Doug talks about the power of seeing the church as the body of Christ and the temple of God. In isolation we cannot understand or express the fullness of God. He also talks about the dangers of destroying or dividing God’s church.
One Response to One Body, One Temple, One Church (Podcast)
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I find the fact that I am part of the body of Christ, part of the temple of God reassuring: I don’t have to do it all myself, all at once. I am a member, therefore I have value,meaning, purpose but the body is not its members individually but its members interacting to achieve the purposes of the Head, who is Christ. I think we go astray in considering church from an individual perspective, but then church is what opened my mind to thinking in terms of the Body.
I think that if we think of the church as human institution we will miss the point. That’s why the body imagery is so helpful to understand how we need each other. There are parts of my body that are working right now, that I’m not even aware of; but if they stopped working I’d feel it! The church is not only the ‘important’ members, just as the body is not only the important organs.
It helps me to see the Church as established by God to be His Body, His Temple. Just as the gifts are distributed by the Godhead, and it would be presumptuous to tell God you don’t like the gift He’s given you, so you really can’t tell God you don’t want to be in His Church. But we tend to think the individual has the right to go to church or not, try out a lot of churches before committing, etc. It’s like renting an apartment, I want one I like as opposed to having a baby, first you have the pregnancy,not all of which is easy, then the labor pains, then a child, who may not be what you were hoping for, in terms of physical, personality, etc. The organic metaphor is apt for the church which is filled with all kinds of people with all kinds of expectations, united by the love of God, the Holy Spirit & Christ in whom they abide. When people love, they find a way to get along, to make things work: you come to love the child who at first was a disappointment. But if I look at church as an optional addition to my life, when things get difficult, I stop going or go somewhere else.
The sad thing as you point out is that we will never know what God intends us to be outside of community. You don’t have to be at church 7 days a week, it’s the attitude that makes the difference. I pray for the people at church & they pray for me; I encourage them they encourage me. I’m afraid of people: only in community can I begin to overcome that fear. And then I can begin to open up to people outside the church.
Great podcast as usual, Doug!