you have provided precisely none.

I am sorry if you find it "indignant" or whatever, but I am not interested in what men say about the subject.

I am not interested in people who simply follow what they have been told.

I am not interested in people quoting other men's teachings.

I am not interested any man's opinion without Biblical support.

You are entitled to your opinion, but IN THIS THREAD your oponion will be rejected out of hand if it is not supported by Scripture.

 

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2 minutes ago, DaveW said:

The whole point of this thread, as is laid out in the first post, is BIBLICAL support for your position - of which you have provided precisely none.

I am sorry if you find it "indignant" or whatever, but I am not interested in what men say about the subject.

I am not interested in people who simply follow what they have been told.

I am not interested in people quoting other men's teachings.

I am not interested any man's opinion without Biblical support.

You are entitled to your opinion, but IN THIS THREAD your oponion will be rejected out of hand if it is not supported by Scripture.i DaveW, 

G'day DaveW,

You said:

"I am not interested in people who simply follow what they have been told.

I am not interested in people quoting other men's teachings.

I am not interested any man's opinion without Biblical support.

You are entitled to your opinion, but IN THIS THREAD your opinion will be rejected out of hand if it is not supported by Scripture."

Much of what you said is self-contradictory such as " I am not interested in what men say about the subject" But if that were true, why even respond or even reply to the posters on this thread? Including me? Why not just ignore me as an old man who you deem has learning problems?

And they are not my "opinions", and I have supported what I said using scripture. It's just that you have lack of understanding in the exegesis and hermeneutics of it. And you need to delve deeper in your studies. That, I can't help you. I study scripture every day, using exegesis and let scripture interpret scripture, and for you to say that you are not interested in people quoting other men's teachings (which I have not), or giving personal opinions without scriptural support (which I have not), or "follow" other teachers suggest that you have little to no knowledge about my study habits. IF bible teachers and Pastor's are correct, then they are correct if their teachings can be validated using scriptural support. I will leave you with this. I am 62 years old and not to toot my own horn, but I have been around the block a few times with regards to life's wisdom. I truly care for you and I'm quite sure you love Jesus, but I sincerely believe that you have much spiritual growth ahead of you, as we all do. I will bow out of this thread since it is only leading to a severe misunderstanding of what I've wrote. Take care!

God Bless,

Daniel

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9 hours ago, (Omega) said:

I would say that the word church is a local assembly of Christians, and is a temporary, flexible small organization of some individuals within THE Church who, largely for geographical reasons, meet together for mutual encouragement and growth through the ministry of the Word of God -- at least that is the Bible's position:  Local assemblies are only as valuable as their dedication to carrying out their purpose; it also means that there is no justification for enshrining them with special buildings, special esoteric theologies (many of them which are false) -- all of which things contribute to a studied disinterest in the truth which is a hallmark of MOST denominations. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! :6_smile:

God Bless,

Daniel

Your first post was entirely unsupported opinion. No Scripture quoted, no verse even referenced. 

This is 100% at odds with the opening post of this thread which SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED verses.

 

9 hours ago, (Omega) said:

These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14,15)

The absence of definite articles in other bible translation here (for "house", "church", "pillar" and "ground" -- all of which refer to the local church) is of critical importance and has been missed by almost every major translation.  But notice that "the truth", the purpose behind having a local assembly in the first place, is indeed "definite"

This post you quoted a verse which so obviously doesn't relate in any way to a universal understanding of church it is almost imposdible to counter it - it simply doesn't relate to a universal church. At all. In any way....

As far as your accusation that if I was not interested etc......

I started the thread. I sa

I stated the purpose of the thread.

I have every right to direct it as I see fit.

Your first post was absolutely, 100% against the point of the thread, in that it was nothing more than unsuported opinion with no reference to the Bible.

 

I cannot believe that you are ragging on me for insisting that people support their opinions with Biblical support.

I will discuss with anyone a legitimate verse, where they have done the study themselves and are able to present a legitimate argument, and not just regurtitate someone else's teaching.

 

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13 hours ago, DaveW said:

Your first post was entirely unsupported opinion. No Scripture quoted, no verse even referenced. 

This is 100% at odds with the opening post of this thread which SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED verses.

 

This post you quoted a verse which so obviously doesn't relate in any way to a universal understanding of church it is almost imposdible to counter it - it simply doesn't relate to a universal church. At all. In any way....

As far as your accusation that if I was not interested etc......

I started the thread. I sa

I stated the purpose of the thread.

I have every right to direct it as I see fit.

Your first post was absolutely, 100% against the point of the thread, in that it was nothing more than unsuported opinion with no reference to the Bible.

