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12 June 2014 @ 11:46 am
Who is the Church?  
The Church is the Body of Christ on Earth. The Church is the Bride of Christ in glory.
Since Jesus is the Word, and the Curch is His body, the Church should be the embodiment of God's Word. We should be following it and putting it into practice, not twisting it to fit our desires.
Since Jesus has bought the Church at a great price, the Church should follow Jesus' commands.
Since Jesus is our Lord and Master, the Church ought to reject any teaching that is antagonistic to Christ's commands. The Church should abhor and avoid: pagan practices, accomodation of sin in the realm of sexual immorality in all its guises, judgment of people's worth or salvation, standing by idly or giving support actively to the harm or destruction of the innocent, defenceless, or persecuted, and consumer mentality that ignores our role as stewards of God's resources.
We must neither squander God's resources thoughtlessly or inefficiently, nor yet treat the resources as an end in themselves. We are to use God's resources, not hoard them, and we are to do our best as the Church to use those resources wisely, in ways that will have eternal impact on the communities in which we are present.
The Church must not write off the world, or any individual or group, prematurely. As long as there is time and opportunity, the Church should be actively pursuing souls and improvement in social conditions for all.
The Church should be actively praying for and defending all of God's people against injustice. The Church should not defend wrong actions, but neither should it allow wrong actions to be committed on anyone, regardless of their sins.
The Church should remember that knowing the tree by its fruit is not for the purpose of pronouncing the tree bad; We know the tree by its fruit so that we can call all mankind to be good trees, and so that we are in the habit of recognizing good and bad fruit, so that we can avoid eating bad fruit. The Sword of the Spirit is for rightly dividing good and evil, for parrying the attacks of the Enemy, not for cleaving the skulls of those who have fallen victim to the ravages of sin or have been deceived by the Enemy's lies. The Church should embody the Word of God, and the Word shows us that God is long in patience and steady in His offer of the outstretched arm.
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