 

I cannot believe that you are ragging on me for insisting that people support their opinions with Biblical support.

I will discuss with anyone a legitimate verse, where they have done the study themselves and are able to present a legitimate argument, and not just regurtitate someone else's teaching.

 

Per the Moderator's request, I will post one last time and stop "arguing" and get on topic. 
I am on my way to the airport this afternoon. Just so that you can stop accusing me of having no scriptural support, I will break it down for you.
 
To be honest, I'm not sure what the problem is or what the objection is.
 
The word "church" in the Bible is the Greek word ekklesia and it means "assembly"; it's the same word used for the assembly of the citizens in ancient Athens and the assembly of the people in the wilderness under Moses' leadership (Hebrew: qahal often translated as ekklesia in the LXX; compare Acts 7:38 KJV).
 
Beyond all argument, there is a Church which is composed of all believers:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [the little rock] (petr-os), and upon this [mighty] Rock (petr-a, i.e., upon Christ Himself; cf. 1Cor.3:11) I will build My Church (cf. Dan.2:44-45), and the gates (i.e., the fortified defenses) of Hell (i.e., the devil's kingdom) will not [prevail] against it. (Matthew 16:18)
 
Beyond all argument, there are also smaller local assemblies that comprise only part of THE Church:
 
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: (2nd Corinthians 1:1) 
Not even an unbeliever who finds the Bible pointless could read these verses and disagree with these two points.  So I'm not sure I understand your problem or putative point -- or motive in trying to make it.
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59 minutes ago, (Omega) said:
Beyond all argument, there is a Church which is composed of all believers:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [the little rock] (petr-os), and upon this [mighty] Rock (petr-a, i.e., upon Christ Himself; cf. 1Cor.3:11) I will build My Church (cf. Dan.2:44-45), and the gates (i.e., the fortified defenses) of Hell (i.e., the devil's kingdom) will not [prevail] against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Beyond all argument?????

This verse does not require some sort of universal understanding of church.

First of all, in studying the meaning of word ekklesia, you find definition requires the assembling together. How can a universal church, which by definition is spread throughout the world AND throughout time be assembled together?

The concept of a universal church is absolutely at odds with the concept of being assembled.

Secondly, if it was "Beyond all argument" then there would be a plethora of verses supporting the concept - there just isn't. 

You will need to explain WHY this verse is necessarily universal in its meaning if you want a proper answer, because when I read this verse I do not see a universal church.

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I want to make sure I understand what you are saying Dave and Omega

Dave
You believe that there are only local churches and that there is not a "Universal Church".

Omega
It appears that you reject the "Universal Church" that is taught by Catholics, but that you hold to the same position as me that there is a singular "Church" that all Christians belong to, but that God does not work through that Church today, he works through the "local Assemblies". That the singular church is simply referring to all truly born-again believers.

I just want to make sure I fully understand both of you. Are these accurate?

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4 minutes ago, Pastorj said:

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying Dave and Omega

Dave
You believe that there are only local churches and that there is not a "Universal Church".

Omega
It appears that you reject the "Universal Church" that is taught by Catholics, but that you hold to the same position as me that there is a singular "Church" that all Christians belong to, but that God does not work through that Church today, he works through the "local Assemblies". That the singular church is simply referring to all truly born-again believers.

I just want to make sure I fully understand both of you. Are these accurate?

Yes sir, Pastorj

You have my position absolutely correct. I wish I could further expound on this but I am running late. Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018.

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Dave,

Good thread IMO and a good argument. I think I understand where you are coming from now and I think you are correct in that a church is always an assembly regardless of how mentioned. I am addressing two very related birds with this post if you don't mind.

Both the local church for us during our 70 years down here and all born again believers making up the body of Christ throughout the age, are Scriptural. Our business is the local church. God's business is the whole church from the beginning which will assemble in Heaven later on. So IMO this makes your argument very logical and it can be stated accurately that the body of Christ is not His complete or assembled Church "yet". But rather the mentions of His Church are in future tense and reference that time when it is complete and assembled in Heaven, including Heb 12 which is also applied in future tense because it is obvious that the audience nor Paul had yet "physically come unto the mount Sion" but that his name is written there and he and all to who that passage applies to will come later throughout the age until all are present. Then and only then is His Church Assembled. The Lord is outside of time so He refers to us all as His church (past, present and future) but we are still inside the limits of time and can only refer to our physical assemblies with any authority.

There is no doubt that the catholic perversion of the universal church lead by a pope is unscriptural. Just like every counterfeit aspect of Catholicism. Protestants and Charismatics follow the same errors in relation to I Cor 13. They believe Apostle type characters still exist in some more modern form like popery and archbishops and denominational presidents, etc.  Some of these groups even refer to their leaders as "apostle". So in mind-boggling error they think a central person is to have oversight of many churches as it was in Acts initially. What is not understood by these false groups is that in Acts, once these churches (that they personally planted) were later confirmed by the same Apostles (and their own disciples), they then became independent churches. They of course can't understand that the Spiritual authority and powers given the Apostles died with them after the completion of God's Perfect Revelation to man and the presence of indwelling Spirit. Not just Apostolic authority but also Apostolic gifts breathed on the Apostles by the Lord personally including all gifts of healings, tongues, prophesies, signs, wonders and miracles. Some of these gifts were passed onto the Apostle's direct disciples also but all ended at the end of the first century once the Book of Revelation was finished in written form.

All of these early gifts were considered child's play by God once the Perfect combination of His Spirit guiding believers in His Completed Word was come (that which is Perfect) I Cor 13. God has no need for Apostles to provide oversight anymore we have the "perfect" and more "excellent" way now. His Word is complete so there will be no more Revelation/prophesy from Him to anyone since AD96 and all the way up until the Comforter is taken out of the way with His remaining Church members. Nor is there any need for Spiritual gifts, signs, tongues or any other "sight" type early evidences for the unbelievers. The Spirit is here now to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment to come based solely on God's Completed, Written Word.

Since I Cor 13 and 14 are purposely ignored by these groups, all sorts of nonsense that mocks God and His Word goes on in this age. Man worship like Popery and denominational central offices/presidents (doctrine of the nicolaitans) comes from this purposeful misinterpretation, as does all charismania like dreams and visions and audible voices and near death (see the light) nonsense concocted in the mind that always needs to see a sign or proof of God.

God clearly puts no man anyone else in this age (Matt 23). He will speak to no one audibly in this age. All of His revelation to us is already revealed and Perfect being explained by His Spirit.

Out of ignorance these groups believe that we not only have God's Complete Revelation and God's Holy Spirit poured out over all flesh who convicts, regenerates, seals and indwells.

but they also redundantly retain the temporary:

Apostolic authority along with all the gifts clearly designated by God as temporary, IE..."in part" until the Perfect combination of the Spirit and His Word is come. The entire idea of seeking signs in this age is not only unscriptural but also makes a foolish mockery of God and His true Gospel which can only be received in pure faith without sight of any type. In addition, Spiritual growth can only come from true faith and true faith can only come from "hearing His written Word".

If a person seeks signs long enough, their subconscious minds will give provide them. Aided of course by spicy foods, hormonal imbalances, medications or rem-sleep dreams sometimes brought on by anesthesia . The ignorance is in the seeking of such signs. Except the sign of Jonas the prophet of course (Christ's Sacrifice for us). 

I believe false religions share the same misunderstandings of these passages and this is where some of their distinguishing falsehoods come from, whether man-worship (universal church) or extra revelation, signs/miracles in this age. These confusions are all directly related IMO.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Pastorj said:

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying Dave and Omega

Dave
You believe that there are only local churches and that there is not a "Universal Church".

Omega
It appears that you reject the "Universal Church" that is taught by Catholics, but that you hold to the same position as me that there is a singular "Church" that all Christians belong to, but that God does not work through that Church today, he works through the "local Assemblies". That the singular church is simply referring to all truly born-again believers.

I just want to make sure I fully understand both of you. Are these accurate?

Not exactly.

Where the word "church" is used, it is always used in its proper sense, which means a gathered together group. It is never used incorrectly of a universal ungathered group.

God DOES refer to all believers at times, but when He does He uses terms like "household", "fellowcitizens", etc.

I am not "local church only",  because I do not deny that the Bible refers to all believers. It is easy to produce verses that show this. But God never calls all believers as a single ungathered group "the church".

Edited by DaveW
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DaveW

Thanks for the clarification.

I agree with you that the word church is a "Called out Assembly" and in most cases it refers to a specific local church. Maybe what I am saying is symantics, so let me rephrase and see what you think. I would say that "All Believers" belong to God's Church as he proclaimed that he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. (All Singular). However, I can agree with you that there is no "Universal Church" as taught by the Roman Catholics. If we said that "All Believers belong to the Bride or Body of Christ and that the Lord works through the local church, what would your thoughts be?

 

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4 hours ago, Pastorj said:

DaveW

Thanks for the clarification.

I agree with you that the word church is a "Called out Assembly" and in most cases it refers to a specific local church. Maybe what I am saying is symantics, so let me rephrase and see what you think. I would say that "All Believers" belong to God's Church as he proclaimed that he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. (All Singular). However, I can agree with you that there is no "Universal Church" as taught by the Roman Catholics. If we said that "All Believers belong to the Bride or Body of Christ and that the Lord works through the local church, what would your thoughts be?

 

Now you see, the problem i have with that reference (the gates of hell...), is that if it is universal, then Jesus was wrong.

Let me explain this:

In WW2, it could have been said at various times that the German army prevailed over the Allies.  They did not ultimately do so, but for instance, in France the Germans prevailed.

There are plenty of churches that have failed over the years, and if we are talking universally then we could rightly say that Satan has prevailed over the church in certain areas.

If however, that verse is referring to the church in concept (car reference from earlier in this thread), then the gates of Hell have not prevailed. 

By the way, when Jesus calls it "my church" He is specifying His church as distinct from any other assembly.

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1 hour ago, DaveW said:

By the way, when Jesus calls it "my church" He is specifying His church as distinct from any other assembly.

Dave,

Thank you for your whole post; especially the last sentence quoted above. The Lord Jesus clearly said, "my church," or the called out assembly of the saints (not unregenerate sinners in some church roll).

1. This excludes all of the false churches throughout the ages.

2. The writer in Hebrews is very clear when he states, ""To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." Hebrews 12:23 The writer in Hebrews is clearly speaking of all of the firstborn, the redeemed saints, whose names are written in heaven (not on some Roman Catholic church roll, or other church roll), of the spirits of just men made perfect. There is no universal church here on this earth that the writer of Hebrews is speaking of. It is an assembly of believers in heaven.

Alan

Edited by Alan
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I feel like this argument is really based on semantics at times. It seems we all agree that in the future there is going to be an assembly of ALL believers in the future according to the passage in Hebrews that has been referenced. We also all seem to agree that right now on earth there are different assemblies of believers on earth now, all of which will belong to the assembled group in the future as referenced in Hebrews. 

I have some questions, Can you be part of the future gathering of all believers without being a part of the a local assembly?

Here's a scenario, Lets say you get saved, join a church, and the church you are attending closes it's doors. So now you are saved, but are no longer the member of any local assembly. Can we rightly say that person is still not part of Jesus "My Church" and that they are not part of the Church mentioned in Hebrews? I think if you honestly answer these questions we can come to the conclusion that there is more to being part of Christ's Church than just being a part of a local assembly. What is clear is God works today in this world through local churches. 

In my opinion what I see is a knee jerk reaction to the Protestant and Catholic understanding of a "Universal Church" with a hierarchal structure. I think many have gone too far in the opposite direction in response to this. 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki
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20 minutes ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

I feel like this argument is really based on semantics at times. It seems we all agree that in the future there is going to be an assembly of ALL believers in the future according to the passage in Hebrews that has been referenced. We also all seem to agree that right now on earth there are different assemblies of believers on earth now, all of which will belong to the assembled group in the future as referenced in Hebrews. 

I have some questions, Can you be part of the future gathering of all believers without being a part of the a local assembly?

Here's a scenario, Lets say you get saved, join a church, and the church you are attending closes it's doors. So now you are saved, but are no longer the member of any local assembly. Can we rightly say that person is still not part of Jesus "My Church" and that they are not part of the Church mentioned in Hebrews? I think if you honestly answer these questions we can come to the conclusion that there is more to being part of Christ's Church than just being a part of a local assembly. What is clear is God works today in this world through local churches. 

In my opinion what I see is a knee jerk reaction to the Protestant and Catholic understanding of a "Universal Church" with a hierarchal structure. I think many have gone too far in the opposite direction in response to this. 

Words are important.

The proper use of words is important.

Many people use the words "Church " in a lazy, thoughtless way.

We ought to use words in a Biblical way.

The word "Church" is used wrongly, poorly, and unbiblically by many, which leads to an unbiblical understanding of Biblical passages and concepts, and it makes room for false doctrines.

The problem becomes clearer when we consider Acts 2 (and other passages). If we lazily use the word "Church" in an unbiblical universal way, then we allow those who teach baptismal regeneration space to play around with such passages, for example. Sometimes seemingly simple things can have heavier doctrinal consequences. 

The word "Church" has been used by many in just such a lazy, unbiblical way on this site.

Semantics? Maybe I guess, but accuracy of terms is not unimportant. 

If I have made people consider their use of this word, and caused people to at least be more careful with it, then I am satisfied.

Remember also that this is a discussion forum, and this has in general been a good discussion.

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